I can’t really decide if I think these bars are more appropriately labeled as a “sweet snack” or a “dessert,” so I think I’m going to split the difference and call them a “treat.” I don’t care if you eat them after dinner, or after lunch, or for breakfast. Or for an afternoon snack, perhaps with a nice cup of chai tea. Just make them. And eat them. Because they are delicious and seasonal and heartwarming, and you don’t want to miss them.
In spite of all of my raving here, the bars aren’t too different from any little goodie you might see on CR. The base is the same formula I use to start off most of my raw energy balls and snack bars: a 1 : 1.25 ratio of nuts to pitted medjool dates. Simple. The topping is two heaping cups of thinly sliced raw apples, which have been drowned in some of my raw, vegan salted caramel sauce.
Simply line the apple slices up over the nut/date base, and you have a wonderful raw treat:
At this point, you can let the bars sit in the fridge for an hour or so, to set, and then slice and enjoy. The apples will be a little crispy/juicy and the bars will be a little messy to cut, but they’ll taste perfectly wonderful. If you have a food dehydrator, you can also stick them in the machine for 6 hours, which will make the caramel darker in color (and a little more authentic looking) and will make the apple slices wilt down and stick to the bars.
They’ll be easier to cut and more portable, but you won’t escape a little ooey, gooey, sticky mess. And that’s kind of a good thing.
Here’s the recipe.
And here is the finished product. So delightfully good.
These bars are so great to have in the house during Thanksgiving week–a pick-me-up for you, for friends, for family–and they’ll be appropriate all throughout the holiday season. Take them to gatherings, share them with coworkers, and give them to loved ones.
Or, you can just make them right now and eat them all week long, which is what Steven and I will be doing.
Enjoy! I’ll be back tomorrow with my ideas for Thanksgiving 2014 — all vegan, of course. See you soon.