Caramel Nut Bars (and Happy New Year!)

Caramel nut bars

We made it! It’s a new year, and the opportunity to reflect and go forward. I’m ready – in fact, I might have too many things on my list, but I always aim high in the hopes that I come close to accomplishing at least some of my goals.

I’m so grateful for all the feedback from readers, so a special thank you if you’ve ever commented on a post, the Facebook page, or tweeted a post. I learn so much from  comments, and from private mail I receive from readers. I especially relate to the many parents, kids, and adults with Crohn’s, like my son, who are trying to find a way to stay healthy and navigate the options.

Bars and honey pot

Like many of you, my life is spread in many directions and I don’t get to everything, all the time. Still, I consider Comfy Belly one of the best things I’ve done for my family, myself, and others. If you can take risks to improve your life, kudos to you. While you may stumble, have momentary lapses, or even feel like you’re failing, don’t give up. Keep working to find a way to balance and live the life you want for yourself, your loved ones, and the beautiful planet we inhabit. What else is there really?

Here are some of my goals for 2011, as they relate to food, health, and Comfy Belly:

  • Create tasty meals centered around vegetables and fruit
  • Experiment with other natural sweeteners (besides honey and maple syrup)
  • Streamline healthy meals so they are easy to prepare and eat
  • Experiment with new foods to find what makes me feel light and happy
  • Dig deeper into WordPress
  • Continue my current obsession with yoga
  • Bike more often

Caramel nut bars only

For now, here’s a recipe for an easy treat – caramel nut clusters, or bars. I used Spanish dry roasted peanuts, but feel free to use your favorite nut. And, yes, peanuts are not a nut (they’re a legume), but don’t let that stop you if you eat them. I want to try pistachios and hazelnuts next. And feel free to add some seasonings to this, like cinnamon, ginger, or even chili pepper, to give it a bit of a zing. I like it plain with vanilla because it reminds me of a candy bar. This recipe is also another way to make granola bars. Just exchange the nuts for raisins, and other granola ingredients.

Caramel and nuts in the saucepan

Tip If you want the full candy-bar effect, once cooled, slice the cluster into rectangles with a sharp knife (on a cutting board), and then dip the bottom of each bar into chocolate. Set the chocolate by cooling the bars at room temperature, or in the refrigerator (if don’t want to wait).

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    Posted in Desserts, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Lactose-Free, Paleo, SCD, Snacks, Vegetarian, Wheat-Free  |  24 Comments

    24 Responses to Caramel Nut Bars (and Happy New Year!)

    1. These look tremendous! I’ve fallen for the wonderful flavor of cashews in my homemade Lara Bars, and I’d love to try out a different textured snack bar this month. When I used to work on my family’s farm as a teenager, I’d stash PayDay bars in my lunch from time to time — this seems like a much better option :)

    2. These look so good, I can’t wait to try them! Do you think I could replace the butter with coconut oil? I haven’t tried it yet in a candy recipe. Any thoughts?

      Thanks!
      Karen

      • Erica says:

        I don’t know if coconut oil will work because it needs to caramelize. I did think about it, but I haven’t tried it yet. I was able to caramelize using coconut milk in my caramel recipe, so it just might work. If you do, please let us know. Thanks!

    3. Pingback: Tweets that mention Caramel Nut Bars (and Happy New Year!) | Comfy Belly -- Topsy.com

    4. Just a quick comment to say thanks for posting all the recipes. I visit your blog regularly and you never fail to inspire and delight.
      Sheila H.

    5. Kathryn says:

      Do you think it would tasted okay with another type of nut? My son breaks out with peanuts but I wonder if I used pecans, cashews, or walnuts if they’d be any good?

      • Erica says:

        Yes, any nut would work. Some other options are seeds like sunflower, sesame, dried fruit, etc. I’m going to using this recipe to make power bars.

    6. Pingback: Gooey Peanut and Honey Bars « Apparently.

    7. Sophie says:

      MMMMMM,..great & truly appetizing home made bars!!

      They look fabulous, dear Erica!!

    8. Angel Dockendorf says:

      Thanks for the recipe! My husband made this for me last night and they were DELICIOUS! It is so hard to find a treat that actually tastes great and is easy to make. ;) Thanks!

    9. michelle says:

      This is on my list to try, have ingredients, but have just been short time, maybe this weekend…..Thanks for your constant innovations…Your brownie and banana bread (with carob powder and chips instead) are favorites in our house!!!

    10. Indra says:

      I’m just wondering if there is a way to halve the honey for diabetic’s? Would a sugar free syrup be able to be subbed for half the honey? Love the way your bars look.
      Indra

      • Erica says:

        Yes – it will still stick together if you halve the amount of honey, but won’t be as gooey as a candy bar. If the sugar-free syrup can be caramelized, I bet it would work. Good luck and let us know if it works (if you try it).

    11. Lakisha says:

      When I look at these bars, my mouth waters, because all I could think about is Mmmm Payday, or yummm, Snickers. Thanks for this and all of your beautiful recipes.

    12. Rose says:

      Looks delicious. What size pan do you put it in and can it be doubled? Did you every find out if you can use coconut oil, because I have someone who is allergic to dairy. Thanks

    13. Made these today and loved! Made them freestyle, just 1/4 cup each nuts and honey, no pan, just poured mix onto parchment,let harden and dipped into chocolate. So caramelly. Thanks for the great recipe.

    14. Jason says:

      I made a couple batches of these the other day with almonds and cinnamon. Now they are amazing! But I tried the oven and freezer and they are still kinda gooey. Again very good just little difficult to eat. Got the boil to 250 on the thermometer. Any suggestions? Thanks!

      • Erica says:

        If they’re still gooey, two possibilities: the cinnamon is preventing the honey from caramelizing ( in which case, add it at the end of the boiling step), OR you just need to let it boil a bit longer (at least 10 minutes).

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