Greek Honey Sesame bars (Pasteli recipe)

Greek Honey Sesame bars (Pasteli recipe)

If you are looking for a super easy and healthy sweet snack, then this Greek honey sesame bars recipe (Pasteli) will become a family favorite! Pasteli is actually a Greek sesame candy which is the ancient version of a power bar. A snack made with only two ingredients, honey and sesame seeds, with no addition of sugar.

The whole preparation of the recipe will last only 10 minutes (plus some extra time to cool the bars). It is a perfect vegetarian and vegan snack that will also be great for Lenten season.

Greek Honey sesame bars (Pasteli) ingredients

In this Greek Pasteli recipe I use sesame seeds and honey, which are the main ingredients. But feel free to experiment with different kind of nuts that you like, such as almonds and pistachios or even a mix of other nuts and sesame seeds.

I also add some lemon zest to give more flavour and freshness, but you could omit it all-together or replace it with orange zest. You could also try adding even a pinch (not too much) of ground cinnamon and/or clove. So try experimenting and find the combination that suits your taste better!

The main ingredient that is characteristic for Greek honey bars is honey. Honey gives Pasteli its unique texture and taste. It will be great if you could find some good quality Greek thyme honey! And also add a pinch of salt to lift the flavour. Regular salt will be ok, but using a pinch of Cretan sea salt blossom will be a wonderful addition.

How to caramelise the honey surup for your Greek Honey sesame bars (Pasteli)

Your honey needs to boil at the right temperature for the right amount of time in order for it to solidify and turn into caramel when cooled down. There are two ways to achieve this.

  1. You can use a thermometer – when the boiling honey reaches 125C/260F the honey is ready and caramelised
  2. Alternatively you can do it the traditional way without using a thermometer. Take a small teaspoon of honey – syrup and drip it in a bowl of cold water. After a few seconds, when it has cooled down, form it into a small ball. Take it out of the water and tap it on your work surface. If it sounds solid it is done!

So go ahead try out making your own Greek honey and sesame bars and don’t forget to sent us your comments and photos on the comment section below!

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Greek Honey Sesame bars (Pasteli recipe)

Greek Honey Sesame bars (Pasteli recipe)

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  • Author: Eli K. Giannopoulos
  • Prep Time: 0 min
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 20 pieces 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Boiled
  • Cuisine: Greek
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

The ancient Greek version of a power bar is “Pasteli”! Greek honey sesame bars is a snack made from honey and sesame seeds in only 10 minutes!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 220g honey (7.5 oz.)
  • 220g sesame seeds (7.5 oz.)
  • a pinch of salt
  • zest of 1 medium sized lemon


Instructions

  1. To prepare this Greek honey sesame bars (Pasteli) recipe start by toasting the sesame seeds. Place a frying pan over high heat and add the sesame seeds. Toast them for 2-3 minutes until golden (not too brown). Remove the sesame seeds from the pan and set aside. Continue with the rest of the recipe quickly, so that the sesame seeds remain hot. Alternatively you can spread the sesame seeds in a pan and toast them in the oven at 180-190C (375F).
  2. In the same pan add the honey and bring to a boil, until it starts to foam. Remove the foam using a spatula, turn down the heat to medium and let it simmer until its temperature has reached 125C/260F. If you don’t have a thermometer, take a bowl of cold water and drip in a teaspoon of the honey syrup. Let it cool down for a few seconds then shape it into a small ball using your fingers. Take it out of the water and drop it on your work surface. If it sounds like it is solid, the honey syrup is done.
  3. Its now time to add the remaining ingredients for your pasteli. Add a pinch of salt and the toasted sesame seeds and stir for about 10 minutes over medium heat, using a wooden spatula. The mixture should thicken considerably and stick to the spatula.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat, add the lemon zest and stir.
  5. Line a round pan (22cm/ 8.5 inch. diameter) with parchment paper and pour in the mixture. Be careful not to touch it, as it is very hot. Spread the mixture very well using a spoon.
  6. Let the pasteli cool down for about 20 minutes and them cut into portions. If you let it cool completely then it would be harder to cut into pieces.

Keywords: Greek honey sesame bars, Honey bar, Pasteli recipe


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8 Comments

  1. About to try these! However, honey is not vegan. Do you have a replacement suggestion?

  2. I can’t wait to make these on my own!
    I need to make small batches, otherwise I will eat the whole tray!
    Do you have a good source online for the thyme honey and Cretan salt?

  3. Alexis Samios DeBernardo

    I made these pastels this morning. I followed the recipe exactly, after about 30 minutes I cut them into pieces. It is now 5pm and they are still soft. Is there anything I can do to make them harden?

  4. These have a yummy flavor and are super sweet. I cooked the mixture for 3 minutes after adding the seeds. The honey sunk to the bottom and it’s very gooey. I imagine I didn’t cook it long enough? How do we tell when the honey syrup mixture has cooked enough?

  5. These have a yummy flavor and are super sweet. I cooked the mixture for 3 minutes after adding the seeds. The honey sunk to the bottom and it’s very gooey. I imagine I didn’t cook it long enough? How do we tell when the honey syrup mixture has cooked enough?

    • Eli K. Giannopoulos

      Hi Laura

      I’ve added a small section explaining what to do a bit more to make sure the honey is caramelised. In a nutshell it needed a bit more cooking in your case as the honey had not fully set.

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