Caramel Pori bars are like the babies of caramel popcorn and granola bars! I am not kidding – the crunch of pori, flavor and taste of caramel with mixed nuts and familiar flavors like cardamom, a dash of vanilla – do you agree? This is a NO bake bar and takes one pan, 20 minutes to make. Are we ready?
This idea happened after I saw a video on how to make caramel popcorn come up on my reels. Not a big fan of anything popcorn, but it was a week ago and somewhere the day before I remembered Karthigai was around. So, thought of trying this one. I have made it TWO times in the last week. It was that good!
Caramel Pori Bars
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tsp butter or ghee
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp honey
- ½ tsp lemon juice
For the bars
- 1 tbsp almonds
- 1 tbsp pistachios
- 2 cups pori/murmura/puffed rice
- ½ tsp vanilla
- ½ tsp cardamom powder
- Grease a small box with parchment paper, butter if needed and set aside.
- Roast the puffed rice and nuts in a dry pan for 2 minutes on low heat. Do them one at a time. Alternatively, microwave them individually for 30 seconds. Be careful not to burn them. The puffed rice has to be crispy.
- To a pan on low heat, add the sugar followed by the butter and water. Let it dissolve. It is important to not STIR this.
- As it dissolves, use a brush dipped in water to remove any crystals that may form on the sides. Make sure you do this entire process in low flame.
- As it turns slightly golden, add the honey, cardamom, vanilla and roasted nuts, puffed rice.
- DO not tip all the puffed rice at one, keep some and mix in stages. It has to be a sticky mass when you move to the box. Also, there is NO cooking at this stage. Just mix and move to the box.
- Remove it to the greased tin/box and spread it as evenly as possible.
- These bars cool quite soon, so in a couple of minutes you will be able to use your fingers to press them tight.
- Let them sit for 10 minutes and make bars. This measure makes 5-6 bars as shown above.
- Store in an airtight box.
Can I use another sugar like brown sugar, coconut sugar?
I’d say no. Caramel is a tricky process and is the easiest with white sugar. Ideally, use white sugar or the next best alternative is raw sugar.
How can I make these vegan?
These are mostly vegan, except for the butter and honey. For the butter, substitute with a neutral oil like vegetable oil or coconut oil works too. A little fat helps the sugar to blend well, I think. SO, do not skip it.
The honey is only for aroma, and it can be skipped.
What other flavours can I make with these Caramel Pori Bars?
As always, I have so many ideas about this recipe. But, how can one person make so many variations? I am sharing them here so you can try them!
- Add some chopped apricots instead of one of the nuts – make a pistachio and apricot version, oh yum!
- Add some chocolate chips after removing from the heat and make bars. OR, even better – drizzle some chocolate sauce on the top!
- Add tutti frooti, shredded coconut for a fun version, like a Dil Pasand!
- Instead of the honey, add a little of your favouite sticky spread like Biscoff. YUM combo with caramel and biscoff.
This is a really fun snack to make. I hope you try it and have fun with it. DO not be afraid of the sugar. Cook on low flame and you will be surprised at how easy it is to make. Keep some cold water by the side, when working with sugar. In this recipe, the chances of a burn are low – yet be careful.