I’m not a fan of muesli bars. The oats feel heavy in my stomach. I’m also a bit fussy and don’t like dried fruit with nuts. So it’s hard to find the perfect snack bar for me – lots of nuts, a little sweet and with a good crunch.
When I finally find one that I like, well, they don’t come cheap. What else is there to do but make my own?
I made these with rapadura sugar (also called panela and similar to Sucanat in the USA). This is evaporated sugar cane juice with no further processing, retaining more micronutrients than white or raw sugar. It has a lower GI, so doesn’t cause as big a blood sugar spike (and crash) as white sugar. Personally, I love the extra caramel flavour it provides.
But even using rapadura, it’s still nuts covered in sugar – so while it’s healthier than some snacks, it’s still not the healthiest in the world. But if you’re bored with plain nuts, and want a sweet treat, this is a good way to go!
I started by making a toffee/syrup to the “soft crack” stage – this gives a nice crunch without risk of breaking your teeth and isn’t so sticky you feel like you’ve glued your teeth together!
This is a great basic recipe that you can change to suit your own tastes (or what you have in the pantry!). Roast the nuts for a different flavour. Use white sugar instead of rapadura. If you want more of a treat, drizzle melted chocolate over the top.
Here’s the recipe:
100g peanuts (or any combination of nuts)
1 cup rapadura sugar
1/2 cup water
1. Line a lamington or rectangular slice pan with baking paper.
2. Mix together the nuts in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.
3. In a medium saucepan, add rapadura sugar and water. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
4. If you have a candy thermometer, pop that in and boil until it reaches 137°C (275°F) – soft crack temperature. If you don’t have a thermometer, keep boiling until strings form and solidify when you pour the syrup off a spoon.
5. When the temperature is reached, tip the nuts into the saucepan and stir/fold to cover all the nuts. Work as quickly as possible as it cools and gets sticky very quickly.
6. Tip the coated nuts into the prepared pan and press wit the back of a spoon or spatula to get the nuts to pack together as closely as possible.
7. Leave to cool and harden. Then cut into bars (or break into clusters).
It may crumble a bit as you cut it up, but that’s just a good excuse to eat sugar-coated nuts!
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