Pasteli – Greek Power Bars

These little bars are packed with lots of sweet, healthy goodness and make a terrific snack, day or night. I first had them at a wedding in Greece (the seeds are for fertility and the honey for a sweet marriage) but they are ancient in origin and were a common goodie for Olympians to nosh on between competitions.

Look for Greek Thyme honey in Greek/Mediterranean/International grocery stores. If you can’t find it (and trust me, it is worth it), use another aromatic honey like wildflower or even orange blossom.

I do roughly equal parts honey and sesame seeds by weight, so once I buy the honey and see what it is, I then buy the seeds. The last batch I bought was in small cans from Crete.

You can also usually buy sesame seeds in larger quantities at those groceries or Penzey’s Spices has pretty good prices on a 3 cup bag, which I supplemented with a jar of sesame seeds I had in the pantry.

The addition of the sugar makes the candy harder, so drop it down to a tablespoon if you want very chewy bars/balls.

So good and very good for you, too.


450 grams Greek Thyme honey
450 grams sesame seeds
¼ cup granulated sugar
pinch salt

Place a piece of parchment in a large, rimmed baking tray and coat lightly with a neutral oil. Lightly oil another piece of parchment and set it aside.

Toast the sesame seeds in a 325 degree F oven until fragrant. Don’t let them brown as they will become bitter.

Place the honey in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add in the sugar and salt and cook, stirring constantly for 5 minutes. Reduce heat and add in the toasted sesame seeds. Stir to combine over low heat and cook for a minimum of 5 minutes – the longer they’re cooked after that, the crunchier the bars will be.

Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Place over the other piece of parchment and use a rolling pin to press and form it into an even layer.

Let cool one hour and then flip over and cut into rectangles, squares or the traditional diamond. I roll the extra pieces into balls to just pop in my mouth when I need a hit.

Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container between sheets of parchment or waxed paper.


One thought on “Pasteli – Greek Power Bars

  1. Pingback: Coronavirus Journal August 1-31, 2020 | Mary Griggs

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