Cherry Nut Bars

I’ve been collecting dried fruit and nuts for months and not eating much of them. I had been considering making a big tub of trail mix, but it’s more convenient to eat trail mix when made into bars. I roughly followed these instructions for making your own Kind Bar style fruit and nut bars, which can be made with a wide variety of ingredients. I used rolled oats in mine instead of puffed rice and used twice as much fruit as called for.

I started by setting the oven to 325°F. I lightly toasted half a cup of oats* and combined it with a cup each of chopped walnuts and almonds, half a cup of chopped dried Bing cherries, 1/4 cup each of raisins and dried cranberries, a tablespoon each of sunflower seeds and sesame seeds*, and 2 tablespoons chia seeds. I added 2 tablespoons of almond butter, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1.5 teaspoons of vanilla extract*, a little bit of Amarena cherry syrup, and 1/2 cup light corn syrup*.

I pressed all of this into a parchment-paper-lined pan (the pan I used was too large, but I used the extra parchment to help press the mixture down) and baked it for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, it can be removed carefully from the pan on the paper and set on a flat surface to cool. The mixture is still soft at this point and can fall apart if the paper isn’t kept flat, but is also still malleable enough to be pressed back together if it breaks. After 30 minutes, it is set enough to cut, but will still need some more time to cool completely.

*store-bought items

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