I realize that the name "nut bars" is a little scary for those of us with nut allergies, but if you can have just one nut you can make these! If you can't have any nuts you might even be able to make the whole thing with seeds (pumkin, sunflower, sesame, flax, etc.) Emily can have almonds...it is the only nut she can have...so that is what I used. The texture of these bars is truely chewy, not soft cookie chewy, more like candy bar chewy (YUM!). My inspiration was the Sweet and Salty nut bars by Nature Valley which are one of my guilty pleasures that I eat while no one else is home, then wash my hands and brush my teeth immediately...that takes some of the pleasure out of it. Now I can eat these any time I want without the fear of harming someone in my family...I can even share them! The frosting on the bottom is delicious and makes them more like the originals, but if you want to simplify this recipe simply leave it off. These bars are sweet and salty and chewy and incredible all on their own! As for my picture this week...my 12 yr old Nikki (13 this weekend) saved up her own money and bought herself a digital camera this summer, this picture is the first of her's that I have posted. Looks like I have 2 talented photographers now, yay!
1 c Coarsely chopped raw almonds (Blue Diamond is peanut free) 1 c Coarsely chopped Honey roasted almonds (Blue Diamond is peanut free) ½ c Gluten free rolled oats ( Lara's ) ½ c Crisp rice cereal (we used EnviroKidz ) 1 c Frosted flakes (we used EnviroKidz ) ¼ c Roasted salted sunflower seeds 1 c Dried cranberries
¼ c Brown sugar ½ c Corn syrup 1 t Vanilla extract ½ c Sunbutter
Prepare 9x13 pan with non-stick spray. In a large mixing bowl, toss all dry ingredients. Substitute whatever nuts, seeds, and dried fruits are safe for your family.
In a saucepan, combine brown sugar and corn syrup. Bring to a boil and allow to boil one minute. After boiling, turn off heat and add vanilla and sunbutter. QUICKLY pour this hot mixture over the dry ingredients and toss to combine, I actually ended up kneading it all together with my hands.
Pour warm mixture into prepared pan. Wet your fingers and press the mixture down into the pan to compress the bars so they will slice evenly. Put pan in the refrigerator while preparing the frosting.
In a microwave safe bowl combine white chocolate chips and sunbutter. Microwave on medium power, stirring frequently, until melted and well combined.
Turn bars (they are not actually bars yet, it is still one big piece) out of pan and flip upside down. Spread frosting evenly over the entire bottom. Chill until frosting is hardened. Slice into bars.