I am SO excited to share this recipe with you all today!
First, it is from my newest love – The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by the amazing Deb Perelman. You’ve seen her across this screen many times, both as the subject of “blove“, as well as the many recipes I’ve posted.
Guys – get this book. It is charming, funny and filled with the most delicious, doable recipes. And I can say this with much confidence, since I not only bought a copy for myself, but I gave two as gifts to friends – one a professional cook, the other a baker. They both love it.
So there’s that.
Then there’s my lifelong pursuit of a really, truly, must-have breakfast cookie. Ever since my first challenging eater was born over 20 years ago, I’ve been trying – and failing – to bake the “ultimate” breakfast bar/cookie/square. You know, one that qualifies as healthy food first (not some bulked up cookie in disguise), but one that I would love to eat too.
This. Is. The one.
Finally (drum roll please) – it’s dairy free! Holla!
One of the stranger things I’ve noticed this month is that I am hungry pretty much all day long. My appetite itself has decreased, so I’m not eating as much at each sitting – but I’m eating what feels like all the time. So I’ve been stocking up on high protein, filling, and of course satisfying options. These bars are divine, and will be a staple here long after my dairy-free month is over.
Have any of you bought the book yet? I know there are a bunch of Smitten fans out there.
from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
2 c. (300 g.) chopped dried pitted dates (I use pre-chopped if I can find them)
2 1/2 c. (220 g.) quick rolled oats
1/4 c. + 2 T. (44 g.) whole wheat flour
2/3 c. (70 g.) wheat germ
1 c. (110 g.) sliced almonds
1 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 c. (130 g.) almond butter
1/2 c. olive oil
1/2 c. honey
1/2 t. grated orange zest
1/2 t. almond extract
Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9 x 13 pan with your parchment “sling” (I used two pieces of parchment here, one in each direction).
Combine 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. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry mixture, and stir together until evenly combined. Spread the batter into the prepared pan, pressing the mixture firmly onto the bottom, edges and corners (Deb suggests using a piece of plastic wrap to keep your hands from getting sticky – worked like a charm).
Bake the bars for 30-35 minutes, until they are golden brown all over. Cool the bars completely in the pan on a cooling rack. When cool, transfer to a cutting board – using your “sling” to assist – and place in the fridge for a few hours (this will greatly facilitate cutting into neat squares).
Remove from fridge and cut into desired bars – I got 24 squares from mine.
This delicious recipe brought to you by Donuts, Dresses and Dirt
Note: The recipe in the book is for half this amount, baked in an 8 x 8 pan. I would definitely double. The bars are a little thicker and chewier when baked this way, which I prefer. And since they freeze beautifully you’ll be glad – once you taste them – that you have plenty stashed away. Trust me, these will disappear before you know it!