Three graduation parties this weekend… what to give as gifts? Well, since I’ve been browsing through vegan blogs lately I wanted to try out this cool fruit and nut bar recipe I found on Oh She Glows. The bars look so cute wrapped up in parchment paper and tied with a ribbon. They make for perfect graduation presents! And I would practice my baking skills. They turned out really great! I did, however, make a couple of mistakes that could have improved the overall quality of the bars. I have italicized the mistakes so YOU will not make the same ones!
- 1/3 cup of Whole Wheat Flour
- 1/8 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/8 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/4 tsp Kosher Sea Salt
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/3 cup of Dark Brown Sugar
- 1.5 cup toasted peanuts (chopped! IMPORTANT!)
- 1/2 cup Craisins
- 1 cup or 9 Medjool Dates (pitted and chopped) or
- 1/2 cup dried Turkish Apricots
- 1 “Flax Egg” (1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water)
- 1 tbsp Almond Milk
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- Preheat Oven to 325F. With your 9×9 inch pan with wax or parchment paper. Make sure there is extra paper on two sides so you can easily lift it from the pan.
- Mix the Flax egg together in a small bowl. (I forgot to do this immediately, make sure you do!)
- TOAST your peanuts (or any nut that you’re using) in the oven at 325F for about 10 minutes.
- While you are waiting for your nuts to toast, remove the pits from the dates and chop the dried apricots.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda/powder, cinnamon, and sea salt.) Then add in the peanuts and dried fruit.
- Make sure that the dried fruit is covered with the flour
- Mix the vanilla into the flax egg after it has thickened up for about 10 minutes. (I accidentally added it in before it thickened…)
- Add the flax egg mixture and the Almond Milk with the rest of the batter and mix well.
- Spread mixture into the pan. With your fingers or a rolling pan, gently even out through the pan.
- Bake for 35 minutes until a golden color is reached. With the loose parchment paper, lift and place on a cooling rack for 10 minutes.
- Then put it back in the pan for a 10 minute cool in the freezer.
- Let it sit for 10 minutes on the cooling rack. Afterwards, place on cutting board and cut the giant block with a large, sharp kitchen knife
This is where I had problems. The wax paper was sticking to the dried fruit and the peanuts (since they weren’t chopped) were too big and if they were on the corners they easily snapped off. I managed to only loose one bar and saved 14 🙂 (three cuts on one side and 5 cuts on the other)
- I then took the wax paper and wrapped the bars neatly with a bow.
Jonah, the grad, is going to Duke next year so I thought it would be appropriate to incorporate his school colors with the bows! 7 Blue and 7 White (okay so it’s actually creme). For the gift bag I even attached a cute ribbon on the handle.