Pumpkin Seed Cherry Bars

Indulge with these pumpkin seed and dried tart cherry bars. A sweet way to bypass the sugary treats and still indulge. If you want to make this vegan, use maple or agave syrup in place of honey.

Pumpkin Seed & Dried Tart Cherry Bars


Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 10
Author Tania Van Pelt

Ingredients

For the Shortbread Base

  • 2 cups + 4 tablespoons of heritage wheat or spelt flour Einkorn, Buffalo, or Kamut work well
  • cup coconut oil, melted
  • 4 tablespoons of raw honey, softened
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

For the Topping

  • cup dried (unsweetened) tart cherries currants or dried cranberries can be used as substitutes
  • cups raw pumpkin seeds
  • 6 tablespoons raw honey, softened if vegan, use agave or maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  1. Melt the sealed container of coconut oil in a bowl of hot water until it's liquid.
  2. Place sealed container of raw honey in a bowl of warm water to soften it.
  3. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  4. In a large bowl mix the flour, salt, liquified coconut oil, honey, and citrus zest. Mix together well until a soft ball of dough is formed.
  5. Evenly press this dough into the bottom of a parchment lined 9-inch square baking pan.

  6. For the topping, mix all the ingredients together very well. Pour this sticky mixture on top of the shortbread base and carefully spread it out evenly.

  7. Place the pan in the oven on a rack near the top of the oven. At 30 minutes, check to make sure the bars aren't overcooked. They should take about 35 minutes. You want the seeds toasted and the shortbread golden at the edges.

  8. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for about 20 minutes.
  9. Remove from the pan by pulling the sides of the parchment paper and allow the bars to finish cooling completely before slicing, about another 15 minutes.
  10. Slice into bars when completely cooled using a sharp knife.
  11. Store the bars in the fridge in an airtight container. They'll keep for several weeks.

Recipe Notes

If gluten-free, you could use almond or buckwheat flour. They will be less sturdy, though, so take care when cutting.