Spice Bars Recipe
Update on the St. Nicholas Bars that my mom makes every December 5th… this year she amended the recipe to make it vegan and low glycemic. She emailed the recipe to me, so here it is!
Between the chai latte-esque flavors, newly health-conscious ingredients, and tasty versatility (they’re just as good with a morning latte or afternoon cup of tea as they are for big holiday or birthday celebrations), there’s so much to love. What’s best is that because of the chewy texture, the bars freeze like a dream, meaning you can make a big batch one evening and reap the rewards for weeks or months. Just thaw one or two at room temperature overnight for a grab-and-go morning treat!
For the Bars:
4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup ground almonds
2 1/2 flat Tbs unsweetened cocoa
1 flat tsp. ground cloves
1 flat tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 flat tsp. ground cardamom
1 tsp. finely grated lemon rind
1 tsp. almond essence
1 cup honey
1 cup maple sugar (or cane sugar)
6 Tbs cold water
For the Topping:
1 1/4 cups powdered (cane or powdered maple) sugar
1/2 tsp. almond essence
1 tsp. lemon juice
5 tsp. cold water
3 oz slivered almonds
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Toast slivered almonds in a pan. They only need about 5 to 10 minutes, and make sure to shake the pan a few times so they don’t burn! Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients except for the sugar. Add the almond essence.
- Add the remaining ingredients (the honey, sugar, and cold water) in a pot. Heat to a simmer and stir for about 5 minutes. If you’d like crunchier Spice Bars, let this mixture cook a little longer. Just be careful not to let it boil over — it can happen fast!
- Combine the wet and dry mixtures and stir. At this point, your dough should be hot, thick, and sticky.
- Spoon the dough into a greased and floured 11×17 jelly roll pan. Use wet hands into to press it into the pan until evenly spread.
- Bake for 20 minutes
- While the Bars bake, mix together the powdered sugar, almond essence and lemon juice for the frosting. Slowly add 5 tsp. cold water and stir to make a soft, spreadable paste, then chill.
- When the Bars are done baking, let them cool before adding frosting. Spread frosting evenly on top.
- Time to bring those toasted almonds back into the mix! Sprinkle them on top of the frosted bars and press them in, to make sure they stick.
- Let your bars cool fully before cutting up and enjoying!
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