Over on Well, the New York Times Health blog, Martha Rose Shulman posted a recipe for Chocolate Granola Bars. I made a batch, ate a few, handed a few out, thought about them, and made a few changes. Here’s an upgraded, more chocolately version.

Chocolate Granola Bites

Makes approximately 25-30

3 T butter, coconut oil, or peanut oil
2 T cocoa powder
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t ground ginger
1/2 c ground flaxseeds
1 c old-fashioned rolled oats (gluten free if necessary)
1/2 c quinoa flakes
1/2 c almond meal
50 g unsweetened chocolate (use higher quality for better flavor)
1/4 c honey
2 T brown sugar
1/4 c dates or date paste, chopped and soaked in 2 T water
1/4 c dried apricots, chopped and soaked in 2 T water

Preheat oven to 300F. Line mini-muffin tins with papers, or grease well.

Heat fat in a saute pan over medium heat. Meanwhile, mix together the cocoa, flaxseeds, and spices in a large bowl. Add the oats to the pan, toast for 1-2 minutes, then add the quinoa flakes to the hot pan. Toast, stirring regularly, until the flakes are just beginning to brown. Add the almond meal and toast slightly. Remove from the heat. While the flakes cool, melt the chocolate in the microwave (I like using a pyrex measuring cup) and add the honey and sugar. Heat until liquid. Mix the toasted flake blend and dried fruit into the cocoa, flaxseeds, and spice. Sitr in the chocolate mixture. Mix well. Shape into walnut-sized balls, and press into mini-muffin cups. Bake for 16-20 minutes. Watch closely at the end of baking, as they will burn easily. Cool and enjoy.