You know a recipe is great when you have to control yourself
from eating the ENTIRE pan BEFORE you bake it!
- 2 cups chopped dried pitted dates (I couldn’t find dates, so I substituted figs.)
- 2 1/2 cups quick rolled oats
- 6 tablespoons barley or whole-wheat flour
- 2/3 cups wheat germ
- 1 cup thinly sliced almonds
- 1 teaspoons table salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup almond butter
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds (I added this. It was not part of the original recipe.)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-by-13-inch pan in one direction with parchment paper, allowing the paper to go up the opposing sides. Do the same in the opposite direction. This parchment “sling” makes it easy to remove the bars from the pan in one piece.
- Stir together the dates, oats, flour, wheat germ, almonds, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond butter, olive oil, honey, orange zest, and almond extract until smooth. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry mixture, and stir them together until the dry ingredients are evenly coated. Spread the batter in the prepared pan, pressing the mixture with a rubber spatula to ensure it is molded to the shape of the pan.
- Bake the bars for 20 to 25 minutes, until they’re brown around the edges–don’t be afraid to get a little color on the tops too. They’ll still seem soft and almost underbaked when you press into the center of the pan, but do not worry–they’ll set once completely cool.
- Cool the bars in their pan placed on a cooling rack. After 20 minutes you can use the parchment “sling” to lift and remove the bars, and place them in their paper on the rack to cool the rest of the way.
- Once they are cool, use a serrated knife to cut the bars into squares. If bars seem crumbly, chill them in the fridge for 30 minutes, which will fully set the “glue,” then cut them cold.
*The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman, 2012