Breakfast Bars with Tart Cherries, Toasted Pecans, and Chocolate Chunks

INGREDIENTS:

Makes 12 bars

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat or spelt flour
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ or bran, or oat bran
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup chopped dried sour cherries (or other dried fruit)
  • 3/4 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup chopped, toasted pecans
  • 3 ounces (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted (optionally browned)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (dark or light)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 orange

METHOD:

  1. Position a rack in the oven and preheat to 175ºC (350ºF).
  2. Line an 8×8″ pan with parchment paper, letting the sides hang over like a sling. (This will make removing the bars a cinch.)
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the dries to combine. Stir in the dried fruit, chocolate and nuts.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the wets to combine. Pour them into the dries and stir to combine thoroughly.
  5. Spread evenly in the parchmented pan, and bake for 30-40 minutes. The Bars should feel set and firmish in the center, with browned edges.
  6. Let cool for about 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and cut while still warm into 12 bars. Cool and store in an airtight container for up to a week or so, or wrap tightly and freeze for up to a couple months.
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