Line an 8″ square pan with parchment paper, letting it overhang on two opposite sides.
Toss cereal, pecans, pepitas, cherries (or cranberries), sesame seeds and ground flaxseeds in a large bowl.
Combine honey, vanilla and salt in a small saucepan. Warm over medium heat, stirring, until the honey is more fluid and the salt is dissolved.
Pour the honey mixture over the dry ingredients and fold in until everything is moistened and sticky.
Let cool for 5 minutes.
Fold in chips (or chopped chocolate) until evenly distributed.
Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and spread evenly with a fork.
Using the back of the fork, press the mixture very firmly all over. (Alternatively, cover with parchment paper and press firmly all over.)
Bake at 300 degrees in lower third of oven until the top is golden-brown, about 35 minutes. (If in doubt, take it out so the honey does not burn.)
Run a knife along the unlined sides of the pan to detach the bars.
Let cool in the pan on a wire rack to room temperature, about 1 hour.
Use the ends of the parchment to lift the bars from the pan. Gently peel off the parchment.
Use a heavy sharp knife to cut into 16 bars or squares.
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