Before I get too ahead of myself, I really need to send a little love Jen's way. She has been one of my main idols in the food blogging arena from Day 1 - going way back to 2007 when I knew absolutely nothing about food blogging or photography. We also share a love of dogs and the mountains. Jen has almost convinced me, on numerous occasions, to pack it all up and move to Colorado. Her food, nature and wildlife photography is beyond stunning. Someday, I hope to meet this awesome and inspirational woman!
I started out following Jen's recipe, but didn't realize I only had a cup of pistachios. Fortunately, I also had a cup of Marcona almonds left over from a recent recipe. I decided to mix the two nuts, and decided to also add a bit of cinnamon and vanilla bean paste.
I've been enjoying one of these bars either in the morning, with my Greek yogurt, or in the afternoon for a snack. Everyone at the office really loved them.
|Dried Cranberries, Dates, Pistachios, Almonds, Orange for zest|
Not shown: Cinnamon and Vanilla Bean Paste
|Left: Cranberries, Dates, Cinnamon and Vanilla Bean Paste|
Right: Pistachios and Almonds
|Fruit and nut mixtures, and orange zest|
|Mixed together thoroughly with your hands|
|Pressed into parchment-lined 8 x 8 baking pan|
|Transfer to freezer to firm up before cutting|
|Sliced and ready to eat!|
Adapted from this recipe
Makes 16 bars
1 1/2 cups dried Medjool dates, pitted
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1 cup raw unsalted shelled pistachios
1 cup roasted, salted Marcona almonds
Zest of one Orange
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
Place the cranberries, dates, cinnamon and vanilla bean paste in a food processor and process until paste-like. Transfer the dried fruit mixture to a large mixing bowl. Place the pistachios and almonds into the food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Pour the nuts into the mixing bowl with the dried fruit. Add the grated orange zest. Using your hands, mix well so that the nuts are incorporated evenly. Line a 8 × 8-inch baking pan with parchment and transfer the mixture to the baking pan. Press firmly and evenly, making sure to get the mixture into the corners. Put the pan in the freezer for about an hour. When the mixture is frozen, lift the contents from the pan. Carefully slice the frozen square into eight slices (or whatever size you wish) and then slice each one of those in half. Store in an airtight container in the freezer or refrigerator. Makes about 16 1 x 4-inch bars.
Denise & Trapper