I’m always on the hunt for recipes for homemade lunchbox treats. Muffins are a firm fave but I like to mix it up. I recently made a seed and oat dense baked muesli slice but wasn’t particularly happy with it. It didn’t spark joy. There had to be a recipe out there somewhere. I kept searching.
Finally, I found a recipe that ticked all of the boxes. Then, as is often my want, I immediately adapted it. Partly because I needed it to fit the ingredients I had to hand and partly because I want to recreate a version of some commercial treats I had enjoyed. As it happens, these Tahini Caramel Lunchbox Bites turned out very well indeed. For those after a vegan or gluten free treat, these will keep you happy.
I was testing the recipe the other day, sharing a quick snap to social media. It must have been when the Bite Sized followers needed a sugar hit because it generated a lot of conversation and requests for the recipe. So, whilst I wasn’t planning on sharing this for a few weeks, I’m giving the people what they want and have promoted this post to the top of the list. I don’t even really have a proper photo of these, only a quick phone snap.
The chocolate dip is optional – head to the notes at the bottom to read my verdict on this
Tahini Caramel Lunchbox Bites
- 3 cups puffed rice or rice bubbles
- 1/2 cup pepitas, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup dry roasted hazelnuts and/or dry roasted almonds
- 6 pieces of naked or glacé ginger, diced
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1/2 cup honey or 1/2 cup maple syrup for a vegan option
- 1/2 cup tahini
- Silicone gloves (optional)
- Up to 500gm good quality dark cooking chocolate for dipping (optional)
- Line a 20 cm x 30 cm slice tin with baking parchment
- Place all dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir to distribute. The chia seeds will fall to the bottom so its important when you mix in the tahini caramel that you distribute these back through the mix.
- Place the tahini and honey (or maple syrup) in a small saucepan and cook on a low heat for up to 5 minutes, stirring constantly. You are melting and combining the two ingredients and allowing the honey to caramelise. Make sure you keep stirring and if it starts to darken too much, remove from the heat.
- Pour the tahini caramel into the dry ingredients and stir well to combine. I find putting on a pair of silicone gloves and using my hands is easier to ensure that caramel is well mixed in (don’t forget those chia seeds at the bottom).
- Tip the Tahini Caramel Lunchbox Bites mixture into the lined tin, pressing down firmly with the back of a spoon or your gloved hands.
- Place mixture in fridge to set for 30 – 45 minutes.
- Remove the tin from fridge and cut into bars or squares as desired. Return to fridge to firm up further.
- These bites (chocolate dipped or not) are best stored in the fridge until ready to eat to ensure they remain set.
- They can be wrapped individually, frozen and popped directly into the lunchbox from the freezer.
- I used 70% cocoa dark chocolate for the dip and while the bites were delicious, the chocolate overpowered the other flavours. My suggestions is using chocolate that is less rich. Perhaps 40% cocoa and instead of dipping the whole bite, just dip the base. This is what I will do, going forward.
- Having said that… if you want to chocolate dip, see below
- Break the chocolate into small, even pieces in a heat proof bowl.
- If melting in the microwave, cook on high for short bursts of 20 seconds. Stir between bursts, until melted.
- If melting on the stove, place bowl of a saucepan of water on a moderate heat. Stir until melted. Do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the hot water as the chocolate may seize (become grainy and be unusable).
- Remove Tahini Caramel Lunchbox Bites from fridge, spear with a sharp skewer and dip bite into chocolate, allowing excess chocolate to run back into the bowl
- Return chocolate dipped bites to the fridge to set.