Crater Crunch Bars  Photo by Sian Proctor

Crater Crunch Bars
Photo by Sian Proctor

Sian and Yajaira bake up a batch of crater crunch bars submitted to the HI-SEAS recipe contest by Annie Albert. This recipe provided a delicious snack for the crew.  Annie sent me a really nice letter telling my about her father and their love of astronomy. Here is what Annie had to say about her crater crunch bars.

How did I come up with the name “Crater Crunch? After I saw the call for recipes in the Food Network Magazine I thought: What a creative challenge! This is an incredible opportunity to engage Dad in a conversation about astronomy, to tell his story and to create an interesting project to work on together. We came up with a name for the recipe as we sat together, looking through his old astronomy books, and comparing surfaces on Hawaii that resembled the cratered surfaces on Mars. So we decided to match the word “crater” with the crunchy texture of the recipe and VOILA! “CRATER CRUNCH” — a match!

Crater Crunch Bars Ingredients Photo by Sian Proctor

Crater Crunch Bars Ingredients
Photo by Sian Proctor


  • 2 cups quinoa flakes
  • 1 cup finely ground almond meal flour
  • 1 c unsweetened shredded coconut threads
  • 1/3 c pure baking cocoa powder
  • 1/3 c vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 1/4 c maple syrup
  • 1/3 c fine cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 c chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c finely chopped macadamia nuts

We made two batches of the bars. Watch the video and you will understand why. Here are the alternative ingredients:

  • 5 tbsp molasses (for maple syrup)
  • ½ c rolled oats (for macadamia nuts)
  • ½ c coconut butter + 1 tbsp vegetable shortening (for shredded coconut)


  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees
  2. Combine quinoa flakes, almond meal flour, shredded coconut, and cocoa powder in a large bowl. Mix very well. (alternative: replace shredded coconut with rolled oats)
  3. Combine vegetable shortening, honey, maple syrup, and sugar in a small saucepan. Slowly whisk ingredients together over medium heat until mixture is hot and sugar in dissolved. (do not bring to a boil.) Remove saucepan from heat and allow mixture to cool, about one minute. Stir in vanilla. (alternative: replace maple syrup with molasses, replace vegetable shortening with coconut butter and 1 tbsp vegetable shortening)
  4. Pour over quinoa mixture and mix well. Fold in chocolate chips and nuts. (alternative: no nuts)
  5. Line the bottom of an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper and firmly press mixture into pan.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove pan from oven and allow to cool, about an hour at room temperature.
  7. Cover pan with foil and chill in refrigerator for an additional hour.
  8. Cut into bite size pieces.
Yajaira with crater crunch bars. Photo by Sian Proctor

Yajaira with crater crunch bars.
Photo by Sian Proctor