serves: 24 small bars
1 cup peanut butter
½ cup salted butter (coconut oil is a good alternative)
⅓ cup raw honey
4 ounces bittersweet dark chocolate
1¾ cups rolled oats
1 cup nuts, coconut, or seeds (I used ½ cup pecans and ½ cup coconut)
1 cup dried fruit (I used figs)
coarse sea salt to taste
1. OPTIONAL (but highly recommended): In a food processor, pulse 1 cup of the oats, your filling, and your fruit. This really helps the texture of the bars not to feel so much like chunky health bars and more like a well-mixed yummy chocolate bar. For my filling, I ended up using ½ cup nuts and ½ cup coconut and I pulsed them both through the food processor as well as my figs – see picture in the step-by-step photo above. I left ¾ cup of oats un-processed to add variety to the texture.
2. Put all your oats, filling, and fruit in a large bowl. Line a 9×13 or smaller pan with parchment paper.
3. In a small saucepan, melt the peanut butter, butter, and honey over low heat. Add the chocolate and stir until melted. Remove from heat and pour the mixture into the bowl with the oats, nuts, and dried fruit. Mix well (and work quickly so it doesn’t start to get too sticky on you). Press into the prepared pan, sprinkle generously with sea salt, and chill for 2-3 hours to harden (I put mine in the freezer). When solid, cut into 24 bars and store leftovers in the fridge or freezer.