(Today I would like to introduce to you my sweet husband, Scott. I am grateful to have him as my husband. Chronic illness affects the lives of everyone in a family, and recovery is much faster and greater when you have a supportive spouse who willingly completes you in your weaknesses. Thank you, Scott!
He has delighted us with his newest kitchen creation. I know you will enjoy it as much as we have. These are SOOO good!)
And now for something completely different. This is the dish's husband here. A few weeks ago, I mentioned to one of my co-workers how much our boys love LaraBars. She is a native of India and, after trying some of one I brought with me, stated that her mother made very similar treats for her as a girl.
Well... a few days later she brought some homemade bars to work, and I prevailed on her to supply a recipe. It is a very simple recipe, and the boys have not stopped asking for more (once they ate them all up inside 48 hours). These were made with pecans and coconut, but the recipe is a great starting place for creativity. We're envisioning variations with apples, cocoa, dried cherries or berries, and other types of nuts. Our youngest needs to avoid cinnamon, but this could be a nice change from the spices, too.
Coco-Pecan Date Bars
1 pound dried dates, chopped
2 cups pecan halves
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cardamom
Dice the dates, set aside in a metal mixing bowl (what I did) or the top half of a double boiler. Put the nuts, coconut, and spices into the food processor and chop coarsely. Empty the nut mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add 2 tablespoons warm water to the dates and heat gently over boiling water, stirring often. Once the dates start to soften, put them into the food processor and blend them into a paste. Our processor is rather small (4-cup) , so I had to move the dates around some to get them mixed properly. Combine the dates with the dry mixture (a sturdy spoon works, but so do hands). Once mixed, spread into a 9" square baking dish, pat flat, cover and put in the refrigerator at least one hour.