Mood: Festive-Cranberry Apple Pie Lion Bars

Ideas were brewing today, even in my post thanksgiving turkey induced coma.  Impressive, I know.  I felt like creating a new flavour of Lion bar today.  I don’t know if it was because reality set in that all of this over indulgent eating means I must make some form of remotely healthy snack for the week or if it’s because I literally have not stopped cooking, prepping or fiddling in the kitchen for like 3 days so when I finally sat down today, I just felt lazy. ACK!!  I swear, the older I get, the less I know how to chill out and actually relax.

While the lion was napping, I prepped the bowls with the ingredients because the little cub just can’t wait.

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When he got up from his nap, I asked him if he wanted to make some lion bars and he was so excited.  Hilarious, I asked if he wanted to wear his apron and he said ‘no thank you mommy’ and then hopped on to his step stool to get as close as he could to the food processor.

This lil lion means business.  He's prepped and ready to go.

This lil lion means business. He’s prepped and ready to go.

Today’s little gem was inspired by everything that is FALL.  I love it…the weather, the leaves, wearing my boots, the amazing seasonal flavours…everything…well except the pumpkin obsessed (le sigh)!  As many of you know, I am on a personal mission to destroy society’s love for pumpkin. I don’t get it and it’s making me angry.  Come on…friggen Tim Hortons is doing pumpkin everything now!  Pumpkin candles…don’t even get me started…I have never smelled a pumpkin and thought ‘Wow, that smells lovely’…NEVER!  The only remotely cool things about pumpkins are seeds and jack o lanterns.  So friends, i am saying down with pumpkin and bring on the apples this year.  It’s my personal smack down for pumpkin love gone WAY too far!!  Enough is enough, i’m taking a stand.  Apples, apples, all the way….Apples Apples are here to stay!  Pumpkin be gone!

I decided to morph the goodness of apple pie with some cranberry goodness and create a delightful little lion bar (if you haven’t read my other lion bar posts…they are my take on the Lara Bar).  I’m calling them: Cranberry Apple Pie Lion Bars.

Here we go.

First you want to pulse your nuts in to a course flour like consistency in a food processor.  I still like a little bit of texture in my bars so I don’t want it too fine.  I used a mixture of pecans and almonds for this one.  You could just use pecans or walnuts if you wish.  I always have tonnes of almonds on hand and most of my pecans got used up for the big orphan dinner so I did a half and half combo.

Pulse your nuts in to a course flour consistency

Pulse your nuts in to a course flour consistency

Next add everything else, dried apples, cranberries, dates, cinnamon and a bit of sea salt.  Pulse in the food processor until it is completely mixed together.  I like to let this run for a bit until the mixture kind of skips around the food processor a bit (if this sounds strange, just let it happen and then you won’t think i’m nuts).

Here’s what it looks like:

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Remove mixture from the food processor and press in to a square cake pan.  *If i’m using a silicon pan, i don’t line it.  If i’m using a regular pan, I normally line it with wax paper so it comes out easy.  Just use your fingers to evenly press in to the pan and then take a roller or (my trusty lightning mcqueen cup) and roll it over the top to smooth it out.

Press that deliciousness in to the pan

Press that deliciousness in to the pan

After you roll the top, it will smooth it out a bit.

After you roll the top, it will smooth it out a bit.

Now place in your fridge for a few hours or over night before cutting.  You want these bars to firm up so that they will be easy to cut in to bars.

Here is the finished product

Cranberry Apple Pie Lion Bars

Cranberry Apple Pie Lion Bars

Cranberry Apple Pie Lion Bars

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried apples (I just the rings in to pieces)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup medjool dates (pits removed)
  • 1 cup nuts (either pecans, walnuts, almonds…or a combo.  I used 1/2 cup pecans and 1/2 cup almonds)
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • little pinch of sea salt (optional)

Directions

  1. Pulse the nuts in a food processor until they are the consistency of a course flour
  2. Add all other ingredients to food processor and pulse until everything is mixed completely and the mixture starts to skip and hop around the bowl of the processor.
  3. Remove mixture and press in to a square pan (lined if necessary)
  4. Refrigerate for a few hours to let the mixture firm up.
  5. Remove from pan and slice in to 8 bars.  Individually wrap them and they are good to go for lunches and snack attacks.

Hope you guys like these, I think they will be a holiday fave!!  Enjoy fine people.

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