The reason for the bulk buying was that some relatively short dated stock was discounted - win for us, since it still keeps until the summer - and so I was able to pick up "Pecan Pie" variety bars at a price which put them on a par with regular supermarket cereal bars. Around about a similar time last year, I picked up a similar deal on the "Cocoa Mint"variety which fuelled us on our very cold camping trip around the Highlands. In fact on more than one evening, we ate them instead of cooking dinner, as it was too cold to contemplate sitting outside stirring something on the stove (don't worry, we fed Mini-M 'proper tea', or at least some cold spaghetti hoops and a banana as well!).
But back to the point of this post, since it wasn't primarily to share my snack hoarding habits, or share our rather lazy approach to dinner whilst on holiday! Buying some discounted bars made me feel less guilty about attempting some experimental cooking with them - something I'd been fancying trying for a while.
|Cut open and slightly out of focus to reveal the Pecan Pie middle|
I combined the concept of Scotch Eggs with a Pecan Pie bar to create...
|Quick, take a picture, there's only 2 left!|
Carrot Cake Pecan Power Bites (Makes 12)
Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan)
Put the dates, coconut oil, vanilla, agave syrup and coconut oil in the microwave for about 30s to melt the oil and soften the dates slightly, then blend until smooth and sticky.
Mix in the almonds, pistachios, brown rice flour, grated carrot and cinnamon.
Cute the Pecan Pie bar into 12 small pieces.
Take a heaped tsp of mixture and form into a ball around a piece of pecan pie bar.
Put on a greased baking sheet and flatten ever so slightly to stop them rolling about.
Repeat until all the mixture and all the pieces are used up.
Bake for about 20 mins until golden, then cool on a rack.
Whilst the bites are cooling, melt the carob (or alternatively just use chocolate) and chocolate extract together and drizzle over the top of the cooled bites.
Allow the carob to harden.
|Baked and waiting to be carob-ed|
These are really delicious, and pack an energy punch. They got the thumbs up from my colleagues (in fact they were the first thing I have baked for them) and Mini-M who are probably at opposite ends of the cake sophistication spectrum, which is praise indeed.
|The secret centre ingredient|
And last year, although not strictly seasonally appropriate at the moment, I used some of the Cocoa Mint bars to make a very passable dairy free, vegan mint choc chip ice cream.
|Dalmatian ice cream!|
Nakd Cocoa Mint Ice Cream (Serves 4-5)
- 2 Cocoa Mint Nakd Bars
- 3 Small Tubs Non-Dairy Yoghurt (I used rice yoghurt)
Chop the Nakd bars into small pieces.
Put the yoghurt into an ice cream machine and churn until frozen but still fairly soft.
Stir through the Nakd bar pieces and put in the freezer for a couple of hours to firm up.
Take out 10 mins before serving.
Enjoy - it's minty, chocolate, refreshing, and the chopped bars create fantastic chewy minty, chocolatey fudgey nuggets.
|Photo taken in real sunshine - something that we've not seen much of yet in 2013...|