Honey Hemp Bars
Good, now that I’ve got your attention… I have been making variations of these bars ever since I spotted the recipe in Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookies , the amazing cookbook by Alice Medrich. Thank you for turning me onto this, my good friend and Israeli blogger, Hanni (Check out Spots on Pots here).
I was first acquainted with a derivative of one of the main ingredients of this bar several decades ago when rushing into the girls’ bathroom at Bronx Science, my alma mater. A thick cloud greeted me. “What is that SMELL?!?” I shrieked. The cool girls congregating therein looked down their noses at me, as CHIEF COOL GIRL held a hand-rolled cigarette between her thumb and forefinger.
Oh, it’s the 21st century and the canabis seed is so popular now that it’s been identified as being chock-full of Omega-3 fatty acids. Those are a type of fatty acid that the body must ingest for good health because said body does not synthesize it. Did I mention the hemp plant has been used for all manner of things for more than 12,000 years? Yes, it’s true. Check it out here. People have been doing very creative things with natural resources for a ridiculously long period of time. Now if we can only learn how to behave so we don’t use up all those resources, we’ll be in good shape.
Anyway, I’ve been trying dufferent takes on these bars, using chia seeds, quinoa, raw millet, more pumpkin seeds, keeping with the overall amount of dry ingredients called for.
When it came to the honey, I automatically reduced the amount of honey called for. Well, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to predict that not sticking to the amount of sticky substance called for meant that the little bars didn’t stick together that well.
This was not a big deal for me or for Novio because we enjoy the little bars and I keep whatever falls off in little clumps/crumbs as an absolute delicious topping for plain yogurt. A little sweet. A little crunchy. Fantastic!
Maybe swapping brown rice syrup for part of the honey is one solution. I would have tried that for you, dear readers, but I didn’t have any brown rice syrup in the house and it is against bb’s policy or mine to go out to buy just one item. So, I decided to do something really unusual for me and follow the recipe as is. And guess what? I was able to cut it into squares without a third of it staying behind for yogurt!
HONEY HEMP BARS
from Alice Medrich’s Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookies
1 2/3 c. puffed rice or millet cereal (I used Barbra’s Brown Rice Crisps)
1/2 c. hemp seeds
1/2 c. pecan or walnut halves, chopped (either is great)
2 T. white (or black) sesame seeds
1/3 c. raw pumpkin seeds
2 t. flax seed meal
2 T. dried currants
scant 1/2 c. honey
1 T. date paste or mashed dates
1/8 t. salt
1 t. pure vanilla extract ( I upped this from 1/2 T.- I love vanilla)
Line an 8″ metal baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
Preheat oven to 300° F. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven.
In a large bowl, toss the cereal, hemp seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seed meal, and currants.
Heat the honey, date paste and salt in a one-cup glass measuring cup for 30 seconds in the microwave (or in a small saucepan on the stove). Stir and mix well until date paste is dissolved. Add vanilla. Pour honey mixture over the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon until all ingredients are moistened and sticky.
Scrape mixture into the lined pan and spread evenly with a fork. Using the back of the fork or your fingers, press mixture very firmly and evenly all over pan.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is barely golden. Cool in pan on a rack.
Lift the ends of the parchment to remove bars from the pan. Use a sharp knife to cut bars or squares. May be kept in an airtight container for two weeks.
Makes 16-25 bars
As you can see, these little bars made their way to the January meeting of Food Bloggers Los Angeles. I sent Novio along with these bars. He was kind enough to be my emissary as I seem to be over-scheduling myself lately and I don’t do cloning. He had a wonderful time. He likes to shmooze with people who cook well, like to photograph food, discuss food and eat.
By the way, that’s Dorothy Reinhold, of Shockingly Delicious, in the center photo, discussing her updated chocolate pudding. Novio tells me it was delicious (in fact, shockingly delicious) Check out Dorothy’s blog by clicking here.