ALMOND PEACH BARS

San Bartolome likes to bring homemade protein-rich snack bars on hikes with her daughters. Any stone fruit preserve can be substituted for the peach, she notes.

Makes 16 servings

⅔ cup brown sugar
⅔ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
⅔ cup almond butter, separated
¼ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
⅓ cup old fashioned rolled oats
10 ounces peach preserves
⅓ cup sliced almonds
¼ cup coconut chips
2 tablespoons finely chopped dark chocolate

Preheat oven to 350°.

For the crust and crumble, put brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, ⅓ cup almond butter and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Turn mixer to low.

With mixer running, and as ingredients are coming together (you will see the almond butter forming small pieces), slowly pour in the melted butter, forming a loose sand-like mixture.

Remove ½ cup mixture to a small bowl and set aside.

Add rolled oats to the mixer and turn on low until mixture is just mixed. Press mixture into a 9- by 9-inch pan, or similar-size pan. Using the back of a large spoon, press mixture firmly to create a dense crust.

Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to sit for only a few minutes. Keep the oven on.

While crust is still warm, spoon remaining almond butter on top. Allow almond butter to warm so it’s easy to spread over the surface of the crust. Spread evenly. Spoon peach preserves over the almond butter.

Toss the remaining crumble with the sliced almonds and coconut chips, spreading the mixture evenly over the pan.

Return pan to oven for another 12 to 15 minutes, or until crumble topping is golden brown.

Remove from oven and sprinkle top with chopped dark chocolate.

Once cooled, cut into approximately 2- by 2-inch squares and store in an airtight container at room temperature.

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