A Preview of Two Recipes from Another Fork in the Trail

10:19 a.m. on September 21, 2010 (EDT)
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Here are two bar recipes from my upcoming book, Another Fork in the Trail. Please note that these recipes haven't been through the final edit phase for wording but they have been tested quite thoroughly.

About Dates: Do not use the cooking dates that traditionally come in a brick for this. You want high quality dates such as medjool or honey dates that are loosely packed.


Spiced Date, Cherry, Almond and Carob Bars
©2009 Laurie Ann March

Makes 8 to 10 bars

This version of my date bars was inspired by the Mayan Hot Chocolate in my first book, A Fork in the Trail. I love the little bit of background spice from the cayenne. Just make sure you use it sparingly or your camp mates may be in for a surprise!

1 cup dates such as medjool or honey dates
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/8 cup carob or cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper, to taste
3/4 cup whole salted almonds

Pulse the dates in a food processor with 1/4 cup of the dried cherries, carob powder and spices until the mixture is ground to a thick paste. Toast the almonds, if desired, in a dry non-stick frying pan over medium heat just until they start to become fragrant. Be careful that you do not burn them. Add to the dates and pulse to chop the nuts. Remove the container from the food processor and take out the blade. Stir in the remainder of the dried cherries. Line a square baking pan with plastic wrap and press the mixture firmly into the pan. Refrigerate for an hour and then turn out onto a cutting board. Remove the wrap and cut into 8 to 10 bars. Wrap each bar in plastic wrap and reshape by pressing each side on a flat surface if desired.

Tip: Wipe your knife with a hot water soaked paper towel between cuts to prevent it from sticking. You can reuse the piece of wrap you lined the pan with to wrap your bars.


and...


Date, Pecan, Blueberry and Ginger Bars
©2009 Laurie Ann March

Makes 8 to 10 bars

The first time I made date bars was when I was a young girl taking a 4-H outdoor living course. As an adult, I wanted to add a little something to the recipe and I've always loved candied ginger. It gives these a nice bite, which livens the tastebuds.

1 cup dates such as medjool or honey dates
3/4 cup pecans
1/4 cup dried blueberries
1/8 cup candied ginger, chopped

Pulse the dates in a food processor until you have a thick paste. Toast the pecans, if desired, in a dry non-stick frying pan over medium heat just until they start to become fragrant. Be careful that you do not burn them. Add to the dates and pulse to chop the nuts. Remove the container from the food processor and take out the blade. Stir in the dried blueberries and candied ginger. Line a square baking pan with plastic wrap and press the mixture firmly into the pan. Refrigerate for an hour and then turn out onto a cutting board. Remove the wrap and cut into 8 to 10 bars. Wrap each bar in plastic wrap and reshape by pressing each side on a flat surface if desired.

Tip: Wipe your knife with a hot water soaked paper towel between cuts to prevent it from sticking. You can reuse the piece of wrap you lined the pan with to wrap your bars. 

11:53 a.m. on September 21, 2010 (EDT)
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Looks Yummy!

12:52 p.m. on September 21, 2010 (EDT)
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Date, Pecan, Blueberry and Ginger Bars!!!

Sounds great except for one thing, I dont like dates. Think figs would be a good sustitute?

1:25 p.m. on September 21, 2010 (EDT)
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Thanks Guys.

Explorer Robby... a nice moist but dried mission fig works well. I actually have a similar recipe using dried figs and apricots that I've yet to type out. It worked out well but remains scrawled on the back of an old envelope... lol. As soon as I get a chance to type it I can post it.

 


Sarah Kirkconnell posted a raisin bar on her site today that might work out for those who don't like dates...
http://www.trailcooking.com/recipes/raisin-almond-bars

Edited to add: I just posted my comments on another forum about the Raisin Almond Bars. Here is what I said "I'm curious as to why you rinsed the raisins. Adding water to the mix by rinsing the raisins and nuts could also create a situation that would easily cause bacterial growth and mold."

Anyway, I have some concerns about the raisin recipe and would suggest skipping Sarah's recommendation to rinse the fruit and nuts... instead choose a moist jumbo style of raisin so you get the right consistency without adding water. The whole reason we dry foods is to remove the water and prevent food-borne illness from bacterial growth.

7:13 p.m. on September 21, 2010 (EDT)
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Thanks for sharing LaurieAnn

I will try one of those for my next trip and take a photo.

8:08 p.m. on September 21, 2010 (EDT)
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Thanks for the info Laurie. I saw that raisin bar recipe on Sarah's facebook page today. It looks pretty good, but I agree about rinsing.

Some one asked where you been hiding on backpacker.com last night.

9:23 a.m. on September 22, 2010 (EDT)
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Thanks guys... trouthunter I can't wait to see the photos.

Explorer Robby... I guess someone must miss me. I don't post there any more since certain people made very nasty comments about my pregnancy and the birth of my daughter. I got tired of the games... we are all adults and should be able to share food ideas, give and receive constructive criticism and the like. There is just too much drama for my tastes. A forum should be a friendly place for discussion... sort of like an online version of the local coffee pub or a group around a campfire. Feel free to tell the person how to find me if they need anything.

10:07 p.m. on September 23, 2010 (EDT)
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I will Laurie. I always enjoy your posts. And yes, there is a lot of drama over there. Glad you still post here. And I do comment on you r Facebook page every so often.

Rest assure many there did appreciate your input. And many here will benefit from that same input. Havent found any drama here.

11:02 p.m. on September 23, 2010 (EDT)
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Thanks. It's fun here and a lot less stressful... and I like that paddling is discussed too. After all I live in Ontario and the backpacking isn't as popular here as the paddling.

I'm actually making another flavor variation of these bars to take on our hike this Saturday. I'm going to nickname them Kitchen Bars because they will consist of whatever nuts and other things I have leftover in the kitchen. I think I have some mission figs, dates and apricots. Anyway, if it ends up amazing rather than mediocre, I'll post it here. Two more sleeps until hiking!!

8:40 p.m. on September 28, 2010 (EDT)
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I actually have a similar recipe using dried figs and apricots that I've yet to type out.

I sure would like to check that one out. I just made the almond, date, and cherry recipe, and it is currently in the refrigerator, with much anticipation after some finger licking. I may try the blueberry, date, and pecan recipe, but I just don't know.. the apricot and fig sounds a bit more appealing to me. ;o)

4:14 p.m. on September 29, 2010 (EDT)
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..rich and satisfyingly delicious!

8:24 a.m. on September 30, 2010 (EDT)
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glad you like them... I still haven't typed out the other but will be sometime over the next week. It would have been today but I've had to get an extension on handing in the manuscript... oops.

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