Originally, I was going to call this post, Trek Mix Bars Recipe Fail. They did not come out how I wanted them which caused an initial pout fest. Fortunately I didn’t throw them straight into the compost bin and waited to deal with their disposal for the morning because the next morning I actually enjoyed them. To make sure I took them for my coworker to try and they enjoyed them, agreeing with the fixes I am going to recommend. I have decided to share them, recommending a few changes.
The original recipe I found was far from vegan containing dairy, eggs and a lot of honey. I was able to modify all those ingredients. The cookie part was great. It has a much more European cookie taste ans is not overly sweet. The initial recipe used a variety of nuts which I replaced with our favorite trek mix which contains almonds, pistachios, cashews, dried cherries and chocolate. I also had half a cup of cinnamon almonds that I added just because.
The chocolate gave the bars an entirely different element then I was initially going for since the hot liquid mixed into the nuts melted the chocolate. Umm, yeah…had I really thought this through I would have probably figured that out. It worked, but I really wanted a chocolate chip consistency so I think next time I will stick the chocolate on top afterwards. Also I recommend turning the nuts into pieces rather than using them whole, which would make it much easier to eat.
1 tbsp ground flax meal
3 tbsp water
1/2 cup walnuts (or nut of your choice) ground
1/2 cup organic sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cocoa
3/4 cup vegan butter
1/4 cup cashew cream
Whisk water into flax meal and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 X 13 cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Mix ingredients from walnuts to cocoa. Add butter in a tablespoon at a time, pressing it into the flour with the back of a fork. Repeat until all butter is incorporated. Work in cashew cream and flax mixture (I found it easiest to play with my hands at the end.) Work dough into a ball.
Flatten the dough to cover the cookie sheet. You will have to mold it together because it doesn’t stick together on its own. Don’t worry like I did, it will stay together after it bakes. Bake 15 to 20 minutes until edges are a light golden brown. Remove from oven, place pan on a cooling rack. Keep oven heated.
3/4 cup brown sugar
6 tbsp vegan butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups trek mix or nuts crushed into pieces (pictured whole, read notes above)
Stirring frequently, bring brown sugar, butter, syrup and salt to a boil over medium-high heat. Once it begins to boil remove from heat and stir into nuts. Cover the top of the cookie with the nut mixture making sure to use all liquid. Bake at 350 until liquid in center begins to boil, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven.
Once completely cool, cut into bars.