Food editor Maggie Ruggiero touts these amber bars as the love child of rice krispie treats and those sesame candies sold at natural foods stores. They're nutty, both crisp and chewy, and just a bit crumbly—the perfect afternoon snack. Honey and brown sugar lend a touch of sweetness, while egg whites (left over from Orange Pistachio Crescents), nuts, and seeds give the bars protein and chewiness.
- Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Lightly oil a 9-inch square baking pan, then line bottom and sides with parchment and lightly oil parchment.
- Toast almonds in a 4-sided sheet pan until pale golden, 6 to 9 minutes. Stir in sesame seeds and bake until seeds are golden, 3 to 4 minutes more. Transfer to a plate and cool completely.
- Reduce oven to 325°F.
- Gently heat honey, brown sugar, and oil in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring, until smooth.
- Stir together rice cereal, cashews, and almond-sesame mixture in a large bowl.
- Beat egg whites with a rounded 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl with a fork until foamy, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Stir honey mixture into cereal mixture, then stir in whites.
- Spread mixture in baking pan, pressing gently, and bake until golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely, then turn out onto a cutting board and cut into bars.
Recipe by Maggie Ruggiero
Photo by Stephanie Foley