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pumpkin seed cranberry snack bars

Spiced Pumpkin Seed Cranberry Snack Bars

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 22 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 bars
  • Category: Snack
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Chewy, crunchy, and wholesome pumpkin spice snack bars filled with texture and flavor. Grain-free fall snacking at its best!


Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup (91g) honey*
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (30g) almond meal*
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
  • 1 Tablespoon (15g) almond butter
  • 1 and 1/3 cups (187g) whole almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup (60g) dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup (104g) salted pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)*

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F (149°C). Line an 8 or 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper with enough overhang on the sides to easily remove the bars from the pan. Set aside.
  2. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, mix the honey, vanilla, almond meal, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and almond butter together until combined. Fold in the almonds, dried cranberries, and pepitas until combined.
  3. Transfer mixture to prepared baking pan and press very firmly into an even layer. You really want it packed in tight- as tight as possible. Bake for 20-22 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack for 1 hour, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 1 more hour. This helps firm up the bars which makes them stay compact. Remove bars from the pan using the overhang on the sides and cut into bars. Individually wrap each bar in plastic wrap or parchment. Store at room temperature for 1 week or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. I find they get a little sticky at room temperature over a few days, so I prefer the refrigerator.

Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: These bars are freezer friendly. After wrapping individually, freeze for up to 3 months and thaw before enjoying.
  2. Sweetener: I do not suggest a thinner sweetener like maple syrup or agave– honey or brown rice syrup is perfect.
  3. Almond Meal: You can use store-bought almond meal or almond flour, or you can make your own. Start with 1/4 cup of slivered, sliced, or whole almonds. Pulse them in a food processor until a crumbly meal has formed. Do not run the food processor continuously; you may end up with almond butter. Little pulses are best. You will end up with around 1/4 cup almond meal.
  4. Pumpkin Pie Spice: Instead of pumpkin pie spice, you can use 1/4 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground ginger, and 1/8 teaspoon each ground cloves and ground allspice.
  5. Pepitas: I like to use salted pepitas because they add a little salt to the sweet dried cranberries/honey. I love the salty sweet taste! If using unsalted, add another 1/8 teaspoon salt to the recipe OR use salted almonds.
  6. Special Tools: Food processor or small blender to easily chop the almonds or make the almond meal (here’s the own I own and love!), Glass Mixing Bowls, Mariani Pitted Dates, Square Glass Baking Dish

Keywords: snack bars, pumpkin cranberry granola snack bars