Dark Chocolate and Cranberry Amaranth Bars

 


These indulgent bars star popped amaranth, an ancient grain, paired with crunchy cashews, toasted oats and tart cranberries. Flaked coconut, cinnamon and vanilla balances the rich dark chocolate topping and sweet dulce de leche drizzle.

Yield: 1 bar serving


*This recipe was created for 4 and 24 servings. To adjust the serving quantity, enter a new yield (up to 1,000 servings) then click resize. As with any recipe, changing the quantity may affect flavor intensity. Please adjust ingredients according to your taste.

 
Tasting Serving (4)24 ServingsResized (xx) ServingsRecipe Nutrition
Ingredients Quantities Instructions
dark chocolate chips 1 1/4 cups 1. Place ½ cup of the chocolate chips in resealable plastic bag or airtight container in the freezer until ready to use.

2. Mix maple syrup and honey in medium saucepan. Bring to boil on medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat. Add almond butter, 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon and ½ teaspoon of the vanilla; mix well. Set aside.

3. Heat large skillet on medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the amaranth; cover and cook about 30 seconds or until most of the grains have popped. (The popped grains will look like small white beads.) Immediately transfer to large bowl. Repeat with remaining amaranth. (Should have about double amount of popped amaranth.) Add coconut, cranberries, cashews, toasted oats and sea salt to popped amaranth in bowl; mix well. Add almond butter mixture; stir to coat all ingredients. Allow mixture to cool slightly. Stir in frozen chocolate chips. Gently press amaranth mixture into bottom of foil-lined 8x8-inch baking pan, with ends of foil extending over sides of pan. Place pan in refrigerator to chill.

4. Meanwhile, bring cream just to boil in small saucepan. Stir in remaining 1 teaspoon each cinnamon and vanilla. Pour over remaining ¾ cup chocolate chips in medium heatproof bowl. Let stand 10 minutes, then stir until smooth. Pour chocolate sauce evenly over chilled amaranth dessert. Refrigerate 2 to 3 hours or until chocolate is set.

5. Use foil handles to remove chilled dessert from pan onto cutting board. Drizzle top of dessert with warm dulce de leche. Let stand until dulce de leche is set. Cut into bars.

maple syrup 1/2 cup
honey 1/4 cup
smooth almond butter 1/2 cup
McCormick Culinary® Ground Korintji Cinnamon 2 teaspoons
McCormick Culinary® Pure Vanilla Extract 1 1/2 teaspoons
amaranth grain 1/4 cup
unsweetened flaked coconut 1/2 cup
dried cranberries or cherries, coarsely chopped 1/4 cup
salted cashews, coarsely chopped 1/4 cup
quick-cooking oats, toasted 1/4 cup
McCormick Culinary® Mediterranean Sea Salt 2 tablespoons
heavy cream 1/2 cup
dulce de leche sauce, warmed 1/4 cup
Ingredients Quantities Instructions
dark chocolate chips 7 1/2 cups 1. Place ½ cup of the chocolate chips in resealable plastic bag or airtight container in the freezer until ready to use.

2. Mix maple syrup and honey in medium saucepan. Bring to boil on medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat. Add almond butter, 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon and ½ teaspoon of the vanilla; mix well. Set aside.

3. Heat large skillet on medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the amaranth; cover and cook about 30 seconds or until most of the grains have popped. (The popped grains will look like small white beads.) Immediately transfer to large bowl. Repeat with remaining amaranth. (Should have about double amount of popped amaranth.) Add coconut, cranberries, cashews, toasted oats and sea salt to popped amaranth in bowl; mix well. Add almond butter mixture; stir to coat all ingredients. Allow mixture to cool slightly. Stir in frozen chocolate chips. Gently press amaranth mixture into bottom of foil-lined 8x8-inch baking pan, with ends of foil extending over sides of pan. Place pan in refrigerator to chill.

4. Meanwhile, bring cream just to boil in small saucepan. Stir in remaining 1 teaspoon each cinnamon and vanilla. Pour over remaining ¾ cup chocolate chips in medium heatproof bowl. Let stand 10 minutes, then stir until smooth. Pour chocolate sauce evenly over chilled amaranth dessert. Refrigerate 2 to 3 hours or until chocolate is set.

5. Use foil handles to remove chilled dessert from pan onto cutting board. Drizzle top of dessert with warm dulce de leche. Let stand until dulce de leche is set. Cut into bars.

maple syrup 3 cups
honey 1 1/2 cups
smooth almond butter 3 cups
Cinnamon, Ground Korintji 4 tablespoons
Vanilla Extract, Pure, 1 Fold 3 tablespoons
amaranth grain 1 1/2 cups
unsweetened flaked coconut 3 cups
dried cranberries or cherries, coarsely chopped 1 1/2 cups
salted cashews, coarsely chopped 1 1/2 cups
quick-cooking oats, toasted 1 1/2 cups
Sea Salt, Mediterranean Coarse Grind 3/4 cup
heavy cream 3 cups
dulce de leche sauce, warmed 1 1/2 cups
Ingredients Quantities Instructions
No Resize Selected

Nutrition Information (per serving)

Calories 240 kcal


Total fat 15 g


Saturated fat 7 g


Trans fat 0 g


Cholesterol 10 mg


Sodium 45 mg


Carbohydrate 27 g


Dietary fiber 3 g


Sugars 20 g


Protein 4 g


Chef's Tip: -Amaranth is an ancient seed from South America, rich in protein, fiber and vitamins, with an earthy, nutty flavor and crunchy texture. It can be found in natural foods stores, the organic section of the supermarket or online specialty stores.
-Toasting oats enhances their flavor and gives them a nutty brown color and crispy texture. To toast oats, heat a small nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add oats; cook and stir 5 to 7 minutes or until golden brown and fragrant. Immediately pour out of hot pan to avoid over-toasting. 

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