I know counting calories is no longer cool, but as a pregnant woman who gained a little too much with my last pregnancy, I try to keep an eye on what I eat without driving myself nuts. I always want something sweet when I’m at Panera or Starbucks, but holy crap, their cookies are eleventy-billion calories.
Okay, I exaggerate. But only slightly. Who knew that a chocolate chip cookie could be the same amount of calories as a burger?! And the thing is, I don’t even need a cookie that big–I just need a few bites to quell that craving.
That’s where these Dark Chocolate Cherry Granola Bites come in. They’re the perfect 2-bite cookie, with chunks of dark chocolate and chewy bits of dried cherries. My 3-year-old loves them too and we’ve been keeping a supply of them in the freezer for both of us to have as a treat.
The version of this recipe I’m sharing here is made with dark chocolate and cherries because Valentine’s Day is coming up and it seemed appropriate. But I’ve also made these with other ingredients–as long as you keep the proportions the same, it will work out fine. Here are some options to consider:
- Chopped nuts (pistachios are especially good!)
- Diced apricots
- Dried cranberries
- Sunflower seeds
- White or milk chocolate
Photos by Ana Stanciu
Dark Chocolate Cherry Granola Bites
A cross between granola and cookies, these little bites are totally addictive.
- 1 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup chopped dried cherries
- 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate or mini dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon and sugar.
In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to cream the butter and sugars. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated.
Add the oat mixture and to the butter mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in the cherries and dark chocolate.
Drop heaping teaspoons of batter onto 2 ungreased baking sheets about 1 inch apart. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the cookies are golden and lightly browning at the edges.
Let the granola bites rest on the baking sheets for 2 minutes, then finish cooling on wire racks.
These cookies will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.