Dark Chocolate Apricot Granola Bars

This is my favorite basic granola bar recipe. Fill them with your favorite add-ins. I love using dark chocolate covered raisins and apricots.

Dark Chocolate Granola Bars with apricots. Easy, quick, and my go-to granola bar for any add-ins!

Contrary to what some readers may think, I don’t sit around stuffing my face with an entire pan of brownies that I bake. Although, that’d be nice – right?

I have hungry friends, neighbors, family, and coworkers.  I bake for bake sales, parties, get-togethers and birthdays.  After I’ve tasted and enjoyed my share of a sweet treat, I like to share the rest of my baking with others. Lucky ducks.

However, there is one exception.  When I bake up something healthy, a treat I can feel good about, I greedily save it all for myself.  My Skinny Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies didn’t make it to the hands of my friends.  We enjoyed them all ourselves!  Guilt-free and easy. Love everything about them.

When I tried my first Dark Chocolate Raisinet a few weeks ago, I immediately wanted to incorporate them into a recipe.  Something to fuel my work-outs or break my hunger in the afternoon at work.

Raisinets are secretly my favorite pick at the movie theater and have been a treat my mom & I have LOVED together for years. Hi mom!

I love the combination of dark chocolate and fruit. Dark chocolate does have its known health benefits, after all. 😉

For these granola bars, I paired chopped apricots with the Dark Chocolate Raisinets. The apricots lend a delicate tartness to each bite and the chocolate… keeps me happy.  The two balance each other out, no?

To make these bars stick together, I used  coconut oil as my binder.  If you can’t find coconut oil, use cold butter.  Do not use another oil. The coconut oil is solid at room temperature, and you need a smidge of solid fat to hold the bars together.   Not too much, because we’re trying to keep things healthy here. 🙂

I mixed the coconut oil with a bit of brown sugar to form a crumb-like consistency. I stuck this mixture in the refrigerator as I prepped my other ingredients.  Again, you could always use cold butter instead of solid coconut oil.

Along with the brown sugar and coconut oil, I added whole wheat flour, oats, cinnamon, unsweetened applesauce, chopped apricots, and my favorite Dark Chocolate Raisinets. A very simple, clean ingredient list. I also added two egg whites as another binder.  I wanted to make sure these bars traveled well and didn’t fall apart when I picked them up.

While they are certainly sturdy, they aren’t “heavy tasting” at all, which is exactly what I want when I’m looking for a healthy, portable snack.

The bars are sweet, but not overly-so.  Feel free to reduce or add in more brown sugar if you please.  The bars are also spiced with *just* the right amount of cinnamon. I love the texture complexity in each bite – melty chocolate, chewy raisins & apricots, and thick-cut oats.  The bars bake up to be pretty soft, not crunchy and teeth-breaking like some granola bars can be.

The possibilities and variations of these bars are endless.  Instead of apricots, try another dried fruit like craisins or dried apples.  Or add peanut butter chips, nuts, seeds, or even more chocolate.  Or toss in some lemon zest or grated orange zest!

Even an unglamorous granola bar can be droolworthy if you add in your favorite extras.  This is one recipe I’m excited to play around with for different spin-offs.

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Dark Chocolate Apricot Granola Bars

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 16 bars
  • Category: Bars
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This is my favorite basic granola bar recipe. Fill them with your favorite add-ins. I love using dark chocolate covered raisins and apricots.


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup loosely packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons solid coconut oil (or cold butter, cut into cubes)
  • 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 and 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup Dark Chocolate Raisinets (or Milk Chocolate Raisinets, or dark chocolate chips)
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly spray a 8×8 (or 9×9) baking pan with cookie spray. Set aside.
  2. Combine brown sugar and coconut oil in a medium bowl until crumbly and well mixed. Place in the refrigerator while you prepare the dry ingredients.
  3. In another medium bowl, mix together, flour, oats, raisinets, apricots, and cinnamon. Remove the sugar/oil mixture form the refrigerator and mix in with the dry ingredients. Add egg whites, applesauce, and vanilla. Lightly stir to combine. Do NOT overmix.
  4. Pour batter into prepared baking pan. Bake for 15-18 minutes until sides are barely browning. Cool completely before cutting into squares. I waited 1 hour to cut into 16 squares. Bars stay fresh at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: Bars freeze well, up to 2 months.

Keywords: chocolate apricot granola bars

48 Comments

    1. Ashley – I love using coconut oil too! It makes some items so much richer and depending on the recipe, so much creamier! I’m glad you like it too.

  1. I love using coconut oil…just made a batch of chocolate coconut oil bark yesterday. So easy and good for you, a healthy sweet treat ya know?

    The kids and I made your funfetti granola bites today. Delicious, cute, and colorful…all things Sally :). Even our 15 month old baby boy loved little nibbles of them. Hmm, oh we also made your cherry protein smoothie the other day. I need to blog pics and links soon 🙂 Busy getting four kids ready for a new school year, and a baby on my hip 🙂

    These granola bars look yummy. I’ll be making them. I’m making another batch of your skinny pb brownies tomorrow. I’m running a 10k this Sunday, and need some sweet-healthy fuel this week.

    Have a great week!

