Bunny Bars for Easter

Bunny Bars

Bunny Bars

This Easter, feed your little bunnies these Bunny Bars. Carrot-shaped nut/seed bars – packed with sweet flavor and loads of healthy goodness. Bunny Bars will make your bunnies (aka your kids) smile from floppy ear to floppy ear – especially with the bits of chocolate rolled into the mix. Make these bars for your bunnies or you can make them together as a fun kitchen craft activity. You can easily customize these Bunny Bars to suite what ingredients you have in your pantry or what your sweet bunnies like best…

Bunny Bars

Bunny Bars Basket

Carrot-Shaped. You’ll need to find some carrot party goody bags – I found these from a party supply store.

Many Uses. You can eat these bunny bars right out of the carrot-shaped goodie bag – just as you would a granola bar or trail mix. Or you can crumble them up into a bowl, splash on some milk and call it cold cereal. Either way, you’ll love the healthy sweet flavors!

Bunny Bars Granola

Bunny Bars Granola Cup - crumbled bar (just add soymilk!)

Quick Tip! There is a learning curve for “not burning” your homemade granola bars. Note that the bars will not solidify during the baking process – but rather as they cool and the stickiness hardens. So don’t bake your mixture until it is hard as a rock. Allow it to be quite soft when pulled from the oven. You really just want to toast the ingredients and melt – caramelize the oil/sweetener.

Bunny Bars Ingredients

Like I said, easily customizable. Here are a few optional add-ins..
pecans
peanuts
pumpkin seeds
sunflower seeds
raisins
cranberries
dried apricot, chopped
walnuts
dried date rolls
poppy seeds
hemp seeds
almonds
cashews
oats
sesame seeds
dried blueberries
pistachios
dark chocolate chunks
chocolate chips
wheat germ
flax seed
oat bran
peanut or almond butter
crisp rice cereal
and more…

Hot Trick! Martha Stewart has a great trick for her recently featured fruit and nut granola bars. Use homemade date paste to sweeten! Soak 1 cup of dates in a bit of water (enough to cover) and saute until tender. Then drain the water and puree the dates in a food processor. Add the date paste to the bars in place of most of the sweetener – an extra dollop of honey/maple/agave is still a nice idea for flavor.

Here is the recipe that I used for my Bunny Bars. I wanted to make mine 100% seeds and nuts – no oats. But you can easily add in oats to give a more granola-bar-ish taste and texture.

My Bunny Bars (oat free)

carrot-shaped goodie bags (about 6 for this batch)

1/2 cup almonds, roasted/salted
1/2 cup hemp seeds, raw/shelled
1/2 cup peanuts, roasted
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, raw
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1/3 cup agave syrup (or honey)
2 Tbsp olive oil or canola oil
a few dashes of cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
dash of salt (only if more than half of your ingredients are unsalted)
1/2 cup cranberries/raisins (I prefer to fold the dried fruit into the mixture at the end so the fruit doesn’t get tough and hard)

note: if using different ingredients – my rule of thumb is to basically use about 1/4 – 1/3 cup of sweetener (maple/agave/honey) and 3 Tbsp oil (use a tad more oil is making a heavily oat-filled bar) for every 2 3/4 cups of dry ingredients.

Directions:

1. Fold the ingredients together until well coated. (all except the dried fruit)

2. Spread the mixture in a thin layer – baking sheet or casserole dish. The thinner the bars the less cooking time required. However, since these are not “bars” but carrot-shaped rods – it really doesn’t matter how the spread looks going into the oven.

3. When bars are browned on edges – or about 20 minutes later – fold in the dried fruit – it’s OK to mix up your mixture and ruin the flat ‘bar’ effect. Leave the dried fruit bars int he oven for another 5 min then remove.

4. Before the bars begin to harden – but allow them to cool a tad so the chocolate chunks (if used) don’t melt all over the place – using a spoon, transfer the mixture into your carrot-shaped goodies bags. Twirl the bags closed – seal with a bow and store in a basket until ready to be served or presented to your bunnies. You can speed up the cooling process of these bars by placing them in the fridge – otherwise it usually take at least an hour for these bars to harden and cool.

Bunny Bars

Bunny Bars

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