Think of this treat as the happy marriage between sesame snaps and a wholesome granola bar. Plus chocolate, because why not? I’m the biggest hippie-dip I know, so maybe it goes without saying that I’ve tried a lot of homemade granola bar formulations over the years. At this point I’ve figured out what works to achieve ideal snack bar traits: chewy, light crispness, varying texture, well-bound, and one indulgent aspect. No joke: this sesame snap granola bar is the best I’ve ever made.
My dad used to sell sesame snaps by the cash register of his farm market and local foods store (but actually, I think he still does). I worked the cashier position for many after-school shifts as an angsty teen and usually around 4 o’clock when I was hitting that afternoon slump, he’d come peeking around the corner with half a pack of sesame snaps for snackin’. We always shared one, so beyond loving the sugary and toasty flavour of those little wafers, the enjoyment is mostly wrapped up in a sweet memory. My delicate riff on the treat is a bit healthier, with all natural sweeteners and lots of superfood ingredients like chia seeds, cacao nibs, and pink Himalayan salt (but obvi any old salt will work!). They’re a perfect little breakfast on the run, a tasty reward at the end of a hike, or a nice nut-free treat for the kiddos at school. Enjoy loves!
Sesame Snap Granola Bars (Vegan + Gluten-Free)
print the recipe here!
Serves: makes 16-18 bars, depending on how you cut them
Time: 10 minutes active, 25 minutes baking time
Notes: I highly recommend completely cooling the bars before cutting them. Full cooling seems to make them hold together much better. Also, feel free to replace the tahini with peanut or almond butter if you enjoy that sorta thing 🙂 The brown rice syrup in these is non-negotiable because it really holds the bars together.
3 ½ cups GF rolled oats (not quick-cooking oats)
1 tsp fine sea salt
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
⅓ cup sesame seeds (I used the fancy black ones)
⅓ cup cacao nibs
⅓ cup chia seeds
⅔ cup tahini sesame paste
⅔ cup brown rice syrup
⅓ cup maple syrup
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
+ melted chocolate for drizzling (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8×12 (or an 8×11) inch pan with coconut oil spray or something similar. Line the pan with parchment and spray it with the oil again. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, sea salt, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, cacao nibs, and chia seeds. Toss to evenly mix. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the tahini, brown rice syrup, maple syrup, olive oil, and vanilla extract. Gently heat the mixture, stirring contantly. You’re not bringing it to a simmer or a boil, just heating it until the mixture is a touch more fluid and totally homogenous.
Pour the tahini and syrup mixture over the oats and seeds. Scrape everything out of the pot and then stir the granola bar mix together until thoroughly combined. It might get a bit tough as the tahini syrup mixture cools.
Press the granola bar mixture into the prepared pan. I find this easier to do if you cover your hand with saran wrap and press down on the mixture as evenly as possible.
Bake the granola bars for 25-27 minutes, or until the edges are slightly golden brown. Cool the pan on a wire rack completely before slicing and drizzling with chocolate. Store bars in a sealed tupperware container for about a week.
If you make these little bar babes, tag us on Instagram! @baked_theblog + #bakedtheblog