Preheat your oven to 350F (175C) and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
Evenly spread oats and chopped nuts over the baking sheet and bake on 350F (175C) for 10 minutes. Use a spatula to stir the oats/nuts and return to the oven and bake another 5-7 minutes until lightly golden brown.
Pour your oats and nuts into a large heatproof bowl and set aside while you prepare your syrup.
To prepare the syrup, combine your butter, sugar, honey, and salt in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir frequently until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
Pour syrup over your oats/nuts and stir until all ingredients are well coated. If you plan to add any dried fruits, stir them in now as well.
Allow the mixture to cool for about 10 minutes. While it is cooling, prepare a 9x9 square pan by lining with parchment or wax paper, using enough that some of the paper hangs over the sides of the pan (so that you will be able to lift the bars out of the pan to easily slice them later).
Once mixture has cooled for 10 minutes, stir in ⅔ cup (113g) of mini chocolate chips. Stir until just combined (the chocolate will begin to melt, this is OK).
Pour the mixture into your prepared 9x9 pan and use a spatula or the back of a spoon to evenly, firmly, press the mixture into the pan.
Pour remaining ⅓ cup (57g) of chocolate chips over the mixture and use your hands to gently press them into the bars.
Transfer pan to the refrigerator and allow to chill for 1-2 hours.
Lift the bars out of the pan (using your over-hanging parchment paper) and use a large knife to cut into 5 evenly sized slices (about 1 ½" width) and then cut each slice in half so that you have 10 evenly sized granola bars.
Wrap with a strip of wax or parchment paper (to keep bars from sticking to each other) and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
If you look at the photo below the recipe, you'll see that I also made a white chocolate cranberry version of these granola bars. I substituted the walnuts for almonds, stirred in ¾ cup dried cranberries, and substituted the mini chocolate chips for ⅔ cup white chocolate chips.