Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Chewy, gooey good stuff

As some of you may know, my twin bro Paul just started hiking the Pacific Crest Trail ("PCT") that runs up through California from the border of Mexico to the border of British Columbia, Canada.  It's a pretty big undertaking, and so far he's rocking it!  He started a blog that he's updating along the way, which you can find here.  Check it out!

These bars will hopefully serve as worthy fuel for Paul while on the trail:

Chewy Fruit & Nut Bars (printable version)
(makes 16)

1/3 cup chopped almonds
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup honey
3/4 cup Medjool dates, pitted
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2-1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and toast until golden and fragrant, 8-10 minutes

Warm the honey until it has the consistency of thin syrup.  In a food processor pulse the honey, dates, cinnamon and oats until everything is coarsely chopped.

Scrape the oat mixture into a medium bowl and break up any clumps of dates.  Stir in the nuts, apricots and chocolate chips.  Squeeze the mixture into a ball.  Line an 11 by 7 inch glass baking dish (or something of similar volume) with parchment paper and lightly grease.  Using wet hands, pat the mixture firmly into the baking dish in the shape of a rectangle.

Freeze until the rectangle is firm enough to cut, about 30 minutes.  Turn out onto a cutting board and cut into 16 bars (2 by 8).  Wrap the bars individually and let stand at least a day (they get chewier as they sit).  These keep well, either at room temp, refrigerated, or frozen.