Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Nut Caramel Bars with Dried Cherries



caramel nut bars with dried cherries

About a month ago, I was sent the cookbook Home Made by Yvette Van Boven  and I’m kinda in love with it. It’s a tome dedicated to all things homemade, and when I say tome, I’m not kidding - it’s over 400 pages, full recipes and instructions for everything from preserving fruits, to cheese making and even homemade liqueurs.

nut caramel bars with dried cherries

Not only is it full of great information, it’s also gorgeous. The photos feel so homey, and they’re accented by adorable drawings (Van Boven is also an illustrator), hand written recipes & paper cut outs. It even has a section dedicated to dog treats - it’s downright charming.

When I opened the book for the first time, this recipe was on the page I happened to open to - and the first one I wanted to make. These are crunchy, chewy bars filled with lots of my favorite things, almonds, pecans, pumpkin seeds, and dried fruit. The recipe calls for dried figs, but I couldn’t find any, so I used dried cherries instead.  They’re tasty, pretty simple, and I think they’d make a great gift for a friend.

IMG_4962 copy-2

Go get yourself a copy of Home Made! You won’t regret it. (And be on the look out for a recipe for sweet potato soup from the book on honey & jam soon! :)

Nut-Caramel Bars with Dried Figs
From Home Made by Yvette Van Boven

1 1/3 cups blanched almonds
1 1/3 cups walnuts or pecans
1 1/3 cups sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts or a mixture of them all
7 oz dried figs (I used dried cherries)
juice & zest of 1/2 orange
sunflower oil for greasing purposes
1 1/3 cups superfine sugar
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 stick butter
pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 340F/Gas 4. Arrange the nuts over a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and bake for approx. 15 minutes until golden brown and crisp, turning halfway through. Transfer the nuts to a bowl and stir in the figs and orange zest. Line a shallow rectangular baking sheet with wax paper. Brush the wax paper with a thin layer of oil. Heat the sugar, syrup and orange juice in a heavy bottomed saucepan until the sugar has dissolved. Stir gently with a wooden spoon, but beware of splatters, since it will get very hot. Lastly, stir in the butter and salt. The sauce will become thicker. Fold in the nuts and stir well. Pour the mixture onto the greased paper and spread evenly. After approx. 15 minutes, score into bars with the back of a knife when it is nearly cool.
Leave to fully cool.
Break the slab along the score lines.
You can keep the bars for some time in a sealed box separated by sheets of wax paper.


ps, While I was sent a review copy of this book - I wasn’t asked or payed to write about it. All opinions are my own -  this is a fantastic book, I wouldn’t lie to you guys!

84 comments:

  1. woot -- woot! first commentator! and this was posted 41 secs ago. wow.

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  2. These look so good. I would love to try and make some of these (using vegan butter or coconut oil or something). The book is really beautiful, too. A friend of mine makes something out of there at least once a week, he loves it.

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  3. allergic to nuts...what can I substitute?

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  4. Cherries and nuts are one of my favorite flavor combinations, these look delicious. How festive! And beautiful photography, as always.

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  5. This is what I would definitely like to have as a snack at work - maybe take a walk in the park with all the autumn leaves at lunch. The atmosphere in the photos is stunning. Once again, gorgeous work, Hannah!

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  6. Yay! oh, goodness, so excited to make these. They look absolutely delicious and would make a perfect snack. Yummmm.

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  7. i can't wait to try this. i love the addition of the orange.

    do you have a publix near you? i always find dried figs in their produce section...though i do usually have to ask someone to help me locate them in all their little tucked away shelves.

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  8. Looks like a great book to have. Love that I was just going to browse recipes without gluten to make for a dear friend - and I found one without even looking too hard!

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  9. Gorgeous bars! I love those flavors.

    Awesome pictures, as always.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  10. Looks like a wonderful book. The caramel bars are a great little snack, and I love that butterfly mug!

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  11. ... and my second comment, ('cause that first comment was downright lame-o):

    that looks delicious. as does every single one of your recipe. God has given you a truly wonderful talent. everyone certainly doesn't have your talent when it comes to cooking and baking. seriously. you may think it simple, but it isn't -- by any means! and your photography? -- it's pure gorgeousness. i'm being literal here.
    God bless!
    xoxoxo acacia

    p o s t s c r i p t : i repinned that first picture on pinterest. i saw that you had put it up and immediately pinned it. :)

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  12. These look AMAZING definitely going to try this weekend.

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  13. Looks delicious and your photos are gorgeous!

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  14. Oh she's a Dutch autor, finally a book in my own language ;) Definitely have to get it any time soon.

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  15. Gorgeous pictures. I love the addition of the orange zest/juice. That must add some freshness to the bar!

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  16. Why have I not heard of this book! Sounds amazing and your bars look beautiful!

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  17. The photos are the most important part of cookbooks to me. I love how the newer ones are just full of beautiful food shots...

