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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

{Almond Chocolate Cherry Snack Bars}

Valentine’s Day is on my mind– so that means I cannot stop thinking about all things red, pink and chocolate!  I know these Chocolate Cherry Almond Snack Bars  are not the decedent Valentine’s day treat you were hoping for but I promise they are delicious!  

These little snack bars are studded with tart cherries (red for Valentine's day), packed full of chocolaty goodness and feature Almond Butter one of my all-time favorites (and a great alternative to peanut butter- read about the health benefits of almonds here, and here)!  They are healthy, no bake and quick to throw together – plus you can add any sort of mix ins you like to make them all your own!  I have been enjoying these bars crumbled over my Greek yogurt as “granola” enjoying them plain or even topping one with a little Greek yogurt frosting – (recipe here) for a sweet treat!  They are delicious!

Almond Chocolate Cherry Snack Bars
Brunch N’Cupcakes
Makes 15 Bars

1/3 Cup Dried Cherries – I buy bulk bin cherries by the pound
1/3 Cup Mini Chocolate Chips
2 ½ Cup Oatmeal – I used quick cooking
1 1/3 Cup Almond Butter (I used Almond Butter – from Nuts.Com)
¼ Cup Maple Syrup

1- Combine dried cherries, and oatmeal together in a large mixing bowl.  Set aside.
2-  In a microwave safe bowl combine peanut butter and maple syrup.  Microwave for 1 minute (stirring after 30 seconds).  Peanut butter should be melted and easy to stir – if not place in microwave for an additional 30 seconds.
3-  Slowly pour peanut butter mixture into your oat mixture.  Stir until oats and cherries are evenly covered.
4- Stir in chocolate chips.
5- Press dough into a 9x13 baking dish that has been coated with cooking spray – place in the fridge for 30-60 minutes to allow bars to set. Cut and enjoy!

**Note these bars get soft if they are stored out on the counter.  I store mine in an airtight container either in the fridge or freezer!