Some foods just evoke a certain season for me, and almost any sweet with a hint of cinnamon immediately makes me think of fall. I had been craving something sweet, but not cloyingly so, with just a hint of cinnamon for warmth, and perhaps a bit of crunch. That is where these little gems began. I threw these bars together with ingredients I nearly always keep in my pantry, so they’re perfect to make in a pinch. This isn’t so much a recipe as it is a guideline; I can imagine all sorts of mix ins that would work just as wonderfully. I chose poppy seeds, sesame seeds, and raisins this go round, but any combination of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit would be equally as delicious. Next time, I’m thinking of adding crystallized ginger, to up the spice just a bit. If you’ve ever had a hermit cookie, the texture and taste here are quite similar.
Seeded Maple Cinnamon Bars
•1/4 cup maple syrup (coconut nectar, agave nectar, or other liquid sweetener will work if you don’t have maple syrup on hand)
•2 tablespoons coconut sugar (sucanat or turbinado sugar will work, too)
•1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses (or regular molasses, for a milder taste)
•1 tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoons warm water
•2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
•2 tablespoons almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
•1 teaspoon vanilla extract
•1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
•1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons almond meal
•1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
•1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
•1/2 cup rolled oats
•1/4 cup poppy seeds
•1/4 cup sesame seeds
•1/4 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
1. In a small bowl mix together maple syrup, coconut sugar, molasses, flaxseed mixture, oil, almond milk, and vanilla until combined.
2. In a large bowl, stir together the rest of the ingredients.
3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir until just combined.
4. Scoop dough onto parchment lined baking sheet and form into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick all the way around.
5. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the edges are just beginning to brown.
6. Let cool on baking sheet for at least 30 minutes before slicing into bars.
The bars can be stored in an airtight container, unrefrigerated, for up to a week, and though I haven’t tried it, I’m sure you could make a batch now to freeze and save for the holidays. If anyone tries this with success, let me know.