Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew Bars (Copycat KIND Bars)

Have you ever eaten a KIND Bar?  They are delicious.  I received one in my Birchbox a few months ago and loved it.  I was pleased to find out how easy they are to make at home!  This cherry and chocolate version is a great snack, especially when you need a little pick-me-up in the afternoon.

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Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew Bars (Copycat KIND Bars)

Printer-Friendly Recipe

From: The Yummy Life

***a candy thermometer will be helpful when making this recipe

Ingredients

FOR THE NUT MIXTURE

2 cups whole roasted unsalted almonds (if unroasted, roast in a 350 degree oven on a baking sheet for 10 minutes)

3/4 cup whole roasted unsalted cashews, coarsely chopped (if unroasted, roast in a 350 degree oven on a baking sheet for 10 minutes)

1/2 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup raisins, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup puffed millet, rice (or other puffed whole grain; or crispy brown rice cereal)

1 tablespoon flaxseed meal

FOR THE SYRUP

1/3 cup honey (or agave nectar or brown rice syrup)

1/3 cup light corn syrup (or brown rice syrup)

1/4 cup frozen apple juice concentrate (thawed)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

FOR THE CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE (optional)

1 cup dark chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life Mini Chips for a dairy-free drizzle)

1 tablespoon vegetable, grapeseed, or coconut oil

Directions

With nonstick cooking spray, spray a large bowl, baking sheet, wooden spoon or rubber spatula, and the bottom of a drinking glass.  Set aside.

To the large bowl, add the roasted almonds, roasted cashews, dried cherries, raisins, puffed rice, and flaxseed meal.  Stir with greased spoon and set aside.

In a medium-sized saucepan, mix together the honey, corn syrup, apple juice concentrate, salt, and vanilla.  Heat over medium-high heat, stirring frequently.  Heat until your candy thermometer reaches 260 degrees (hard ball stage).  Working quickly, stir the syrup mixture together with the nut mixture and transfer to your greased baking sheet and spread into a rectangle with your hands (careful, it will be hot).  Press the mixture down with the bottom of the greased drinking glass.  Cool for 20 minutes (you want the bars to be slightly warm so you can cut them easily).  Remove the hardened bars from the pan and cut into 20 bars (or however many you desire).  Cool the bars completely before drizzling on the chocolate.

Store the bars in an airtight container.  If you stack the bars, place parchment paper in between each layer to prevent sticking.  Will keep for 1 week at room temperature or longer if stored in the refrigerator.  Can also be frozen.

Chocolate drizzle

In a microwave safe bowl, add the chocolate chips and oil.  Microwave in 20 second intervals, stirring in between, until the chips are melted (this takes about 1 minute).  Drizzle over the cooled bars with a fork.  Allow the drizzle to harden before serving.

 

Grease a bowl, spoon, pan, and glass.  This is sticky stuff you're working with!

Grease a bowl, spoon, pan, and glass. This is sticky stuff you’re working with!

Add the nuts, cherries, raisins, puffed cereal, and flaxseed to the bowl.  Mix together and set aside.

Add the nuts, cherries, raisins, puffed cereal, and flaxseed to the bowl. Mix together and set aside.

Add the honey, corn syrup, apple juice concentrate, salt, and vanilla to a saucepan.   Heat over medium heat and stir frequently.

Add the honey, corn syrup, apple juice concentrate, salt, and vanilla to a saucepan. Heat over medium heat and stir frequently.

Heat the mixture until it reaches 260 degrees.

Heat the mixture until it reaches 260 degrees.

Quickly pour over the nut mixture.

Quickly pour over the nut mixture.

Stir together.

Stir together.

Pour onto the baking sheet.  Spread evenly & flatten with the bottom of the drinking glass.

Pour onto the baking sheet. Spread evenly & flatten with the bottom of the drinking glass.

I shaped mine into a square.  Allow to cool for 20 minutes.

I shaped mine into a square. Allow to cool for 20 minutes.

For the chocolate drizzle.  Melt together the chocolate chips and oil.

For the chocolate drizzle. Melt together the chocolate chips and oil.

It takes about a minute in the microwave to melt (mine took a little less).  Be sure to stir every 20 seconds and stop as soon as the chips have melted.

It takes about a minute in the microwave to melt (mine took a little less). Be sure to stir every 20 seconds and stop as soon as the chips have melted.

Drizzle away.

Drizzle away.

I didn't follow instructions and cut the bars after doing the chocolate drizzle.  I would recommend cutting the bars after 20 minutes, allowing them to cool completely, and then drizzling on the chocolate.  Enjoy!

I didn’t follow the instructions and cut the bars after doing the chocolate drizzle. I would recommend cutting the bars after 20 minutes, allowing them to cool completely, and then drizzling on the chocolate. Enjoy!

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2 thoughts on “Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew Bars (Copycat KIND Bars)

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