Those granola thins by Nature Valley are an excellent idea: thin crispy granola; granola you won't break your teeth eating, all dipped in chocolate or peanut butter.
I've had this on my "recipe clone" create list to make for some time.
Granted these don't look exactly like the granola thins, I'm sure they have precise machines to cut them into little perfect squares.
But with mine you can rest assure there are far less chemicals and far better tasting chocolate.
If you make these, keep in mind the thinner you spread the oat mixture out on the baking sheet the thinner the bars will be. I made mine somewhere in the middle: not too thin, not too thick.
And thinner means more crunch, thicker means chewier.
I need to work on making a batch with peanut coating.
I must warn you that these are highly addictive.
And you simply must try them with the little bit of heat.
It's a gentle heat...I promise.
Toast the oats! Important step for sure.
Secret ingredient: those coconut chips from Trader Joe's, my goodness those are good.
If you can't find those, then use toasted coconut flakes--just make sure they are toasted a bit to ensure a nice crunch.
Remember spread thin for crispy bars, thicker for chewy.
Do the chocolate coating thin too. I made mine too thick, but I guess that's a good thing too.
granola thins (with a touch of heat)
4 cups rolled oats (not quick oats, not quick cooking, not instant)
1/8 cup canola oil
4 TB butter, melted
½ ts sea salt
¼ ts (or more) of cayenne
½ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup + 2 TB honey
¼ cup pineapple juice (an oversized ¼ cup)
¼ cups molasses
1 ½ ts pure vanilla extract
1 cup of crushed graham crackers, fairly fine crush
1 cup rice krispies
3/4 cup sweet & spicy pecans from Trader Joe’s, rough chop (you want chunks)
1 cup of Trader Joe’s Coconut Chips, crushed
cook notes: for thin and crunchy-like granola thins spread the oat mixture thin on baking sheet. If you want chewy granola bars, then spread it thick-like.
If you can’t find Trader Joe’s coconut chips use some toasted coconut flakes. Light golden brown toasted coconut. And you can use any spicy pecans you want really.
for chocolate coating:
11-12 ounce bag of milk chocolate chips, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a bowl, toss the oats with the canola oil, melted butter and salt.
Spread the mixture out onto a baking sheet, in a nice thin layer. Bake in oven for about 15-20 minutes or until oats turn light golden brown.
You should turn and mix oats around during the baking.
Remove from the oven and set aside.
To make the mixture for the bars:
In a medium saucepan, over low heat, mix the brown sugar, honey, pineapple juice, vanilla extract and molasses. Heat the mixture slowly, stirring until all combined. Don’t let it come to a boil—just want to dissolve everything.
Take the toasted oats, place them in a large bowl, add in the crushed grahams, rice krispies, pecans and the coconut chips. Mix all.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Toss the toasted oat mixture with the sugar mixture, stirring as you pour.
Toss to combine.
Take a baking sheet (large), grease up with nonstick spray even the edges, and place down parchment paper. If you don’t have parchment paper then use non stick spray on foil.
Press mixture onto baking sheet .
For thin crispy granola try and spread the granola as thin as possible on the sheet. It’s hard, but just keep at it.
For chewy granola, keep the mixture thicker.
Bake until golden, about 20-25 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool.
It will take about 2- 3 hours for this to harden up.
Once it’s harden, then pour on the melted chocolate, in a nice thin layer. I did not go all the way to the edges.
Let the chocolate harden and set up.
Being careful cut pieces with a very sharp knife and remove from the pan.
Makes about 30 2-inch bars +/-