Tuesday, March 12, 2013
This little bar I came up with today was a total winner. I love bars--last week found me making Kind bars. Do you know the bars I'm talking about? I love them, but yes, they are a tad spendy. Ends up they are crazy easy to make. Just like Lara bars, which I like, but they're more like a breakfast bar, whereas Kind bars are more of a treat. And I like treats, as you know. Here are two links, among so many, that I liked:
Homemade TRIO and Kind Bars: The recipe I worked from for the Kind bars I made.
Lara Bars: I loved the thoroughness of this post from The Kitchn.
But I was in search of a coconutty kind of bar. That's what I thought to myself: I need something coconutty. Do you live your life like that? Thinking of what you are craving and finding a way to cook it? It doesn't always come out well, you may know, if you are like me. There is a moment I have when I'm mixing something, and I say to myself: This is going to be so good! But I'm not always right. This time, I was right. I was inspired by this recipe for Almond Coconut Bars by The Paleo Mom, which doesn't look far off from my final product, but mine's a bit different.
I mistakenly said hashtagged these as Paleo today on Instagram, and the way I made them (with brown rice syrup) they are not. They also won't work with a GAPS diet, for the same reason. Somehow, I don't think these would hold together well with honey, but it might be worth a try. Let me know if you do! I wonder how these would come out without any sweetener at all? Brown rice syrup does have this magical glue quality when baked. I think without the syrup, you could just chill the pan, and call it a Lara bar kind of thing.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease an 8x8 square pan with olive oil.
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 cups mixed nuts (I used a mix of almonds, walnuts, and pecans)
1 cup deglet dates
1 tablespoon of olive oil or liquid (warmed) coconut oil
1 tablespoon of brown rice syrup
Put coconut, nuts, and dates in a food processor, and run it until they are all very finely ground, a minute or two. Then, while the machine is on, slowly pour in the oil. I used very good olive oil, but I'm sure coconut would be tasty. Then, because the brown rice syrup is so gloopy, stop the machine, add it, then turn it on to fully blend. Tip: Use the oil-slicked tablespoon for the brown rice syrup--it will slide right off the spoon. Then, pat the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for fifteen minutes, or until the sides are golden. It will have puffed up a little, too. Take it out and let it cool a good fifteen minutes or so. To get it out of the pan, I gently covered it with wax paper and inverted it on a cutting board, then flipped it again, so it was right side up. Do this gently! Let it cool.
For the chocolate layer on top, chop up about two ounces of dark chocolate and heat slowly until liquid. Use a double-boiler, or a microwave for a minute or two, if you have one. Spread it on top of the bar "cake" with a spatula, and let it cool and harden in the fridge for about an hour.