No-Bake Cookie Bars with Chocolate, Cherries and Chia Seeds
These no-bake bars are packed with healthy ingredients and just the right amount of chocolate decadence to make a treat worthy of breakfast, snack-time or dessert.
1cupsmoothunsalted almond butter at room temperature
1/4teaspoonfine sea salt
2 1/2cupsold-fashioned rolled oats
1/2cupunbalanced sliced almonds
1/2cupdried tart cherries or cranberries
3/4cupchopped bittersweet chocolate
Flaky sea salt such as Maldoncocoa nibs and chia seeds for sprinkling.
To make the bars, in a large bowl, whisk together the almond butter, maple syrup, vanilla and salt until smooth. Set aside.
Place the oats in a skillet over low heat and toast until golden and fragrant, about 8-12 minutes, stirring frequently. Wipe out the skillet and add the almonds, toasting over the low heat and stirring frequently until golden, about 4-6 minutes. Add the almonds to the bowl with the oats, then add the dried cherries, chia seeds, and cocoa nibs. Fold the mixture until well combined and let sit until cool enough to handle, about 5-10 minutes.
Line an 8-inch square pan with a sling of parchment paper, leaving an overhand on each side to use as handles when removing the finished bars. Scrape the nut mixture into the pan and use damp hands to pack the mixture firmly into an even layer.
To make the topping, place the coconut oil and chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir constantly until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Pour the melted chocolate over the bars, tipping to coat evenly. Sprinkle the top with a few small pinches of flaky salt and large pinches of cacao nibs and chia seeds. chill the bars until firm, at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.
Loosen the edges of the bar with a small spatula or the tip of a knife and lift the parchment and bars from the pan and transfer to a cutting board. With a sharp knife, cut into 16 squares.
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