These little chocolate peanut butter brownie granola bites are amazing! And so, so simple to make. A perfect recipe to make with kids (and they freeze great!).
My goal this week is to give you a brand new recipe every day that you can make with your kids, by yourself, or hooked up to FaceTime with your momma across the country. Let’s call it a little baking therapy amid a crazy, crazy world.
Speaking of crazy, today’s recipe is crazy good, crazy easy, and crazy fun. (It’s a GREAT one to make with kids or delegate to the kids.)
A few weeks after I posted those dark chocolate brownie granola bars, my sister marched into my house holding a bag of delectable-looking chocolate somethings and said “I made a PB version of those granola bars you posted AND I made them into little bites AND they are the best things I’ve ever eaten in my life.”
And she was right. I’m giving her all the credit for bringing these chocolate peanut butter brownie granola bites into my life…and now yours. We can’t stop making them!
They are fantastic. The peanut butter makes them ultra-soft, and if you are already a fan of chocolate + PB, these little granola bites are a no-brainer.
So Easy to make
Just like the granola bars from which they hail, the dry ingredients get thrown into a bowl first:
cocoa powder (unsweetened or Dutch-process)
coconut (unsweetened or sweetened)
almond flour (see recipe for substitutions)
finely chopped almonds (I use toasted slivered almonds and grind them up in my blender)
quick oats (if you only have old-fashioned oats give them a pulse in a blender or food processor)
Because we are rolling these into balls vs pressing into a pan (which you could also totally do), I like to use mini chocolate chips instead of regular chocolate chips.
You can also leave out the chocolate chips. That makes me sad. But I’ll try not to manage your chocolate chip choices and my emotions surrounding them.
Peanut Butter Syrup
Five simple ingredients go into the syrup that brings everything together.
Applesauce, peanut butter, pure maple syrup or honey, coconut oil (this is actually optional), and vanilla.
You don’t have to use the coconut oil (my sister doesn’t), but I always do because even the small amount called for in the recipe gives these granola bites a slightly fudgy texture. Without it, the texture might be a bit gummy thanks to the applesauce.
But again, my sister loves them with no added coconut oil. I’m the rebel in the family, I guess.
Scoop it out
Mix everything up until it’s evenly combined. It’ll be pretty sticky – similar to the texture of cookie dough.
Sidenote: I haven’t tried it with this peanut butter version, but I’m fairly positive you can forego the individual scooping and press the mixture into a pan like the dark chocolate granola bars and bake that way.
They’ll look a bit messy right when they’re popped out of the cookie scoop, but they roll up quite nicely.
If the batter is too sticky, let it rest for a couple minutes or lightly grease your hands before rolling.
I only bake them for 10-12 minutes. Kind of like a cookie! Just enough for them to firm up a bit on the outside but remain soft and fudgy on the inside.
You don’t want to overbake or they’ll dry out in the middle.
They’ll lighten up a bit in color as they bake (not as much if using Dutch-process cocoa powder). But rest assured, they are plenty chocolatey.
These little chocolate peanut butter brownie granola bites are just so yummy!
Despite the fact that my sister saves my life on a daily basis doing every day sisterly things, I am forever indebted to her for figuring out how to peanut butter-ize the already fantastic granola bars and make them bite-sized.
The baked and cooled granola bites freeze great (which makes perfect on-the-go snacks). But around here, they really don’t last that long.
I hope you love these fun little treats! I can’t wait to give my sis more creative recipe invention assignments. 🙂
2 cups (7 ounces) quick oats (or old-fashioned oats pulsed in a blender)
1 cup (4 ounces) finely chopped almonds (see note)
3/4 cup (1.5 ounces) sweetened or unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup (1.5 ounces) natural, unsweeteened or Dutch-process cocoa powder (see note)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) almond flour (see note)
1 cup (6 ounces) mini chocolate chips
1 1/4 cup (11.25 ounces) creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup pure maple syrup or honey
1/4 cup melted coconut oil (optional; see note on why I like to use it)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line half sheet pans with parchment paper; set aside.
In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, almonds, coconut, cocoa, almond flour, and chocolate chips.
In a medium bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the peanut butter, applesauce, maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla. Microwave or heat on low until pourable (don’t overheat). Let it cool if it’s too warm or the chocolate chips will melt.
Pour the syrup mixture over the dry ingredients and mix until evenly combined.
Scoop the batter into 2-tablespoon sized spoonfuls (I use a medium #40 cookie scoop) and roll into balls. Lightly grease your hands with cooking spray if the granola mixture is too sticky.
Bake for 10-12 minutes just until the outside of the granola bites are set. Don’t over bake or the middles might be dry.
Almonds: for finely chopped almonds, I think it’s easier to use sliced or slivered almonds (I finely chop them in my Vitamix blender) – whole almonds work, too, just keep an eye on them so they don’t turn to almond flour or almond butter.
Cocoa Powder: Dutch-process will give a richer, dark chocolate vibe to the granola bites, but either type of cocoa powder works quite well.
Almond Flour: you can sub in all-purpose or oat flour (easy to make at home: just process oats in a blender until finely ground) for the almond flour.
Peanut Butter: I haven’t tried these with natural peanut butter; I think it would work fine if the variety of natural peanut butter you use is fairly creamy (and not super thick).
Coconut Oil: I always use the 1/4 cup coconut oil. It’s not a lot, but it gives a slight fudgy texture to the bites. Without it, they tend to be just a little tiny bit gummy in texture (however, my sister loves them without the coconut oil so I think it’s just a personal preference).
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Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe – my sister altered my dark chocolate granola bar recipe for a PB version made into bites and told me I had to make them, love them, and post about them 🙂
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