Kind-of Kind bars

Feel free to play around with the seeds, nuts and fruit in these bars. The Kirkland extra-fancy unsalted nuts work great in this recipe.
Kind of Kind bars

2 1/2 cups (300g) unsalted mixed nuts, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp. (20g) sesame seeds, toasted
2 Tbsp. (20g) flax seeds
1/2 cup (60g) sunflower seeds
1 cup (125g) pitted dates, diced
1/2 cup (80g) dark chocolate, chips or chopped into chunks
1/2 cup (55g) dried fruits like cranberries, raisins, blueberries, apricots, or cherries (choose one or make a combo)
1/2 cup (155g) brown rice syrup
1/4 cup (60g) almond butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal Kosher salt (1/2 tsp. other brand Kosher salt)

Spray an 8-inch (20cm) square pan with cooking spray and line the bottom with an 8×15-inch rectangle of parchment paper, making sure the ends hang over the edge.

Into a large bowl add: Nuts, seeds, dates, chocolate and dried fruit. Mix together. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and mix again.

Warm the rice syrup and almond butter for 10-15 seconds in the microwave or in a small saucepan over medium heat. It should be warm enough to be pourable but not so hot that it will melt the chocolate. Mix in the vanilla extract.

Pour the liquid over the ingredients in the bowl and stir until everything is completely coated and starts to stick together in clumps. A silicone spatula, wooden spoon or big fork works well. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan. Press a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap over the top and firmly press the mixture into the pan. You want to really pack it in so that the bars will stay together.

Put into the freezer for 30 minutes. Holding the ends of the parchment paper, lift the bars out of the pan to a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut into rectangles. Refrigerate in an airtight container with parchment paper or plastic wrap between the layers.

Makes 12-16 bars.

PB&J variation

Substitute lightly salted dry-roasted peanuts for mixed nuts (omit added salt). Sub butterscotch and milk chocolate chips for dark chocolate chunks. Sub black sesame seeds for white sesame seeds. Sub peanut butter for almond butter.

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