Breakfast or dessert? I’ll let you decide.
Because these easy (grain-free) Warm Chai Spice Bars are perfectly delicious for either (or, ahem, both if you’re really interested in my thoughts on the matter).
Made with fresh-ground spices from my homemade whole chai spice mix, it would be a shame to set any limitations on these cozy fall-friendly bars.
Yes, it appears that I am beginning to come to terms with the fact that summer is coming to a close. In some ways, you could say that I’m even looking forward to pulling out the layers, snacking over football games, and tossing pumpkin pie spice in everything.
An upcoming trip to Vermont for Blog Brûlée helps the season feel welcomed. As does the knowledge that (fingers crossed!) we’ll be moving in to our new home (further from the city and closer to the mountains!) next month.
It’s a busy time, as I get ready for our trip, prepare for the move, and do my best to keep everything here on TGG running smoothly, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Even though I love exploring new places, I’m also becoming more of a homebody with age. I think fall best suits my old-lady tendencies, which will likely only intensify once we have an entire house to lay low in.
A little too chilly for summer activities but still not quite ready for ski season, fall is the best time to pull out all of my cookbooks, spread them across all surfaces throughout the living room (my husband loves this part), and just get inspired.
There are only two things that can make this experience better: (1) coffee and (2) Warm Chai Bars.
I decided to learn how to bake this season (whether I like it or not). I may even follow a recipe or two (without substitutions) in order to learn…but I’m determined to make it happen, so I’ll do whatever it takes.
But not just yet.
You could say that I’m easing myself in.
Because these warm chai bars are kind of Baking Light. (Baking for Dummies?)
Truth be told, I never planned on baking these guys until they were already finished. Don’t get me wrong, they’re perfectly delicious at room temperature but I was feeling all cozy and in the fall spirit and I just felt like they were missing something.
So, into the oven they went, and out came my first baked good of the season.
Chai is warming all on it’s own but, seriously, throwing these guys in the oven for 10 minutes did wonders. I could definitely get used to this.
- 2 tablespoons whole chai spice mix
- ½ cup raisins
- 6 tablespoons almonds, divided
- 6 tablespoons sunflower seeds, divided
- 6 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, divided
- 6 tablespoons unsweetened flaked coconut, divided
- 6 tablespoons cacao nibs, divided
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons filtered water
- Preheat oven to 350º F and prepare an 8x8 inch baking dish. Blend chai spices in a spice grinder or crush with a mortar and pestle.
- Transfer chai spice, raisins, and 4 tablespoons each almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut, and cacao nibs to a food processor (Or Ninja blender) and pulse just enough to allow the mixture to stick together, keeping smaller pieces of nuts and seeds in tact.
- Transfer mixture to baking dish and press it into the dish with your hands or the back of a spoon. Add remaining almonds, seeds, coconut, and cacao nibs and press again with hands or spoon until toppings are securely pressed into the dough. Transfer dish to oven and bake until warm and aromatic, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before cutting into 8 squares and serving. May be stored in an airtight container for up to one week.
What are your favorite fall flavors?