August 25, 2008

Macadamia Butter Bars with Cranberries and Toasted Coconut

Well, it's back to school time again! Ugh. Not fun for me. But, along with the dreaded daily imprisonment I am subjected to, comes delicious snacks!

I am a picky eater. It's a fact. If you look at my recipes, I think you already know that. Well, I don't eat cafeteria food and I don't take my own lunch. The latter would seem probable, right? Well, I have an affinity toward hot food and I despise waste. All of those little plastic baggies and brown sacks that are thrown away every day make me cringe. So, a year ago, I decided to get a Laptop Lunchbox. I love it to no end, but unfortunately it's a bit of a hassle to lug to school... plus I look like a definite dork whipping out my multicolored plastic containers and cloth napkin. On top of that (Oh yes, I am a complicated girl), I am often not hungry enough during school to wolf down a whole meal. So the solution? Snacks.

I don't think it's necessary to further expound on my fastidious eating habits*, so I will sum it up by saying that most storebought snacks are either too fatty, too sugary, or too insignificant to attract my eye (The exception, of course, being the saliva-inducing Larabar). Thus, I make my own! Full of nut butter, oats, dried fruit, flax, soy protein, etc., etc. And the best thing about bars? Sooo adaptable! This time I made a slightly tropical version which is insanely delicious. Reusable packing tip for small quantities of snacks: take an empty Altoids container, round or rectangular, wash it out, and fill it with goodies. It holds the food in while protecting it with a compact, rigid shape.

*So my economics teacher today thought that it would be a fun little experiment to start off the school year with one of those little true/false questionnaires which are obviously rigged. Anyway, all of the answers were supposedly false (skeptic as I am) but I don't know about one. It stated that it is importantly to research/study a product before you buy it. Well, of course I said true. After all, I am a bit of a perfectionist. To explain her reasoning, the teacher said, "Well, think about if you were in a grocery store. Are you going to thoroughly inspect every single thing you buy? No." Um, beg to differ! She obviously hasn't gone shopping with me. Honestly, I don't know why anyone in my family does. I can pore over nutrition facts and ingredients for hours, trying to find the best one. Even the lady at the health food store agreed with me! When I spent ten minutes trying to discern the differences between different brands of Vitamin D, my mother laughingly told a passing sales lady what I was up to. As the lady so logically explained in my defense, "It is good that she cares about what goes into her body." Right? I mean, I didn't want some fish oil from farmed, saturated-fat nastiness "nourishing" my body. (I settled for plant-based). So anyway, yeah. That's my little rant about fixed true/false questions. Things like that are entirely subjective and I place no stock in them. Although we did draw a pig that identified our personality type, which was pretty cool. (Yeah, I know that I sound like I am in kindergarten, but whatever.)

Macadamia Butter Bars with Cranberries and Toasted Coconut

  • 6 tablespoons macadamia butter (much of excess oil drained before stirring)
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 8 dried, pitted dates
  • 2 tablespoons flax meal
  • 6 tablespoons rolled oats, divided
  • 1 tablespoon texturized soy protein
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut
  • 6 tablespoons puffed brown rice cereal
  • 1 heaping handful dried cranberries
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablepoon toasted coconut


  1. Heat oven to 350F.
  2. Blend nut butter, agave nectar, and dates in a food processor until well combined. Add flax meal, 4 tablespoons rolled oats, TSP, and coconut. Whiz until blended but chunky.
  3. Remove mixture to a separate bowl and stir in 2 tablespoons rolled oats, brown rice cereal, and cranberries. Taste at this point to determine whether it is sweet enough.
  4. Mix in one egg white and press mixture into a greased 8x8 pan.
  5. Sprinkle toasted coconut on top and gently press in.
  6. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes until the edges are crispy brown and the center is no longer moist.
  7. Cool, cut into pieces, and reserve for snacks.


Deb Schiff said...

these look great!

Kristina said...

Wow, those look absolutely delicous, and so healthy to! I don't have macadamia nut butter, but I do have hazelnut and almond butter, so I'll see what I can whip up with those :D

Tarah at Genesis of a Cook said...

Yup. I've decided that I'm saving this recipe to make later.


They look really good. I can't wait to make these! Thanks for sharing!!


Aaron said...

Loved this recipe, and will add it to my "Best macadamia Nut Recipes" blog over at Squidoo! I Used Hawaii macadamia nuts for this recipe. I get mine from In my opinion, Hawaii produces the best Mac Nuts!