    1. Sara! First of all. You are a POWER mom! A runner, blogger, baker, and a mom all in one. I don’t know how you do it! I can barely handle a job, blogging, and running! Baking is on the side! I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed so many of my recipes. Reading your comment put a huge smile on my face. I hope to be superwoman someday too! GOOD LUCK in the 10K this weekend, that is amazing. Those skinny pb brownies are practically my favorite thing EVER. Making them again this weekend… with a twist. 🙂

    1. I added a “comment luv” application to my site and it will link back to your own blog! You can uncheck it so no links will appear next time if you’d like 🙂

  2. These look awesome, Sally! And I haven’t even emailed you about what I made & shot today. Yep. Granola bars with choc chips and I swear to god we could swap pictures. Just got done editing them! Thankfully our recipes are different….almost 🙂 They look amazing & I LOVE apricots – especially when paired with dark choc and I could go to TOWN on granola & granola bars. Great work on these – coconut oil, brown sugar, Raisinettes…wow 🙂

    1. Averie, thanks for the compliments! I am sometimes wary of posting something that doesn’t have gooey chocolate and lbs of pound, but I try to focus my blog on the things I truly love to bake and eat… and granola/granola bars are one of them! I love apricots too! Coconut oil is such a great “binder” for my granola – much better than canola oil, I find.

  3. You are brilliant! I would have never thought to add Raisinets to granola bars, but that sounds so good. And the dark chocolate variety is definitely my favorite. I am going on a little road trip for Labor Day this weekend and I am looking for an easy, mess-free snack to bring with me. These granola bars definitely fit the bill! Perfect timing 🙂

  4. Gosh, those look awesome, Sally! I have never tried making my own granola OR granola bars, but now I definitely need to! And I saw dark choc raisinets at the store a few days ago and totally thought of you and wondered “Sally is probably going to make something awesome with these soon!” And you did! Mmmm.

  5. I am so happy to see that you used raisinetes…I secretly love them very very much!!! I have a few bags of those dark chocolate ones in my cupboard waiting to be put to good use…that is if I can stop eating them by the handfuls:-) I just started using coconut oil for a lot of different things earlier this year and I really like how it turns out. And a chewy granola bar trumps all those nasty crunchy ones every single time!

  6. I just made my first granola bars a few weeks ago, and pretty much decided they were like my favorite healthy snack ever (let’s not talk about the fact that I ate the ENTIRE pan myself, mmkay?). And these?? With the chocolate covered raisinettes? Eeek! Sheer genius! Also, can you believe I’ve never used coconut oil? I’ve got to remedy that immediately.

    1. Coconut oil lends such a creamy texture depending on the type of recipe you are baking. I love it in no-bake cookies or bars! You can hardly taste the coconut too. It’s like a miracle oil. 🙂 Thanks Ashley!

  7. I love that you used apricots! I have a bag in my cupboard that’s been sitting there for months – never know what to do with them. Pairing them with raisinets sounds super yummy! And I love a soft bar over a hard one.

  8. haha, i know what you mean! i give most of my sweets away to friends and coworkers as well 🙂 i mean, gotta maintain the body, right?! these look like a great healthy alternative to snacking on bad stuff! lovely 🙂

  9. haha! Katie, I love it. I bet your version was awesome… you’re a granola gal just like me! That is one lucky doggie…

  10. I’m in a granola frame of mind! I’m out of whole wheat and don’t feel like running to the store can I use regular AP flour instead?

    1. Hi Tracy! You most certainly may use all-purpose flour in this recipes instead. I love these granola bars! You reminded me to make them again soon. 🙂 Enjoy!

  11. This is an old post so hopefully you will still see this! If I take these on a short day hike, will they get sticky and melty from the chocolate? Should I layer them with wax paper?

  12. My daughter started kindergarten last week & has to bring two healthy snacks everyday along with her lunch. I made a batch of this to pack everyday for one of her snacks & she loves it. One recipe lasts 3 weeks (I wrap one week’s worth & put the rest in the freezer). Thanks, Sally!  You never disappoint…take that back…bummed you aren’t coming to Michigan (yet??) for your new book! 😉 Seriously though, love everything I have made so far. Heading out to the little farm stand near our house to get some zucchini to try the chocolate zucchini bread next.

    1. Thanks so much for the sweet comment Jamie and I’m really excited that you’re able to find some healthy snack options on my blog! Don’t know if I’ll be making it to Michigan on the tour! Ahhh so sorry.

  13. Hey sally!!! Thanks so much for all the amazing recipes. I’ve been using them so often since ive been introduced to your blog. Just wondering, is it possible to use more rolled oats instead of the flour for this recipe?

  14. Hi,
    these Bars are awesome!!!! I used figs instead of apricots, flea seeds, dark chocolate and pumpkin seeds. This is the best recipe for granola Bars, I tested. They have a soft texture and taste fruity, but have a light caramel flavor. I like that a lot. Next time I will put a little less sugar, they are really sweet (:
    Thank you for posting this recipe.

  15. I made these, and they taste much better than I expected! I may add a tiny bit less apricots next time, but I’m very impressed! Others like them too! Delicious! A keeper for sure. Thanks, Sally!!

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