Sometimes I am craving something sweet and chocolatey...okay all the time, but sometimes I want and need to eat a little less fat and a little more healthy. These delicious bars provide just that. They are made with very little fat, whole wheat flour, and maple syrup instead of sugar. So you get your sweet fix with not so much guilt. They are really easy to make and are topped with a really yummy icing made with Nutella, cocoa, and powdered sugar. I found them in Better Homes and Garden magazine. They caught my eye because of the Nutella icing and use of four different nuts, and I was pleasantly surprised when I read the ingredient list which consisted of so many healthy substitutes and even more surprised when I tasted how good they were.
To make these bars, mix together in a large bowl 2 cups of whole wheat flour, 1 teaspon of baking powder, and 1 teaspoon of baking soda and set aside.
I use King Arthur's White Whole Wheat which has the nutrition of whole wheat but is almost like white flour. This helpful when trying to sneak healthy ingredients into picky people's diets..lol
In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 egg whites, 3/4 cup of pure maple syrup, 1/2 cup of canola oil (I used olive oil.), 1/2 cup of milk.
Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix together well. Add 1 1/2 cups of toasted nuts and 1 cup of chocolate chips. Mix well.
Line a 13 x 9 inch pan with tinfoil and spray foil with cooking spray or grease and lightly four without the foil. Pour mixture into prepared pan and spread evenly.
Bake for 350 degrees F for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Meanwhile to make the icing, in a medium bowl, mix together 1/4 cup of Nutella, 3 tablespoons of milk, 1 tablespoon of maple syrup. Next, add 1/2 cup of cocoa and 1 to 1 1/4 cup of powdered sugar. Mix together until spreading consistency.
Spread icing over cooled cake and top with more nuts. Allow to sit for a few minutes to set and then cut into bars.
If you are using the foil, just lift the foil and cake out of the pan and then slice.
Four-Nut Maple Bars Better Homes & Garden
2 cups of whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
2 egg whites
3/4 cup of pure maple syrup
1/2 cup of canola oil
1/2 cup of fat-free milk
1 1/2 cups of toasted chopped pecans, cashews, slivered almonds, and/or walnuts (plus more for sprinkling on top)
1 cup of chocolate chips
1/4 cup of Nutella
3 tablespoons of fat-free milk
1 tablespoon of pure maple syrup
1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
1 to 1 1/4 cups of powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and lightly flour a 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and baking soda. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg whites, maple syrup, oil, and milk; add to flour mixture. Stir to combine. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips. Spread in pan. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on rack.
To make frosting, in a medium bowl, mix together Nutella, milk, and maple syrup. Stir in cocoa powder. Stir in powdered sugar until spreading consistency.
Spread frosting over cooled cake in pan. Sprinkle top with nuts. Allow to set for a few minutes and then cut into bars.