Quick Halvah Bars Recipe
Posted on 30th of July, 2013 by Lévana
We all love the wonderful taste of halvah, that great Sephardi dessert classic sold all over Israeli and Middle Eastern markets, but hardly ever get near it because of the prohibitive amount of sugar it contains. I tinkered with the flavors until I obtained this delicious and infinitely less sweet approximation. The best part is, this version is all natural, and sweetened with agave syrup. It takes no time and doesn’t even cook or bake, and keeps refrigerated for weeks. Attack of the munchies? A little chunk will hit the spot! If you are making this treat on short notice and don’t have time to let the mixture firm up, don’t worry about a thing: Pour the mixture into a serving bowl, and serve it with a spoon.
1½ cups tahini (sesame paste)
1½ cups “toasted wheat germ and honey” (that’s the exact name of the product) in the cereal section of the supermarket (gluten-free: use crunchy granola, store-bought OK, ground medium-fine in a food processor, using the pulse button)
1½ cups unsweetened grated coconut, packed
1 cup toasted sesame seeds or chopped almonds or pistachios (10–12 minutes in a preheated 325°F oven)
1 cup agave syrup (please do not substitute honey or maple syrup, as they will add a delicious but unnecessary layer of flavor)
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract or orange flower water
Mix all ingredients by hand. Press firmly and uniformly into a 10-inch square baking pan. Refrigerate until firm. Cut into squares or bars.
Variation: chocolate-covered halvah
Reduce the agave to 2∕3 cup. After the mixture firms up, melt 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon oil, and spread uniformly over the top of the mixture. Let the chocolate layer firm up before cutting into squares or bars.