I love almonds. But now with the drought in California, eating them is making me feel a wee bit guilty.
One little almond consumes a gallon of water. And together, the almond crop gulps up 1.7 trillion gallons per year. Glug, glug, glug.
So, I’m probably going to assuage my guilt by taking them off of the grocery list for awhile. But I’m going to eat the ones we still have in the pantry – and I’m going to eat them in style.
These bars are special for another reason too. My brother-in-law gave us dried goji berries.
Now, I’m not going to delude myself and say the goji berry’s health benefits offset the butter in these bars. I’m just going to relax and enjoy them, whether it’s with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.
They’re simple to make, decadent and delicious. In other words, my kind of dessert! (Minus the almond guilt, of course.)
Chocolate, Almond and Goji Berry Bars
Makes 12 bars.
2 tablespoons dried goji berries
2 tablespoons almonds
1 cup old-fashioned oats
½ cup light or dark brown sugar
1 ¼ cups dark chocolate chips, divided
½ cup sweetened flaked coconut
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
½ teaspoon vanilla
Crushed sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease the bottom and sides of a 9”x9” baking pan with butter, oil or cooking spray.
Place the goji berries and almonds in a food processor, and pulse until finely chopped. (Or you can do that by hand. I’m a big food processor fan myself, though.)
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, 1 cup of the chocolate chips, baking powder and kosher salt.
In a small bowl, whisk together the butter, egg and vanilla.
Mix the wet and dry ingredients together.
Spoon the batter into the baking pan, and even it out with a spatula.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until set.
Let cool for 5 minutes, and turn out onto a cooling sheet. Sprinkle with crushed sea salt.
Cool completely before cutting into 12 bars.
Microwave remaining chocolate chips in a small bowl, for 1 minute. Drizzle bars with chocolate. Let cool again.
Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
(Photos by Launie Kettler)