Apple Cinnamon Nut Bars

Warm and nutty with a fresh hint of apple, this is currently my favorite fall snack! They are quick and easy to put together and I'd be lying if I said I didn't time my weekly batch with my mid-morning coffee!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Ingredients:

2 cups of chopped pecans

1 cup of chopped almonds

1 cup of chopped cashews or walnuts (I used some of both)

20 dates pitted and chopped

1 cup of dried apple slices

3 egg whites

2 tsp. of cinnamon

1 tsp. nutmeg

Directions:

Start with the chopped ingredients. You can buy a lot of nuts already chopped or I like to throw them in the food processor and pulse them a few times till they are the size I want. I've also used a knife and cutting board for this. For the dates and apple slices, I've found that using a knife and cutting board is the best way to get uniform chunks as they easily stick together.

Combine all the nuts in a large bowl along with the chopped dates and apples. Add the spices and mix well. Next add three egg whites (about 3/4 cup) and mix it until all the nuts are covered and begin to clump and stick together.

Place a sheet of parchment paper (or wax paper) in a 9x13 inch pan and pour the nut mixture onto it. Use a silicone spatula to press the mixture into the pan evenly. Make sure the edges are pressed down as this helps the bars to form together and not crumble apart when cut.

Bake it for 18-20 minutes. You'll know you're getting close when the warm, nutty, apple-pie-spice scent fills the kitchen. This is usually when I get my coffee brewing!

Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes. When you're ready to cut the bars, pull opposite corners of the parchment paper and lift the whole thing and move it to a cutting board. Using a sharp knife cut it into your desired portions. I often cut mine into three rows of five. One batch makes about 15 bars. They'll stay fresh in a sealed container in the fridge for two weeks!