I’m not very fond of new year’s resolutions. While I think the new year is a great time to start fresh and set goals, I don’t like the effect it has on my baking. Come January 1st, I, among many others, resolve to eat healthier and up my workout routine. Which means it’s not exactly the best time for finding the perfect oatmeal raisin cookie recipe or figuring out how to make the fluffiest white cake. However, all the holiday baking I’ve done as well as the many baking-related gifts I received for xmas has me itching to get back in the kitchen.
So instead of hanging up my apron until we all relax a little on our resolutions, I’m going to bake up some goodies that can be enjoyed without completely sabotaging our goals. Healthy, lighter baking is a main focus of this blog anyway. However, I typically don’t share my modified sweets with co-workers and friends as I think they won’t like them as much (and think I’m a bad baker as a result!) So for the new year, I’m going to worry less about my reputation as a baker and more about perfecting and sharing healthier desserts.
First up are these tasty copycat kind bars. They are packed with protein, healthy fats and natural sweeteners making them the perfect thing to bake when trying to stay healthy in the new year.
Copycat Kind Bars
1 2/3 cup chopped raw nuts (I’ve used a mix of cashews, almonds, pecans and peanuts as well as the Energy Blend from Costco that had almonds, roasted edamame and pepitas)
1/2 cup rice puff cereal
1/2 cup chopped dried fruit (I used raisins and cranberries, I think apricots would be great though)
1/8 tsp fine sea salt (if nuts are salted, you can leave this out)
1/3 cup organic barley malt syrup + honey*
* I first add about 1 tbsp of honey to the 1/3 cup and then fill the rest with barley malt syrup. If you want to keep these vegan, skip the honey.
1. Preheat oven to 325F degrees. Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper.
2. Combine the chopped nuts, puffed rice cereal, and dried fruit in a bowl.
3. Add salt and syrup and stir to coat the mixture.
4. Place mixture in prepared pan and press the mixture down evenly.
5. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
6. Place pan on cooling rack and let cool for 20 minutes.
7. Cut into bars and store in an airtight container.
I will also be doing some regular baking this year as I’d like to find some fool-proof recipes for the following desserts:
– oatmeal raisin cookies
– white cake with white frosting
– plain french macarons (I usually only make pistachio)
So expect to see many trials over the next year. I already have white cake recipe #1 to share. It wasn’t the best so it certainly won’t be the last.