Friday, January 9, 2015

guest post // homemade apple pie snack bars...

Today we get to hear from Becca! The gal behind a pretty swell blog called, Two Places at Once :) Take it away Becca!

Hi there! I'm Becca! I am the author behind Two Places at Once and a recent mover to Austin, Texas. I'm in the process of becoming an adult and figuring out life on my own. I'm not very good at it yet, but I think I'll get there one day. In the meantime, I'll just be blogging about my adventures in the heart of Texas. 

Although I’m originally from Florida, I’ve been turned into a Texan. Over the past year or so, I’ve documented my adventures in the Live Music Capital of the World through this blog.

I initially started my blog as a way to connect with friends and family when I moved to Austin. Over the course of the past couple of years, it’s transformed into a way for me to connect with so many more people, share my life and (most importantly) share recipes!

So why the name? While I love being in Austin, I miss Florida. I wish there was a way for me to be both in Austin and in Florida or any other place that I have friends or family. Hence, two places at once. It may not be physically possible, but I can sure try to be in two places at once through this blog!

Sometime last year, I found out about Lara Bars. I was definitely behind the curve on this particular snack and I was obsessed. I ate one almost every day. They were the perfect mid-morning snack for me. I loved that they were made with fewer than ten (sometimes five!) ingredients and were relatively healthy. You know what I didn’t love? The price. 

I wasn’t quite ready to give up my beloved snack and began researching recipes to make them at home. Little did I know how easy it could be! It took me a few months, but I’ve finally gotten around to making Lara Bars at home thanks to a wonderful recipe from Minimalist Baker

I love this recipe for its simplicity. Just a few high quality ingredients lead to a wonderful snack or dessert! The date bars are filling without being over the top. They have the perfect mix of sweet and savory that is super satisfying. 

Now that I’ve got this recipe down, I can’t wait to try new flavors. The possibilities are endless! 

Makes 4-8 bars, depending on thickness
For printable recipe, click here

  • 1 small apple, cored, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon + 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • 13-14 dates, pitted
  • 1 cup raw or roasted almonds
  • 1 cup raw or roasted walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. On a medium baking sheet, toss chopped apple with olive oil, maple syrup, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon and seat salt. Bake for 15-20 minutes and set aside.

3. In a food processor, grind nuts into a meal - a few chunkier pieces are OK. Then add dates and pulse until a loose dough is formed. Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl.

5. Give the baked apples another chop with a sharp knife so the pieces aren’t so large. Slowly add apples a few tablespoons at a time until the mixture forms a moist dough. If your mixture got too wet, simply add more ground walnuts, almonds, or even a handful oats. Reserve leftover apples for other use (oatmeal, smoothies, yogurt, etc.)

6. Transfer mixture to parchment-lined loaf pan and spread evenly with a spoon or spatula. Top with plastic wrap and use fingers to press it firmly into all corners until uniformly flat on top. For extra thickness, cram the mixture into 3/4 of the pan and reserve a blank space. This will make less bars, but they will be much thicker. Cover and freeze to set.

7. Chop into desired number of bars - anywhere from 4-8.

8. To store, pack in a bag or container and place a piece of parchment between each bar so they don’t stick together. I keep mine in the freezer to stay fresher longer, but the refrigerator is fine, too.

9. If you’re traveling, they should be fine for a day or so. But keep them refrigerated or frozen otherwise.

Recipe from Minimalist Baker.

Thanks Becca! For more delicious recipes and whatnot, head over to Two Places at Once!

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