Saturday, July 4, 2009

Creamy Cashew Bars

If you asked me how I came up with recipes I would have to laugh. Recipe inspiration comes at the weirdest times. Sometimes in the middle of the night? Sometimes when I am trying to study. Thankfully, this one came when I was baking a long time favorite, baked oatmeal. The idea of this bar mainly stemmed from the fact that my Dad loves cashews, and he always needs a little variety in his diet. So what should I make? A healthy delicious nut bar - of sorts.

My parents REALLY like this, and have been widdling the pan down. Soon it will be empty. Then I will make it with peanut butter, and then I can have it. I avoid cashews because I learned I am extremely sensitive to them. That and coffee, which may bring some of you pain, to think I would have to live without the bittersweet goodness of steamy dark coffee. But you know what? I didn't like it much anyways. It's safe to say if you see a recipe on this site with cashews or coffee- I am not eating it.

Therefore, I haven't tasted this recipe, and so I don't know how it really is. My mom seems to have a pretty good feel for tasting recipes, so I trust her.. and man, it smells so good! There were also some initial problems with the recipe, but I have thought of how to fix it, and though I haven't tried it, I am sure it will work- I will post these instructions. Feel free to use any type of nut combination you'd like.

Creamy Cashewy Layer Bars
by Me

First layer:
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup brown rice flour
1 Tablespoon Teff flour
2 tsp brown sugar (optional)
1/4 tsp EACH baking powder + soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
3-4 heaping Tablespoons Spectrum Organics organic palm oil shortening (or butter)
~1/4 cup cashews (raw or roasted)

Second layer:
1 LARGE very ripe banana
1 cup GF oats
1 Tablespoon coconut flour
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup organic roasted cashew butter
~1/8 cup milk (full fat is best or even better- heavy cream)

Top sprinkling layer:
1 1/2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup medium shred coconut
1 T organic oat bran
warm water as needed

Assembling the bar:
1. As if making a pastry or pie dough, mix the First layer ingredients and cut in the fat (palm oil shortening or butter) until it resembles course pea-like crumbs.
2. Press into a sprayed (using your trusty Misto) 8x8 pan. Sprinkle the top evenly with cashews, pressing them down slightly into the crust. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.
^Just like making a pie.
3. While the first layer is in the oven, mix together the second layer ingredients mashing the banana, and mixing well- adding the milk last. I used probably about 1/8 cup of milk, but if your mixture is quite sticky, add more. The second layer should hold together and be creamy but not liquidy.
4. Mix together the top layer ingredients in a separate bowl. The mixture will be a little sticky and won't just be spreadable like sand. Add more sugar to make it easier.
5. Once the first layer has baked a little, pull it out and spread the second layer mixture evenly on top, making sure to get all the corners.
6. Sprinkle the top layer on evenly.
7. Pop into the oven at 350 for about 10 minutes; then turn it up to 400 for about 5 minutes, then back down to 350 for about 5 minutes or until done. The top of the bar should be firm, but give a little and have a few little cracks (think the top of a brownie).
8. Place and store in the fridge. Cut when cool. Serve and enjoy!

You can use this recipe for when you are on the go and need something tasty and nutritious with some protein. You can have some for breakfast, or snack. You can have some for dinner with a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream. You can bake 100 batches, hijack the Space Shuttle, go into orbit and eat this for the rest of your life. The latter is not recommended.

1 comment:

Michelle @ Find Your Balance said...

Oh I LOVE this recipe! Must try. How nice of you to bake for your parents' enjoyment :-)