A twist on the more traditional date bars, these sweet and spicy date bars have a little kick! Quick and easy to make and packed with a punch of flavor, they’re sure to be your new favorite snack.
I’m going to just come right out and say it: the secret to these sweet and spicy date bars is cayenne pepper. We don’t need any of this “secret ingredient, won’t tell you ’til the end” business, do we?
You don’t expect it, and it sneaks up on the back end for just a little bit of spice. I find it to be a refreshing change from all the dessert flavored Lara Bars – key lime pie, cherry pie, cashew cookie, blueberry muffin.
Since the main ingredient is dates, they’re inevitably always going to be sweet. But they’re all “Carrot Cake,” “Pecan Pie,” and so on.
I’ve been making my own for some time now, and I’ve been experimenting with adding some unique flavors. I tested these out today, and I’m going to go ahead and put them in the ‘win’ category.
You can go ahead and put them in your face.
If sweet and spicy isn’t your thing, try my Nutty Espresso Bars. They make a great breakfast on the go!
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to store them with parchment paper in between the bars, otherwise they’ll stick together!
- 1 1/3 cup medjool dates, pitted
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1 Tablespoon toasted flax seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2-3 pinches cayenne pepper
- Combine the pitted dates, cashews, and walnuts in a food processor and pulse until all three are chopped into small pieces and combined. Be careful not to over-process or the mixture will become too sticky!
- Add the toasted flax seeds, salt, cinnamon, and 2 pinches of the cayenne pepper and pulse until incorporated.
- Grab a pinch of the mixture and taste it. The cayenne pepper sneaks up on you, so give it a second and see if you taste it. If not, add a bit more, a pinch at a time, tasting between each one. You want to get to the place where the first flavor you taste is the sweet of the dates, then the aftertaste with the cayenne comes second.
- Once you've got the spices right, place a piece of parchment paper in the bottom of an 8x8 glass pan. Dump the mixture onto the parchment paper.
- With another piece of parchment paper, press the mixture into the pan and smooth it across the top. Don't be afraid to put a little pressure on it---you'll need to push down a bit in order to get the ingredients to stick together.
- Remove the bars from the pan by lifting the bottom piece of parchment paper out onto the counter. Cut into bars or squares and store in the fridge for up to two weeks.
To keep them from sticking together, place parchment paper between them when storing.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 168Saturated Fat: 1gSodium: 74mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 3gSugar: 17gProtein: 3g