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Chewy Caramel Bars

chewy caramel bars 0
I had a huge cook up the other day. I love spending all day in the kitchen, chopping, reminiscing and thinking mindless thoughts.
Huge cook ups typically lead to very full kitchen bins. To be honest, I didn’t notice that the bin bag was especially full. However, I am well known for my incredibly poor observational skills. When my Husband went to take out the rubbish that night, full of fatigue and crankiness from a long day at work, he became very annoyed with me and the struggling bin bag. I took his comments on board and told myself I must be more conscious of overfilling in future.
The following day I decided to have another cook up. I find both cooking and eating therapeutic and have consequently had many days like this over the past few weeks. By midafternoon I thought, “I best take the bin out”. I wanted to keep everyone happy.
It was snowing. It was freezing. I do not like the cold. I seldom leave the house on dark, wintery days. If that means I am indoors for months at a time I am ok with that, wind and icy temperatures are not for me.
I entered the garage, removed my cosy, warm slippers and slid my feet into my husband’s oversized, exceptionally hard soled Birkenstock sandals. I opened the rear roller door. The bins weren’t there. Last night had been bin night, they were out the front. There was no way I was spending more than a minute outdoors than I needed too. I decided that leaving the rubbish bag inside the garage, by the rear roller door would be adequate and evidence that I have listened and obeyed. As I turned I slipped in my enormous shoes and the arch of my foot fell heavily on the rock hard sole. It hurt! I let out an “Oooowwwww” and instinctively bent forward, at which point the roller door fell on my head, again, “Ooooowwwww”.
My two year old was standing steps away from me completely perplexed, saying “you ok Mummy? what wrong Mummy?”
We went inside. I rang my husband and told him I tried and I shall not be trying again. This bin game is not for me. I’m staying in the kitchen.

Chewy Caramel Bars

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 16 medjool dates, seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup almond butter / spread*
  • 1 teaspoon concentrated natural vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  1. Preheat your oven to 175°C or 350°F
  2. Grease and line a loaf tin with baking paper. Mine measure 19.5cm x 9.5cm.
  3. Place the ingredients into your processor and blend at high speed until the mixture is well combined and the dates and oats have broken down. Press the mixture firmly into your prepared tin. Bake for 15 minutes. Allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes before gently moving to a cooling rack. Cool for a further 15 minutes prior to cutting.
  4. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

*Almond spread is readily available in the health food section of the supermarket or at health food stores. You can also make your own, here is our recipe. You can substitute the almond butter with hulled tahini to make these nut free.

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