    These look yummy. I'm so into pumpkin at this time of year...

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  18. Oh, man! I have been lusting after that book for days! The bars look so good, some of my favorite ingredients for sure....I bet the dried cherries give them the perfect tartness. Love, as always!

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  19. those look amazing! you have come so far from when i first started following & i've loved watching your blog GROW :)

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  20. Cherries and nuts - yum! Those bars look so delicious.

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  21. Yum! Love everything about these bars... Can't wait to give the recipe a try (and pick up a copy of that book... sounds like one I will love!).

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  22. I can't imagine the book does a better job of presenting these bars as you do, but I'll keep an eye out for it. Love your photography.

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  23. These looks so much better than the nuts bar I chew down, and most likely better for me! Might give them a go.. :)

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  24. Wow, these look incredible. I love your photos too, your food looks absolutely delicious. Thanks for sharing!

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  25. like them!!! made nut bars on sunday, but they here look so yummy!! will try them next!

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  26. I really enjoy following your blog. Your photos are beautiful and a great inspiration to me.

    Ciao from Florence, Italy.
    Birgitte, www.urbanpolaroids.com

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  27. Just GREAT! Should made Nutbars on Sunday. I love those Flavours and the Taste. Thanx!!!

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  28. these look gorgeous. i have that book on my wish list!

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  29. Beautiful, I love how much texture you've kept in these. Often I find nut bars are just pulverized into some sort of weird paste. These look so "real" and delicious.

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  30. Just gorgeous! I'm intrigued and very interested in this book you speak of...may need to look into purchasing it!

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  31. I'm in love with both this recipe and your spoon collection! #spoonlove

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  32. Your blog is kind of like the grocery story, Hannah. I can't visit it on an empty stomach! But, it's still one of my very favorite places on the internet. One day, I'd like to have a coffee table book of your photography... *hint, hint*

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  33. Thanks for your review! I contemplated buying that book after reading an article about it on Etsy.com. Good to know you liked it!

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  34. I love the use of the nuts and natural sweeteners, I'll definitely have to try making these. Thanks for sharing.

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  35. This is amazing on every possible level. The images, your styling, the light, the recipe, the book. Hot diggity, girl.

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  36. Wow what a delicious looking bar. I am going to have to get this book. I've been hearing so many good things about it.

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  37. The bars look so delicious, I feel like I also want to make them. Your photos are extremely beautiful.

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  38. I've eyed that book so many times. I really must just get it. It's a stunner. Beautiful post, Hannah.

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  39. I have just found your blog through a recommendation from My Baking Addition -- thank you for sharing your talents and wonderful recipes. I am looking forward to testing out some of your ideas. You have a very lovely blog.

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  40. st found your blog through a recommendation from My Baking Addition -- thank you for sharing your talents and

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  41. excellent recipe, I am going to share it with our customers, thanks for sharing

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  42. Fabulous bar! All sorts of good things in it...things I love. Thanks for the heads up on the book, Hannah!

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  43. These just say Fall.

    And now I must be off to buy myself a copy of Home Made, which appeals to all of my pioneering tendencies.

    Beautiful.

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  44. Stunning! I like all bakes and treats with cherries in them.

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  45. These bars look delicious, like the sound of the figs in these. Love the composition of your photos.

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  46. I am thinking that this might actually be a good snack for my new diet! I just found out that I have high blood pressure, so I am trying to be good and following a new diet. Other than the maple syrup though, this looks really healthy!

    http://www.thehypertensionscoop.com/following-high-blood-pressure-diet.php

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  47. those look terrific! i would try with both dried figs AND cherries

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  48. These look beautiful. I love the rustic feel of all your photography.

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  49. Just made a reduced, figgy, and orange-free version; delicious but not very well assimilated. I guess I needed more caramel.

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  50. wow these look so good, your photos are just incredible!

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  51. Pecans & oranges, perfect!
    Beautiful pictures :)

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  52. I made these bars for my daughter to take on a backpacking trip but encountered problems. "Cook till thick" was not specific enough for me. I cooked until it looked thick , but ended up with a crumbly brown sugar texture. The taste was still delicious and backpackers aree h8ungry enough to eat anything, but I would like to use my candy thermometer to guarantee the proper consistency. Anyone know what that temp would be? Thanks!

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  53. Thanks for the cookbook, link, I will definitely check it out. These bars look just beautiful :)
    Heidi xo

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  54. Wow, Wow, Wow!! These look absolutely divine...can't wait to make them..thank you!

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  55. These are going on my baking list for after the holidays - I already have so many things lined up, I can't choose! :)

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  56. Where did you get that mug?! I love it! All of your posts are beautiful...

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  59. I read your blog regularly Hannah, but stumbled on this post through tumblr! And that mug caught my eye! do you mind sharing where it's from?
    thanks!
    Elizabeth

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