My younger son usually feels left out when I make nutty homemade energy bars, as most of the bars are made with tree nuts, and he has an allergy. Crunchy, healthy and yummy, these bars are made with sesame seeds and peanuts, a legume, not a tree nut.
Sesame seeds are available in many colors such as, black, white, red and yellow, and are nutrient-dense and high in dietary fiber. These bars can be made with all white seeds, but the black sesame seeds provide that extra flavor punch.
-1-2 tablespoons unsalted butter (for greasing the pan)
-1 1/4 cups white and/or black sesame seeds
-3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
-1/4 cup unsalted, roasted peanuts
-1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
-1/4 cup honey
-2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
-/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8×8″ glass baking dish, line with parchment paper, leaving a generous overhang on all sides. Mix white and/or black sesame seeds, unsweetened shredded coconut, unsalted, roasted peanuts, and kosher salt in a large bowl. Mix the honey, creamy peanut butter, and vanilla extract in a small bowl. Add this mixture to the sesame seed mixture and mix it well.
Scrape the mixture into the buttered, parchment-lined baking dish and press firmly into an even layer. Bake until golden brown around the edges, 20–25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool until firm about 30–40 minutes. Lift the parchment out of the baking dish, if the bars seem too crumbly, let the bars cool longer. Cut the bars into 16 squares. The bars can be made 3 days ahead. Store tightly in an airtight container at room temperature.