Monday, January 9, 2012

Unbaking semi-homemade Bella Bar treats

When my son Jacob was about Hayden's age, he used to like watching "Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee" on the Food Network with me. He mainly enjoyed the music in the opening of the show, but he was also a fan of the semi-homemade concept.

Basically, Sandra Lee would take pre-made convenience products from the grocery store and jazz them up with some fresh ingredients to present them with her own personal flair. Honestly, we never actually made any of her recipes, but we used that idea to inspire our own.

This way of simplifying recipes with pre-prepped ingredients is extremely kid-friendly, which is why I still do it from time to time with Hayden. It's also a great way to showcase some of the products we review on this site.

For instance, in today's video and blog post, Hayden and I show you our first impressions of the Bella Bars we won from Amber Shea's 12 Days of Giveaways on her Almost Vegan Chef blog (btw, did you see that her book, "Practically Raw," - love that title - is coming out soon?). We waited to try them on video, so you could see our authentic reactions.

We also decided to make a semi-homemade treat out of them, using small, round cookie cutters and Amber's White Chocolate Coconut-Macadamia Nut Butter recipe she posted on her site. We didn't really measure anything and probably added more cocoa butter than she did (we also substituted maple syrup powder for the sweetener), but it's basically the same idea (although I think ours turned out a bit thicker).

You can watch the video below to see our thoughts and how we assembled our treats:

It is true that both Bella Bar flavors (Chocolate Nut and Cinnamon Nut) taste and look very similar, but that's because the only ingredient separating the two is the addition of cocoa powder in the Chocolate Nut bar. They remind me of raw oatmeal cookie dough with more than just a hint of cinnamon (you can really taste the cinnamon in these, which is probably why I thought the cocoa powder seemed so subtle in the chocolate bar). They're definitely a hit in this house.

If you are interested in purchasing your own Bella Bars, you can order a box from the online store (I think Hayden really wants me to buy some more, too). Let me know if you do :-)

Thanks Amber and Bella Bar!


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