PCC Nut and Honey Clusters

PCC Nut and Honey Clusters

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Fans of soft, chewy energy bars can use this recipe to make their own version of a PCC Bakery favorite.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1 cup pitted and chopped dates (from 9 ounces whole dates)
  • 1 cup peanuts
  • 3 cups rolled oats, divided
  • 1 1/4 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, combine the water and dates. Soak for 20 to 30 minutes, until the water has been partially absorbed and the dates are soft. Transfer the dates to a blender and blend to a paste on low speed. Set aside.

In the work bowl of a food processor, combine the peanuts and half of the rolled oats. Pulse for about 45 second, until the peanuts and oats are coarsely chopped and resemble small pebbles.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the date paste, peanut butter, honey and vanilla on medium speed, until thick and fairly smooth (you may see a few pieces of date). Add the chopped peanut mixture, the remaining oats, and the salt and mix on low speed until combined into a thick dough. Scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice to make sure the dry ingredients are completely blended into the peanut butter mixture. The dough will be thick and sticky.

Scoop the dough by the tablespoon onto the prepared baking sheets, placing them about 2 inches apart. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until they’re a uniformly deep-golden color and no longer shiny; they will still be fairly soft to the touch. Cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire racks and cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Special notes:

For a special at-home treat, drizzle a little melted chocolate on top of each cluster once it has completely cooled.

To adjust for a peanut allergy, substitute a different nut or seed butter for the peanut butter and your favorite nut for the peanuts.

For most people, salted nuts will provide the best balance of flavor to the sweet date paste, honey and vanilla.

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