Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Today was National Granola Bar day so I figured it would be a good way to ease back into cooking. I do like some granola bars. I prefer my granola to have more of a dessert taste than a healthy snack taste. However my diet greatly lacks protein and fiber so I wanted to add a little good stuff into these. It worked! They are chewy and dessert like but still have some healthy in them. You could change up the add ins almost any way you like. Raisins, nuts, dried fruits or whatever you please.

Makes 12 bars.

1 1/4 cups quick cooking oatmeal
2 Tablespoons ground flaxseed
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup shredded coconut
2 tablespoons protein powder (any brand of unflavored powder)
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (mini would be best but I didn't have any)
2 tablespoons corn syrup
2 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
3-5 tablespoons water

Preheat oven to 350F.

Spray an 8" square baking pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl combine all the ingredients except the water.

Slowly add enough of the water to make a ball. You might have to mix with your hands.

Press the mixture firmly into baking pan.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned.

Remove from oven.

You can stop at this point and let cool and cut into 12 bars. can sprinkle a few more chocolate chips on top. (The darker the chocolate the healthier it is.) I didn't measure but probably not more than 1/4 cup. Put the pan back in the oven for a few minutes.

Remove again and spread melted chocolate evenly over the top.

Cool completely and cut into 6 narrow strips across and once in half.