Saturday, February 6, 2010

Coconut, toasted nuts, chocolate. Mmmmmmmm.


When you try something ridiculously good, you must pass it on.  And these crunchy, nutty, chocolatey no-bake bars are just that.  Even better, they are exceptionally filling.  So even though they are good enough and tasty enough to eat the whole batch, you can actually be happy with a smaller piece.  If you have ever been tempted to take a box of girl scout Samoa cookies off into a corner and have your way with it, you have got to try these.  Also slightly reminiscent of a Take5 bar.  Special ingredient info:  Erythritol, at least the brand I got,  is produced from organic sugar cane juice, which is naturally fermented and crystallized to create organic erythritol.  Erythritol is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol that is found in our bodies, as well as in many fruits, vegetables and even certain fermented foods.  It has a glycemic index of zero and for most people it is highly digestible, unlike some other sugar alcohols.  It is obnoxiously expensive however, so if sugar or carbs are not of concern to you, you could probably use white or brown sugar for just as good results.  One interesting thing about erythritol is that it has a minty cooling effect on the tongue, especially in granular form.  That is why it is powdered in a coffee grinder or magic bullet for this recipe.  It doesn't like to dissolve and powdering it helps.  As originally written, these bars have about 4.35 g net carbs per bar.  (Six bars per recipe.)  I cut them into about 10-12 squares though since they are so filling.

Crunchy No-Bake Snack Bars

½ cup slivered almonds
½ cup pecans
2-4 tbsp golden flax meal
¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
¼ cup cashew macadamia butter
¼ cup coconut oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ tsp raw honey
¼ tsp sea salt
3 tbsp erythritol (you may use brown sugar if you don't care about sugar content)
1/8 teaspoon of pure stevia extract (omit if using regular sugar)

Chocolate Ganache Topping

1 bar (3.2 oz) 77% cacao chocolate
1½ tsp organic heavy cream

Powder erythritol in coffee grinder or magic bullet. Toast coconut and nuts (but not the flax!) in a dry pan over medium-low heat or the toaster oven, until slightly browned. Pulse nut and seed mixture in a food processor just until nuts are chopped. Melt coconut oil and nut butter in the microwave for 30 seconds.  Stir until smooth. Add vanilla extract, honey, erythritol, stevia, and sea salt, stirring until fully incorporated.  Fold into nut mixture. Press into an 8 by 4 pan with a spatula. Quick set in the freezer for 20 minutes. Cut into 6 bars. Store in the refrigerator, covered with a paper towel and plastic wrap.

Gently melt together the chocolate and cream.   Stir until completely smooth.  Spread over cooled bars immediately.  Set the chocolate in the refrigerator for 5 minutes.  Take out and score or cut the bars or squares and then return to the fridge to finish setting up.  (If you wait to score or cut, the chocolate will not cut nicely.)  Store the finished bars in the fridge.


Try not to eat them all at once!  (Seriously, if you're not used to flax you could regret it.)  Original recipe credit goes to Lauren at http://healthyindulgences.blogspot.com/2008/08/crunchy-low-carb-snack-bars.html

3 comments:

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Yum, they look delish! I haven't heard of erythritol - is it natural?

hobby baker said...

As far as I understand the process, it is natural and organic. I got the Wholesome Sweeteners brand OrganicZero. You can read about it here: http://www.wholesomesweeteners.com/brands/Wholesome_Sweeteners/Organic_Zero.html. This is the most expensive brand but also the only one in the US that is organic as far as I know. There are other brands that run around $6.50-9.00 for a pound whereas the OrganicZero is $10-12 for 12 oz. It's not something I use on a regular basis but it is cool, literally, and interesting. And since this is a refrigerated bar, any cooling properties are not noticeable. (My folks went through a double batch while they were visiting!) The bars are very addicting. That's why I mention the caution about the flax! ;)

hobby baker said...

I also use OrganicZero because it is derived from cane sugar and not corn like some of the others.

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