Salted carmel maple nut clusters

4:52 p.m. on July 22, 2018 (EDT)
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I get tired of shelling out a buck apiece for energy bars -- some of them are OK, but they are all built on oats or other low energy-density ingredients and all too often drizzled with a too-sweet sugary frosting. I did snickers for a while, which are at least cheaper. Then I began thinking about how nuts are both tasty and energy dense, and the words "nut cluster" popped into my head. So i googled it and found these:

https://itdoesnttastelikechicken.com/salted-caramel-maple-nut-clusters/

They are my new favorite. I use mixed salted nuts and cut back on the salt a little, and chipotle chili powder for a little extra bite. I like having the salt crystals on top. I extend the cooking time to 15 minutes to get them to set up a little harder. I usually get only ten clusters per cup of nuts rather than 12 as in the recipe, and I figure they are about 200 calories each. I line the muffin tin with squares of parchment paper, which can then be folded over to wrap each one individually. I can then stick a few in a plastic bag in the little side pocket of my water bottle fanny pack when I go out for a run, and they are also a favorite treat on day hikes and longer. 

Try and enjoy!

3:31 p.m. on July 25, 2018 (EDT)
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Looks pretty darn good.  I've been thru about 50 different granola bars over the years and they all occasionally suck, esp Clif bars and Luna bars and Kind bars.  Pulled a stint with a couple dozen RX Bars recently---but they contain egg whites.

My nut intake for the most part (on backpacking trips) relies on Nut Butters---almond, cashew, peanut.  My teeth aren't great so eating almonds raw is mostly out.

4:22 p.m. on July 25, 2018 (EDT)
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Yeah Thanks Red. I will try this!

Tipi, I will make some comments on your last trip report on Whiteblaze. Also ran into James and Heather (Sourdough bread making Heather) on Slickrock creek last weekend and they said to tell you hi.

8:03 a.m. on August 6, 2018 (EDT)
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Fantastic recipe! Will be trying this out one of these days.

12:04 p.m. on August 7, 2018 (EDT)
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I just made another batch. I'm finding that I can double the recipe -- 2 cups of chopped nuts, 6 tbs. maple syrup etc. -- to make 12 big clusters. That should up the calorie count but I didn't weigh the ingredients to do the calorie calcs. Baked for 20 minutes this time and that made them noticeably less sticky. I also added a few spoonfuls of chocolate protein powder not to the whole batch but just the last couple. That makes them a lot less crumbly, adds some chocolate flavor but also makes them a bit drier. Obviously that adds some protein and calories as well. I'll try that again in a future batch and report back. May eventually post my modified version of the recipe with weights and calories.

August 18, 2018
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