Monday, March 19, 2012

Maple Syrup Snacks & Treats

Here is a quick recipe that you may be familiar with.  No bake puffed rice date balls.  I made these with medium grade organic maple syrup instead of the usual 1 cup of sugar.  I find dates very sweet and the reduction in sugar in no way changes this recipe's status as a sweet treat.

No Bake Puffed Rice, Maple Syrup & Date Balls
Yields approximately 20 balls

  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) salted butter, diced
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) maple syrup
  • 250 ml (1 cup) dates, roughly chopped
  • 625 ml (2 1/2 cups) puffed rice cereal
  • 5 ml (1 teaspoon) vanilla or maple extract 
  • 15 ml (1 tablespoon) fresh orange juice
  • Sufficient quantity toasted unsweetened coconut shavings, icing sugar, finely chopped nuts (such as pecans)
  • Add the first three ingredients to a medium sauce pan and cook over medium heat for 5-6 minutes.  With a wooden spoon break up the dates as they cook.  Remove from heat and add the puffed rice cereal, vanilla extract and orange juice. 
  • When cool enough to handle scoop out heaping tablespoons of the mixture and roll into balls.  Roll them in either toasted unsweetened coconut shavings, icing sugar or finely chopped nuts. Chill for about an hour before serving.

These granola bars like the recipe above contain maple syrup as the primary sweetener along with  dried fruit.  I used orange zest and butter in these bars but margarine and lemon or lime zest are acceptable replacements.

Maple, Coconut Granola Bars 
Yields 12 squares or bars
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) maple syrup
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) salted butter
  • 375 ml (1 1/2 cups) roughly chopped dried figs
  • Zest of 1/2 an orange
  • 70 ml (1/3 cup) fruit compote, such as apricot, peach, cherry etc...
  • 250 ml (1 cup) unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 375 ml (1 1/2 cup) rolled oats
Pre-heat oven to (160C) 325F.
  • Combine the first four ingredients in a sauce pan and heat over medium to melt the butter and break up the figs slightly (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in compote.
  • Spread the coconut flakes and oats evenly on a baking tray.  Toast in the center of the oven until the flakes start to turn golden (3-5 minutes). Remove and add to the wet ingredients.  Stir to blend.
  • Line a (20 cm x 20 cm) 8 x 8 baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil, and grease lightly. Transfer the mixture to the baking pan and spread evenly, pressing down to compact mixture with a spatula.  Bake in the center of oven for 30-45  minutes until golden. 
  • Let cool completely and slice in bars or squares with a sharp serrated bread knife.  Wrap individually in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. 
 More recipes using maple syrup:

Maple Walnut White Chocolate Cookies (made these...very good!)
Maple Syrup Dumplings A Ricardo recipe - Classic Sugar Shack fare

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