Nut and dried fruit bar

Nut and Dried Fruit Bars

Nut and Dried Fruit Bars - Filled with sticky maple-glazed nuts and dried fruits, these bars remind us of the kind you can buy in stores, only better!

Makes 12 Bars

Ingredients

  • 1½ tbsp cornflour
  • 120ml (4 fl oz) maple syrup
  • Scant ¾ tsp salt
  • 327g (11.5 oz) unsalted mixed nuts (any combination), very coarsely chopped
  • 47g (1.6 oz) dried cranberries
  • 3 tbsp dried blueberries

Method

  1. Line an 8-inch (20 cm) square baking dish with parchment paper, leaving a slight overhang.
  2. Put the cornflour in a small bowl. Add a few tablespoons of the maple syrup and whisk until smooth, and then gradually whisk in the remaining maple syrup and salt.
  3. In a medium (10-inch/25 cm) non-stick skillet, stir together the maple mixture and the nuts. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the syrup is completely absorbed by the nuts, the nuts are a bit sticky, and the lightcoloured nuts are just starting to turn golden, 7 to 9 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and mix in the dried cranberries and blueberries
  4. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan; using a spatula, press the sticky mixture firmly into a compact, even layer. If the nuts are too sticky to press with the spatula, place a piece of parchment paper over the nuts and press them flat with your hand (careful — the mixture is hot). Let cool until just set and still slightly warm, about 20 minutes (no longer, as the bars are harder to cut when completely cool).
  5. Using the parchment overhang, lift the unsliced bars out of the pan and lay them on a cutting board (the parchment will remain under the bars while you slice them). Using a sharp knife, slice into bars (they will be slightly sticky when you cut them — that’s normal). Let the bars cool completely, then store them in a single layer in a covered container lined with parchment at room temperature for up to a week. (If you don’t have a large enough container, layer the bars between parchment.)

Vegan Life tip

Because of the way it’s packaged, parchment paper has a tendency to roll up when you attempt to line a pan with it. It’s pesky but easy to fix. Put a little dot of butter in each corner of the pan. The butter will act as a glue to hold the parchment in place.

Recipe from Once Upon a Chef: Weeknight/Weekend, copyright © 2021 by Jennifer Segal (Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House). Photographs copyright © 2021 by Johnny Miller.