No-bake Pecan Granola Bars

Even though autumn is officially here I still don't feel like turning on my oven, okay...maybe if my pizza cravings are very strong, but still I'm not in full baker mode yet after the summer holidays. This year it's taking me a little longer than usual to get back on track but I'm trying not to stress about it and also enjoy some quality time with my kitten cause she's growing up so fast!
I had to finish several works for some brands before September ended and that forced me to neglect the blog a little bit and be less active on Instagram. Hopefully everything will be back to normal soon cause I still have two cake recipes to share (and some yummy cookies too!).
So these no-bake pecan granola bars are the perfect healthy-yet-slightly indulgent snack to help you power through the day; they are a variation of my peanut butter granola bars I published back in February and this time I covered the base in melted dark chocolate. Actually I developed this recipe for Seed and Bean Chocolates and used their sweet orange and thyme dark chocolate bar, you can also find the recipe on their blog with many other delicious ideas.
Keepin' it short and sweet this time my darlings, cause my pantry needs to be organized asap (plus other chores I need to finish)...and my stomach is growling. Thankfully I made several batches of these bars and still have a few of them in the fridge. ;-)

No-bake Pecan Granola Bars
(yield: 12 to 16 squares approx.)


1 1/2 cups rolled oats.
1/2 cup pecan nuts.
1/3 cup white almond butter.
1/3 cup pure maple syrup.
2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil, melted.
1/4 cup sultana raisins.
A pinch of pink Himalayan salt.
1 bar of Seed and Bean's Orange & Thyme dark chocolate (58 % cocoa).
Optional: two drops of orange essential oil (food-grade and organic).

First of all, toast the rolled oats in a large frying pan greased with a bit of coconut oil, until they look golden brown and release a toasty aroma. Transfer to a big plate and leave to cool.
In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt the almond butter, maple syrup, coconut oil and add in 2 drops of orange essential oil (if using); stir until soft and fully combined. Set aside to cool a little bit.
In a large mixing bowl mix the toasted oats with the pecan nuts, raisins, and a pinch of pink Himalayan salt. Stir until combined and add in the previous almond butter mixture, mixing with a large wooden spoon or silicone spatula. It's important to give it a good stir so all the nuts and raisins are well distributed; it should be a sticky mixture.
Line the bottom of a square brownie pan with parchment paper, leaving some extra centimeters overhanging the sides to easily unmold later, and firmly press the granola mixture into the pan. Finally use your clean hands or a silicone spatula to ensure you get a very compact and even layer.
Let it sit in the refrigerator overnight, until very firm so it'll be easier to slice into squares.
Melt the dark chocolate in a double boiler and set aside.
Carefully unmold the granola mixture and cut into 12 to 16 squares (depending on the size of your brownie pan). Dip the base of each bar in the melted chocolate, transfer to a lined baking sheet (chocolate side up) and let them cool in the fridge until the chocolate is firm.
Store the bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator.