Photograph by Stephen Kent Johnson Food Styling by Maggie Ruggiero Prop Styling by Amy Wilson


Encyclopedia of Nuts Bar & Chia Pudding

Desserts from Issue 8 – Winter 2016 – Origin

To properly glorify a small measure of the myriad of nut varieties nature has gifted us we meticulously catalogued them, casting each alongside dried fruits in our very own sticky, caramel-bound bas-relief. Our recommended counterpart for the crunchy, sweet bar: a cool and creamy chia pudding (our recipe came from our friend Christine Buckley) made with raw cashews.

serves 6

  • 1 cup roasted almonds
  • 1 cup pitted prunes
  • ¾ cup unsweetened dried cherries
  • 3 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 3 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • ¼ tsp lemon juice
  • ¾ cup mixed nuts (such as cashews, almonds, pistachios, pecans, and Brazil)
  • a handful unsweetened dried fruits such as pineapple rings and goji berries

Chia Pudding
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight in water* and refrigerated
  • 6 large pitted Medjool dates
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup chia seeds

  • 1

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly oil an 8 x 8-inch pan and line with parchment paper running the length and width of the pan with a 2-inch overlap.

  • 2

    Combine almonds, prunes, cherries, and cocoa, with a generous pinch of salt in a food processor. Alternate pulsing and processing, scraping sides, until sticky with small bits of almond throughout, 3 to 4 minutes. Press into prepared pan with a damp rubber spatula.

  • 3

    In a small saucepan, gently heat cream and butter with ½ tsp salt.

  • 4

    In a separate 4-quart saucepan, stir together sugar, maple syrup, water, and lemon juice. Do not stir after this. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and cook until a deep fat or candy thermometer registers 285°F, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and slowly add cream, whisking constantly. (Careful, mixture will foam and double in size.) Return to medium heat and continue cooking until thermometer registers 250°F, 8 to 10 minutes. Pour into prepared pan and press nuts and fruits onto caramel. Chill one hour before slicing.


    Chia Pudding
    Drain the cashews and combine with 3 ½ cups water, dates, oil, vanilla, cinnamon and a pinch of salt in a blender. Blend until very smooth, about 2 ½ minutes, to warm up the mixture slightly. Pour into a bowl and stir in chia seeds. Let stand 30 minutes, stirring every 10, until seeds start to expand and soak up liquid. Chill until ready to serve. Makes 6 cups

    *distilled water or water that’s been boiled and brought to room temp or left out uncovered for 24 hours to let the chlorine evaporate—or if you don’t care about that, then live your chlorine life and just use tap.