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“What in the world are Car Bars?” you might be asking about now. Well, car bars are something I just made up. My dog and I were about to head out on a long road trip to see my mom, and I decided I needed a treat for the road. Road trips and airports are just dangerous for me because my brain has decided that those two things mean that I get a free pass to eat all the bad road food that I usually don’t consume. By road food I mean frosties, cinnabon, dunking donuts, twizzlers etc.

carbars-126-2In order to keep myself from going hog wild during my two day drive (one way), I decided to make myself a treat that was satisfying enough to calm the junk food cravings, but still somewhat healthy. Ergo: car bars. I started from a hermit bar concept and adapted it so there was a lot more of the good stuff and much less of the bad. The end product was a mildly sweet, molassesey bar with a texture somewhere between a cakey brownie and a quick bread. As intended, they are filling and tasty. A nice little bite for when the hunger starts rumbling during a long drive or when the urge to consume large quantities of Roy Rogers chicken* becomes overwhelming.

* I do not normally crave Roy Rogers. It just so happens that there is (or was) one at the Maryland House rest stop and for some reason it, along with Cinnabon, became part of my driving to and from college tradition. It also reminds me of my grandfather, whose name was Roy, and who liked to eat at Roy Rogers.

 

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1 C Whole Wheat Flour
1 C Oat Flour
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Ginger
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Chia Seeds
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/8 tsp Cloves
1/4 C Coconut Oil
1/2 C Brown Sugar
1/3 C Molasses
10 Dates, seeds removed
1/4 C Hot Water
1 Egg
1/4 C Pumpkin
1/4 C Plain Yogurt
1 C Raisins
1 C Pecans, chopped

 

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Sift together the flours, spices, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add in the chia seeds.

 

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Pull out a blender or food processor and blend together the seeded dates with approximately 1/4 C of hot water.

Next, cream together the coconut oil, brown sugar, pumpkin and date puree.

 

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Mix in the egg, molasses and yogurt, followed by the dry ingredients. Lastly, mix in the raisins and pecans.

Cover the bowl and chill for at least 30 minutes. The dough is very sticky and will be much easier to work with when cold.

 

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Preheat the oven to 350º F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. When the oven is hot, remove the bowl from the fridge and separate the dough into 4 even chunks. Form each section of dough into a long log and place 2 on each sheet.

 

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Bake the bars for 15 to 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through the cooking. Once the bars are cooked, let them sit on baking sheet for about 5 minutes and then remove them to a wire rack to cool for another 10 minutes.

 

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Then transfer the logs to a cutting board and cut each log into 6 or 8 pieces. Return the pieces to the wire rack to completely cool.

 

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Car Bars
 
Recipe By:
Ingredients
  • 1 C Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 C Oat Flour
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Ginger
  • ½ tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp Baking Soda
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Chia Seeds
  • ¼ tsp Nutmeg
  • ⅛ tsp Cloves
  • ¼ C Coconut Oil
  • ½ C Brown Sugar
  • ⅓ C Molasses
  • 10 Dates, seeds removed
  • ¼ C Hot Water
  • 1 Egg
  • ¼ C Pumpkin
  • ¼ C Plain Yogurt
  • 1 C Raisins
  • 1 C Pecans, chopped
Instructions
  1. Sift together the flours, spices, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add in the chia seeds.
  2. Pull out a blender or food processor and blend together the seeded dates with approximately ¼ C of hot water.
  3. Next, cream together the coconut oil, brown sugar, pumpkin and date puree.
  4. Mix in the egg, molasses and yogurt, followed by the dry ingredients. Lastly, mix in the raisins and pecans.
  5. Cover the bowl and chill for at least 30 minutes. The dough is very sticky and will be much easier to work with when cold.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350º F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. When the oven is hot, remove the bowl from the fridge and separate the dough into 4 even chunks. Form each section of dough into a long log and place 2 on each sheet.
  7. Bake the bars for 15 to 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through the cooking. Once the bars are cooked, let them sit on baking sheet for about 5 minutes and then remove them to a wire rack to cool for another 10 minutes. Then transfer the logs to a cutting board and cut each log into 6 or 8 pieces. Return the pieces to the wire rack to completely cool.
 

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