Pepita Bars

Yield:
3/4 cup
Level:
Easy
Ingredients
  • Crust:
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • Topping:
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats (not oldfashioned)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted (see Note 1)
  • 1/2 cup pepitas (raw hulled green pumpkin seeds) , toasted
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • Generous 1/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter
  • Chocolate Topping:
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons clarified butter (see Note 2)
  • Extra coconut, pepitas, sesame seeds, and toasted almonds, for garnish
Directions

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Thoroughly butter a 9 x 13inch baking pan with 2inch sides and line the base with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, oats, flour, baking powder, and salt. Toss together with your hands, then add the melted butter and continue working with your hands until the mixture is crumbly. Pat the crust mixture evenly over the base of the pan and bake for 10 minutes. Cool on a rack.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, coconut, almonds, pepitas, and sesame seeds, and set aside. In a medium heavy saucepan, combine the honey, brown sugar, and butter. Over medium heat, stir together until the butter is melted. Pour the butter mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until evenly combined. Spread this topping over the crust base and return to a 275 degrees oven for about 20 minutes, or until the center is lightly browned and puffy.

Cool completely. Cut across the pan lengthwise to separate into 2 long, thin sections, then cut each one into 5 equal bars, approximately 5 x 2 inches. Trim the edges to make them even.

In the top of a double boiler, combine the chocolate and the clarified butter. Over gently simmering water, melt the chocolate, stirring. Dip the tops of the bars into the melted chocolate mixture and immediately sprinkle with one or more of the following: flaked coconut, pepitas, sesame seeds, and toasted almonds. Allow the chocolate topping to harden before serving.

Note 1: To toast almonds and pepitas, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the nuts on a cookie sheet and toast in the oven until golden, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Note 2: To clarify butter: Melt 1 cup butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until the butter foams, then skim and discard the white froth that forms at the top. Carefully pour the remaining butter through a double thickness of damp cheesecloth, leaving the white sediment at the bottom of the pan.


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