I write this post at a dangerous time. Geoffrey is teething (we think). All the signs are there; dribbling, rosy cheeks, sore bottom, frequent nappy changes and for the past three nights our wee man has been waking up, in pain, holding on to his little gums. This has resulted in a VERY fluid sleeping arrangement. Sam, like a true gent (ahem), has had to put up with the spare bed and Geoffers has been in with me, whilst I try and comfort him the only way I know how with lots of cuddles and lots of breastfeeding. Fingers crossed he cuts a tooth soon (it seems crazy that at nearly nine months he hasn’t got a SINGLE toothy peg already), for his, mine and my waistline’s sake.
Sleep deprivation for me isn’t too torturous, a strong cup of coffee usually helps, but it sure as hell does make me hungry. I’m brilliant at declaring “to hell with it” and treating myself in these times of sleeplessness, surely it’s a mother’s prerogative right?! However, I haven’t felt this tired in a long, long time (I’m thinking first few weeks of baby) so it is totally ludicrous that I would decide to fill the house with delicious morsels now. Far. Too. Tempting.
I have been meaning to try this recipe since I was given ‘Hygge – The Danish Art of Happiness, by Marie Tourell Søderberg‘ for my birthday in November and now that Geoff has FINALLY started to nap longer than 20-minutes at a time (hallelujah) I have more time to do so*. It combines my favourite ingredients, requires no baking and I have convinced myself that it is a healthy recipe (of sorts). Marie says her personal trainer gave her this recipe, so it’s got to be good for you?!
You may have heard of ‘Hygge’, meaning ” a feeling or mood that comes taking genuine pleasure in making ordinary, every day moments more meaningful, beautiful or special (see more here)” and which is pronounced ‘hue-gah’. However, you will more commonly hear people talking about ‘higgy’ (bless us Brits and our dire grasp of Nordic dialect), and to be frank I think this sounds way more cosy, intimate and pleasurable when spoken this way.
Here is my version of:
Higgy Sniggy Snickers
Serves 14 (or in our case one and a half as I have eaten most of them in only two days, whilst Sam has stayed pretty restrained and only had a little bit as we are meant to be eating healthily this January *LOLZ*)
For the base:
250g of Almonds
150g of Raisins
4 dates (stones removed)
(I’m sure Marie means Medjool dates as these are the super yummy/expensive ones, but Lidl didn’t have those, so I just got regular old dried dates and they worked fine, although next time I might soak them a bit to make them softer)
For the Caramel:
16 dates (stones removed)
2 tbsp of coconut oil (I warmed mine in the microwave to make it easier to whizz)
2 tbsp of vanilla powder (I used vanilla bean extract as who knows what vanilla powder is?)
2 tbsp of boiling water
For the topping:
80g of salted peanuts
150g dark chocolate – 70 per cent cocoa (I made this recipe SO frantically I think I ‘accidentally’ used two bars of chocolate which is 200g, and in my opinion worked out best)
To make the base, the recipe calls for the almonds to be processed up in a food processor for about one minute until they reach a fine texture. I think my mixer is a bit crap as this didn’t happen. Nor did it help with any of the following steps, so I used by Nutribullet instead (the funny flat attachment for the nuts, and normal attachment for the raisins and dates), which kind of worked (although I’m worried I overused it a bit, ooops). Set the processed almonds aside in a bowel.
Next, make a raisin and date paste in either your mixer or food processor, then add the milled almonds to the paste and mix together in a bowl if you used your Nutribullet (as it’s too much mixture to put back in) or back into your food processor if you have a good one. With me? Good.
Place the mix between two pieces of baking paper and roll out until you have a rectangle, square, or any shaped base you like as you can cut off the messy bits later (see mine), of about 1cm thick. I then placed this on paper in a tray just incase the caramel/chocolate part was messy.
To make the caramel, blend the dates, coconut oil, vanilla and water in a blender until it looks like a spreadable caramel. If it is too runny add in a few more dates. Too thick and add in a little more water, a tiny bit at a time.
Smooth the caramel over the base and sprinkle with chopped peanuts (like in a Snickers bar). Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie (which is a glass bowl, sat on top of a pan of simmering water) and then spread this over the caramel and peanuts. Let it cool as one whole bar, then cut in to neat tiny bars and place in the fridge. You can then treat yourself to the messy edge bits as a reward, because baking/being a domestic goddess is hard when you have a baby.
If you don’t think you will eat all of the bars in a week (ha ha just try not too) you can freeze them for another time.
Hand on heart I think these bars are nicer than the original Snickers bars, which clearly means they probably aren’t THAT good for you, and you shouldn’t eat five in one sitting. But, hey-ho (there I go again)! I like mine accompanied with a strong cup of Yallah coffee, made in Cornwall, topped with frothy oak milk (my newest obsession from Oatly and found here) and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Just delicious and very ‘hygge’.
*disclaimer: This recipe isn’t as aesthetically pleasing, or documented in as polished a way as I would have hoped, as funnily enough I got the ingredients out whilst Geoffrey was asleep, then got distracted by social media (gahd), and eventually made them anyway whilst he crawled around my feet in the kitchen and got totally freaked out by the electric mixer. Poor chap.