I’ve been hatching a plan to replicate a KIND bar for a long time, and I finally followed through. I did a lot of snooping on the food blogs to find a feasible recipe. After looking at a few different versions, it was clear that there was a pretty consistent formula, which was a good sign.
KIND bars were a little bit of an investment because they’re basically all nuts. Also, they are mostly specialty ingredients that I don’t usually keep in my pantry. I found ground flax seed and millet pretty easily, but I had to hunt for the brown rice syrup. Is it a sugar? Is it a syrup? Is it a honey? Is it a gluten free or ethnic food? Turns out in Harris Teeter it’s none of the above. I had to go to Whole Foods and found it in the sugar and sugar alternative section.
I will caution you, the first time I made these they were a complete and expensive fail. I did not boil the syrup and honey mixture for long enough, it didn’t thicken properly, and the bars just fell apart. I can’t remember the last time I was that mad at everything in my kitchen. Even the second time around the bars were pretty sticky, so I recommend cutting them into bite size squares and storing them in your fridge for easy snacking. The taste, nutrition, and general texture are the redeeming factors.
Copy-Cat KIND Bars
Yields 10 bars, adapted from Eat Urself Skinny
- ½ cup unsalted roasted almonds, chopped
- ½ cup unsalted cashews, chopped
- ½ cup roasted walnuts, chopped
- ⅓ cup puffed millet
- 1 Tbs flaxseed meal
- ¼ cup brown rice syrup
- 2 Tbs honey
- ½ tsp vanilla
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- Line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper.
- Coat a mixing bowl with non-stick spray. Combine nuts, millet, and flax in the bowl and set aside.
- Put a small pot on the stove on medium heat. Add brown rice syrup, honey, vanilla, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil and wish constantly at a boil for two full minutes.
- Pour the liquid over the nut mixture. Mix until ingredients are evenly coated and pour into the parchment lined pan. Flatten mixture firmly into the pan with no gaps.
- Allow to cool at room temperature for 20 minutes, then turn out onto a cutting board and cut into 10 bars. Allow to cool completely.
- Melt chocolate chips in microwave (heat for 30 seconds at a time until melted). Drizzle over cooled bars.
- Store at room temp in sealed container, or skip the chocolate step and store in refrigerator (the chocolate might turn white in the fridge).
A few years ago, when I was just taking a real interest in baking, I decided to bake several different cookies and bars to have on hand around Thanksgiving. My family always hosts Thanksgiving at our house, and we typically have several house guests for the entire long weekend. This means that we not only have to cook for the main event, but we have plan meals and snacks for four days straight. This is when stashes of cookies comes in handy.
That year I found this recipe for pumkin bars on the Martha Stewart website and it seemed easy enough for a beginner. Let me tell you, these did not dissapoint. While some of the other cookies I made lingered for most of the weekend, these bars were gone within one day. I have since made them for various groups of friends and family and they get raves every time.
Do yourself a favor, when you get in a pumpin mood, give these a try! They are great warm from the oven, or even cold from the freezer. And by the way, they only use one cup of pumpkin from the can, so I love to use the leftover canned pumpkin to mix into my morning oatmeal!
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars
Make one 9 x 13 pan, about 20 bars depending on size, from Martha
- 2 cups AP flour
- 1 Tbs pumpkin-pie spice
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350. Line a 9 x 13 brownie pan with parchment (it will make it much easier to get them out).
- Combine the flour, spice, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Cream butter, then add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla.
- Alternate adding batches of the pumkin and dry ingredients. Mix to combine, but try not to overmix the dough.
- Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Pour batter into parchment lined pan. Bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes. Allow to cool completely, then cut and serve!
I have a little bit of an internal conflict going on right now. It’s summer time right now, so when it gets hot, who wants to turn on the oven, right? You’re not looking for extra heat in the kitchen. And frankly, why bake something sweet when you can just hit the ice cream stand down the road?
I love no bake dessert options, but sometimes it makes me uneasy that something so good could be so easy. I spend the rest of the year slaving over baked goods with multiple steps and several ingredients, and all of sudden I can combine 3-4 ingredients, throw them in the fridge for an hour, and I have an irresistible dessert. It makes my typical effort seem completely unnecessary.
These are the stupid things that stress me out…
Anyway, here’s to less thinking, fewer ingredients, and a cool solution for a great summer treat:
No Bake Peanut Butter Bars
yields 16-20 bars depending on th size you slice, from Bakerlady
- 1 cup melted butter (2 sticks)
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1 cup + 4 Tbs Peanut Butter (smooth or chunky)
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips or one bag (12 oz) which is probably closer to 2 cups
- Line a 9 x 13 baking pan with parchment.
- Combine melted butter, crumbs, sugar, and 1 cup of peanut butter in a bowl. Mix until the dough is a uniform sandy mixture.
- Press mixture evenly into the parchment lined pan. Spread out with an offset spatula if you have one.
- Melt the chocolate chips with the 4 Tbs left of peanut butter. I typically microwave it for 30 sec at a time until mostly melted then I stir until every chip is melted.
- Spread the melted chocolate and peanut butter on top of the peanut butter and crumb mixture. Again, smooth with an offset spatula.
- Allow to cool, slice, and enjoy! (if you cool in a fridge, allow the pan to warm up slightly before trying to slice, otherwise it will be difficult to cut, and likely break into pieces)