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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

What's Cooking? Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew Squares

Today I found the most amazing, delicious recipe!  It is a copy-cat recipe for KIND bars - chewy, slightly sweet, nutty and packed with protein!  You can find the original on the blog  The directions are super clear and the blogger (Monica) has recipes for eight different varieties.

I need to bring a "healthy" treat to an activity tonight so I thought I'd try these bars.  I had most of the ingredients and played around with substituting those I didn't have.  The results were better than I hoped for!  I cut them into squares for the activity...smaller, bite-sized pieces are better than large, substantial bars.

Here's my adapted recipe for Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew bars/squares -

  • 2 cups whole unsalted almonds, coursely chopped (I used my VitaMix)
  • 3/4 cup unsalted cashew pieces
  • Combine nuts and spread onto cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.
  • Pour into large bowl.

  • 1/2 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup craisins, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Rice Krispies
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed 
  • Add these to bowl with nuts.
  • In 2 quart sauce pan mix the following-
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 
  • Cook over medium high heat until a candy thermometer reaches 260 degrees.  
  • Remove from heat and  pour over nut and fruit mixture.  Stir quickly and thoroughly.
  • Scrape mixture into greased 9x13 pan and press down firmly so the mixture is tightly packed.
  • Wait about 15 minutes.  Turn upside down onto cutting board and cut into bars or squares.
  • Drizzle with chocolate (The recipe says optional but I say necessary!)
    Needs chocolate!

  • FOR CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE (optional) -
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Combine chocolate chips and oil in Ziploc quart freezer bag.  Microwave in 20 second increments (for a total of about 1 minute), kneading and mixing chips after each 20 seconds until thoroughly melted.
  • Snip off tiny corner of bag and drizzle chocolate over bars/squares.  
  • When chocolate has set, eat! 

Melting chocolate in a baggie is so much easier than in a bowl!  Less clean-up afterwards too!
For variations as well as very helpful tips and photographs, I hope you check out Monica's wonderful  blog!


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