Sweet & Salty Granola Bars
1 and 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 and 1/4 cups salted pretzel sticks
3/4 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup brown rice syrup
Preheat oven to 350º F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Line a 8 x 8 inch baking dish with parchment paper. Set that aside.
Spread out the rolled oats onto the lined baking sheet and toast them in the oven for about 15 minutes. You can skip this step. I enjoy the flavor of toasted oats in granola bars, so that's why I gave the oats more oven time.
In a large bowl, snap the pretzel sticks into small pieces with your hands. Don't worry if the pretzel bits are different sizes--we're not striving for perfection here.
Toss in the sliced almonds and chocolate chips and stir. Once the rolled oats are toasted, add them to the bowl. The chocolate chips will start melting, which is exactly what you want. If you prefer eating whole chocolate chips, wait until the rolled oats have fully cooled off before mixing with chocolate
Add the brown rice syrup and mix until well incorporated.
Pour the mixture into the 8 x 8 inch dish. Because this mixture is quite sticky, use another small piece of parchment paper to help you press down and spread the mixture evenly.
Bake the granola bars for about 20 minutes.
Let them cool completely (about 25-30 minutes) before cutting into them. I found it easier to lift the whole thing out of the baking dish, parchment paper and all, and slicing the bars on top of a chopping board
Store in an airtight container.