Pecan Oat Bars with Cinnamon Chocolate

My family’s roots are from Central America.  These  people have long known the flavor of chocolate and cinnamon together.  I am still amazed how many people have never tried it.  I am not amazed that once they try it, they wonder why they hadn’t done so sooner.

I have always been a big fan of oats.  You could say I’m kind of like the Muppet Bert who thought oatmeal was the best food on earth.  It has been part of my breakfast for many decades.  It sticks with you so you don’t get hungry half-way through your morning.  I love oatmeal so much that given a choice between a chocolate chip cookie and an oatmeal one….I’ll pick the oatmeal every time.  And I am a big chocolate fan.

I decided to make something that brought these flavors together.  Something I could feel good about eating, even though it felt like… I’m being…..naughty!  With whole grains and complex sugars, it’s not too sweet, but has a staying power so that you won’t eat too many, but will love every… single…bite.

You’ll need:

11×17 pan, greased (or use non-stick spray)

3 cup old fashioned oats

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup shredded wheat crumbs

1/2 all purpose flour

1/2 wheat germ

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

2 cups chopped pecans

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup raw sugar

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 cup dark chocolate chips

1/2 cup cinnamon chips

Preheat your oven to 350º F.

In a large bowl combine the oats, flours, shredded wheat, wheat germ, pecans, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream the butter,sugar, honey, and maple syrup until fluffy, add the eggs and vanilla; beat well. Slowly add the oat mixture and beat on low speed, reserve about 2 cups of the mixture for topping. Press the mixture into pan, sprinkle the chocolate and cinnamon chips evenly over the surface and spread the remaining 2 c of oats mixture over the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the edges are beginning to brown. Remove from the oven and cool completely in the pan, slice and serve.  Enjoy!

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Note: If you can’t wait for it to cool, it is very soft, but very good.  When its cool, it will firm up.

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