Chocolate Caramel Nut Bars w/ Dried Figs
I know you are probably wondering, "why is she posting another goody treat after we have gorged ourselves this past holiday weekend on Christmas cookies and stollen?".
These are much like those delicious KIND bars, those chewy, nutty, yummy fruit bars that you buy in the supermarket, only better!
So you see, I had no choice but to make them, post them, and eat them.
Please don't hate me.
They use quite a bit of nuts (4 cups total), which I happened to have in the fridge.
Time to use up your nuts and replenish for the new year.
Don't wait too long to use your open nuts, they go rancid very quickly, and make sure you store them sealed in the fridge. Ok, that's my tip for the day.
This is another great little recipe from the book HOME MADE, however, I took the liberty to use the nuts that I had on hand instead of sunflower seeds and I added chocolate. Chocolate makes everything better.
You can sub in dried cherries or apricots for the figs if you like.
These were a real treat. If you are buying those store bought fruit and nut bars, just make these, you will get 18 of them, they are super delicious and sort of healthy. (?)
They actually paired beautifully with a sharp cheese. Go figure.
Nut Caramel Bars w/ Dried Figs & Chocolate (loosely adapted from HOME MADE):
1 cup of blanched almonds
1 cup walnuts
1 cup of pecans
1 cup of pistachio nuts (or sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds or pine nuts or all of them!)
8 oz. package of dried figs (I mixed mission and Calimyrna), finely chopped
juice and zest of 1 orange
1/4 cup of chocolate chips (optional, but made it sooooo good!)
1 1/3 cup sugar
3 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 stick butter
pinch of salt
On a half sheet pan (small size rectangle baking sheet), lay a piece of parchment paper and brush it with sunflower oil (I used vegetable oil).
Toast all the nuts on a large baking sheet in the oven for 12-15 minutes in a 350F oven, watch so they don't burn.
In a large bowl, toss the toasted nuts with the chopped figs and orange zest and mix together.
In a heavy saucepan, heat the sugar with the orange juice and maple syrup until bubbling, about 3 minutes, and add in the butter and salt. Fold in the nuts, figs and chocolate and cook together about 1 minute, mixing all together to coat.
Lay this yummy nutty goodness onto the parchment paper and spread out with a silicone spatula until even and all the nuts fit snugly together in the pan.
Put in the cool garage (that is my trick) for 15 minutes, then bring back inside and score with a sharp knife into 18 bars.
Now you can fully cool this so it hardens.
Break the slabs along the score lines and enjoy!!!!