The deli girls were craving another batch of granola bars. I must admit, I welcomed the idea- after all, we don’t live on bread alone! Tom does rely on a nice chunk of whole wheat sourdough bread for snacking on almost every day, so this would be a nice change of pace. I opted to change up the ingredients in the energy bars I often make, since I wanted to do something with pistachios. I was thrilled to discover the bars tasted a lot like baklava!
A hint of almond extract, mixed with the honey and toasted pistachios, makes these energy bars taste almost like the buttery Greek confection, baklava. Only healthier! Makes 20 small bars.
- 3 1/2 c. oatmeal (1 lb.) (gluten-free if necessary)
- 2 c. toasted hazelnuts (or sub almonds, or cashews)
- 1/4 c. coconut oil
- 1/4 c. butter
- 2/3 c. honey
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. almond extract
- 4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 c. toasted pistachios
- 1 rounded c. pitted Deglet Noor dates
- In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the oatmeal until a bit golden, stirring constantly. Or, toast it in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or so, until golden.
- Process approximately half the oatmeal into flour in a blender (or food processor). Use: > 1 1/2 c. oatmeal
- Set toasted oat flour aside in separate bowl. Process the other half of oatmeal a bit coarser, to give the bars some texture. Use: > 2 c. oatmeal
- Add coarse-chopped oatmeal to the bowl of oat flour. Process the toasted hazelnuts in a blender (or food processor) until it turns into nut butter. Use: > 2 c. toasted hazelnuts
- To the hazelnut butter in blender/processor, add: > 1/4 c. coconut oil > > 1/4 c. butter > 2/3 c. honey > 1 tsp. salt > 2 tsp. almond extract > 4 tsp. cinnamon
- Add the hazelnut butter mix to the oats in bowl. Lightly process to coarse-chop: > 1 c. toasted pistachios
- Add chopped pistachios to bowl; coarse-chop dates in blender next. Use: > 1 rounded c. pitted dates
- Add dates to bowl of other ingredients. Mix with hands until blended. Press into 9″ x 9″ pan or dish; chill until firm (about an hour) before cutting. If desired, slice and wrap in wax paper; store in jar in fridge.