Nutty Nut Bars

I’m working on a bar to replace protein bars in our lives. Sure the pre-packaged ones are easy, and some of them are pretty tasty (I’m looking at you, Think Thin line), but most of them are packed with chemicals and preservatives and other bonus features we don’t need.

These aren’t exactly high-protein, but they could be if I added more protein powder. Work in progress!

Two varieties of nut-based bar.

For a batch of bars:

2.5 oz macadamia nuts
2 oz pecans
1 oz almond flour
1 oz shredded flaked coconut (unsweetened)
1 scoop whey protein powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 oz peanut butter
3 packets Splenda
2 eggs
2 oz heavy whipping cream

Spices/flavoring: for one batch, I added 2 Tbsp of cocoa powder. For the other, I used 1 tsp allspice, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp cloves.

Put the pecans and macadamia nuts in a food processor, and pulse a few times until you have a mix of fine nut powder and some larger nut chunks. Variety in size is good. Add the rest of the dry ingredients. Melt the peanut butter a little bit — 15 seconds in the microwave should do it. Add the eggs, peanut butter, and cream. Mix until thoroughly blended.

Parchmented pans full of raw batter.

Pour the batter into a greased non-stick or parchment paper-lined 8″ square pan. Smooth it out so the goo is nice and even all the way to the edges.

Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.

I cut these into 12 pieces each, fresh out of the oven. Store in an airtight container, they’ll stay fairly moist and chewy. They actually have a more brownie-like texture than the black bean brownies I made a while back. These could be frosted using a cream cheese icing; I bet that’d be pretty darn good.

As usual when working with cocoa powder, I didn’t use enough. 2 tablespoons certainly makes everything look the right chocolatey color, but it’s not a strong enough flavor. But the cinnamon spice ones are pretty darned good, and only need a little more oomph.

As-is, here’s the approximate nutrition info:

Per bar, batch of 12 bars:
Calories: 191
Fat: 17 g
Carb: 5 g
– Dietary Fiber: 2 g
Protein: 6.5 g