This is our recipe for DIY or copy One Square Meals. You know those delicious apricot and honey ones? SO tasty but so expensive.
The best part is they are super easy to make and you can leave out the bits you don’t like and add in the bits you do! We don’t use a recipe when we make these (best for kids helping!), so this is the best approximation of what we do….
1/2C flour or another 1/2C oats if you are GF
150g melted butter or coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2C honey or brown sugar
One pack of dried apricots or as many as you like
1/2 raisins or sultanas or other
1 small pack of sunflower seeds.
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees and line a 20cm square pan with baking paper.
Mix oats, butter, eggs, honey, vanilla and optional flour in the food processor or by hand if you don’t have one. Food processor makes it all stick together a bit better I find but works just as well either way.
Mix in apricots, raisins, seeds and any other mix ins you want (chocolate is always good!).
Press into pan with your hands or a flat bottomed cup. Press it in really firmly.
Bake in the oven for 15-20 mins until lightly golden. Cool in pan and slice into squares or whatever shape takes your fancy x
If you don’t know what these are, go and buy one. And at the same time buy 2 x 500g packs of stoned dates (£1.34 from tesco each) and some pecans (£4.49 for 300g… ouch more than I remember) and then you can make 37 of your own (pretending you make them exactly 35g each) for £7.17 opposed to £26ish.
You can make these way way cheaper by using cashews instead of pecans – I just way way prefer pecans. There are infinate variations, add other dried fruit, add cocoa, cinamin, spices, whatever you fancy. I think this would be a great project for little ones to help out with, such a fun texture to mash up and relatively mess free. And they are making food!
You will need –
A food processor
Dates (I use 1kg of dates per 300-400g of nuts)
Nuts (pecans are our favourite, cashews work equally well)
Any extra ingredients you want – cocoa powder, chocolate chips, dried fruit etc.
A willing taste tester always helps:
Chop the nuts in your food processor. You don’t want to grind them into dust, just into nice chunky pieces that should look something like this:
Then tip them into a bowl (use a large bowl to save on washing up later, one that you can fit everything into), and put all the dates in the food processor (you might have to do this in batches, depends on how powerful your processor is.
Blend/Pulse the dates until they are really mashed up, they should start sticking together into a ball. Often you will hear a really nasty sound while doing this and it is probably because there is a pit (stone) or two in your bag of dates. Usually best to stop processing and fish it out because it can scratch up your bowl pretty bad. The dates should eventually look something like this:
Next step is to grab handfuls of the dates and knead them into the chopped nuts. It’s a bit trial and error at first but you will quickly figure out the amount of nuts you can incorporate into the dates. I just use my hands and fold/knead lumps in. You don’t want to mix too many nuts in or else it will crumble when you make them into bars. At the same time you don’t want to put too few in or else it will just be a sticky date bar. Mine look something like this when they are finished:
Mmm attractive. Insert gross joke here. Once you have incorproated all the dates into the nuts or vice versa you want to start shaping them into bars. You can really make any size or shape that you want, depending on your needs. I tend to make my bars quite large, as Reuben loves these and would quite happily eat them all day if I let him. That way I can have one in my bag as an emergency meal…
I lay out a piece of clingfilm and roll a log in between my hands, then flatten it onto the clingfilm, and wrap it up:
Then the most important step – squash it really hard with a book:
And that’s it!
I store mine in the fridge, I think they would be fine unrefridgerated but I have no idea of their shelf life… after all they are just dates and nuts. Enjoy!
This was one of the most disappointing things I have ever baked. I don’t know what I did wrong but it was very time consuming and very ugly. My second (top) shortbread layer split and I had to patch it up a abit. But hey, it tasted delicious but I won’t be making this again any time soon.
Adapted from “Ladies, a Plate” by Alexa Johnston..
250g/2 cups flour
1 tbsp cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
390g/1 tin condensed milk
100g/4 tbsp golden syrup
1/2 cup sugar
vanilla to taste
120g/1 cup icing sugar
2 tbsp cocoa
1 tbsp butter
Preheat the oven to 400F/200C and line a 12×8 tin. Make the filling by combining filling ingredients in a saucepan over low heat until all mixed together.
Cream the butter and sugar together and beat in the egg. Add the sifted dry ingredients and vanilla and mix to a dough. Divide in half and chill for about 15 minutes.
Roll one half out and place in the prepared tin. Pour over the caramel filling. Roll out the second half and place on top.
Bake for 20 minutes of until firm on top. Ice while hot with the chocolate icing, made by combining the icing sugar and cocoa with the butter (melted) and enough hot water to make spreadable. I think a better option would be melted chocolate.
My rolling skills are poor!!
Recipe link – I mixed the walnuts in instead of putting them on top accidentally.
So I have been asked to make a slice for an event coming up. “Any slice will do”. Any slice?? There is like a thousand different slices, that are all awesome. How am I meant to choose??
The way that is best, especially considering I am on a no-eating-baking kick, I will make some slices and take them to my family to vote. I know this family is kind of crazy on the high calorie foods so I’m gonna skip the fruity/lemon/blueberry crumb bars all together… I hope this is a good decision!!
Tonight I will be making:
- Caramel Mocha Nut Slice
- Caramel White Chocolate Macadamia Slice
- Coffee Toffee Bars
- Florentine Slice
I really want to try out Nanaimo bars but I think they don’t quite keep up with the standards of the rest. My flatties and family are gonna be stoked with the leftovers…. off to the supermarket to buy CALORIES kthxbai
edit: decided against caramel white choc macadamia.. maybe next time…
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup dessicated coconut
125g butter (melted)
1 can (375g) sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons golden syrup
30 grams butter
preheat oven to 180 degrees centigrade.
combine first 5 ingredients and mix well. press into a lined 20x25cm pan or similar and bake for 10 minutes or until lightly golden.
heat next 3 ingredients in a saucepan, bring to boil and stir for 5 minutes trying not to burn it.
pour over the base and bake for a further 10 minutes.
remove from oven and cool. melt chocolate and pour over the top, smoothing evenly. cool and cut.
Ew excuse crap photo from a crap camera
I finally found my recipe that I used to make these for Christmas 07, so glad because I have been searching for it like crazy on the internet nearly every day since!! Pics taken 07/12/08
1 cup self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup dessicated coconut
125g butter, melted
2 tablespoons strong coffee
140g chopped walnuts
2 x 395g sweetened condensed milk
250g brown sugar (1 1/4 cups firmly packed)
2 tablespoons strong coffee
270g dark chocolate
1/4 cup cream
1 tablespoon strong coffee
Preheat oven to 180°C. Line the base and sides of a 30cm x 20cm slice pan with baking paper.
Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Add the brown sugar, coconut, butter and coffee and stir well.
Press the mixture into the pan and bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Cool slightly then sprinkle over the chopped walnuts.
Place the condensed milk, brown sugar, butter and coffee in a saucepan and stir over low heat until thickened, about 10 minutes. KEEP STIRRING, I burnt this quite badly the first time I made it, but it still tasted awesome 😛
Spread the caramel mixture over the base. Return to the oven for 10-12 minutes until bubbling around the edges. Cool completely.
Combine the ganache ingredients in a saucepan and cook over a low heat until melted. Cool slightly before spreading evenly over the top. Refridgerate to set. Cut into slices to serve.
Makes 20 large slices.
From a foodtown magazine, no idea which issue!! (ripped it out)