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.
Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew Bars (Copycat KIND Bars)
From: The Yummy Life
***a candy thermometer will be helpful when making this recipe
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
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.
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.