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The Whole Foods Kosher kitchen

Quick Halvah Bars Recipe

Posted on 30th of July, 2013 by Lévana

Quick Halvah Bars Recipe

Quick Halvah Bars Recipe: 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.


Filed under: Agave Syrup Recipes, Chocolate Recipes, Coconut Recipes, Dairy-Free Recipes, Gluten Free Recipes, Gluten-Free Dessert Recipes, Granola Recipes, Halva Recipes, Jewish Recipes, Natural and Kosher Recipes, Natural Foods Recipes, Recipes, Sephardi Recipes, Sesame Recipes, Tehina Recipes

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8 Questions

  1. Faith Kramer, on Said:

    As you know, I love this recipe. I like to roll the “dough” into balls and roll them into extra coconut and sesame seeds to make little “truffles” of goodness.

  2. TasteofBeirut, on Said:

    Hardly a day goes by that I don’t dip into my container of havah; this is the first time I see it mixed with coconut! this recipe is easy and very tempting, thanks for the clever idea.

  3. Robyn Rozwaski, on Said:

    Hi Levana, Can you recommend the best tahini brand to use?

    Thanks very much!

    We are friends of Sol and Nechama…
    Robyn and Mordechai Rozwaski

    • Lévana, on Said:

      Robyn I confess I have very plebeian taste about tehina, as long as it says pure or all-natural. Recently a brand called Soom Foods recommended I try their tehina (from Ethiopia). I’ll look out for it and give everyone feedback:-))))