Remember that feeling you got when you were seven and completely rocked it at the piano/orchestra/band recital? Or when you were ten and won the 5th grade 50 meter hurdle dash? Or maybe last summer when you schooled some strangers in a face-first watermelon eating contest? For me, it was the watermelon. Hand-eye coordination was never my strong suit. Whatever it is you felt in your shining moment and whatever your shining moment was, I want you to think about it. Then imagine me in my kitchen standing over a pan of these Chocolate Nut Bars. It’s true, a stellar recipe can make you feel that exact same way. I’ve been waiting impatiently all week trying to find the right words to tell you how excited I am about this recipe! It may look simple, sure, but these bars are pretty much handheld magic. Make them and you’ll see.
I’m so happy to be sharing the chocolate goodness with you! Believe me, I know a good chocolate recipe when I see one. I can never keep chocolate in the house more than three days. Most of the time I’m amazed I’m able to get it out of the car and into the house! I’ve tried hiding it, I’ve tried leaving it in the car (unintentional melted chocolate is a tragedy), and I’ve even tried to NOT buy it. But then I realized, what’s my world without chocolate? So I always allow myself chocolate. I guess you could say I’m a serious dark chocolate addict.
If I ever write a cookbook someday, this recipe will be in it.
It kind of happened on a whim. This weekend while rummaging through the freezer (is your’s always a mess too?) I stumbled upon a forgotten bag of dark chocolate chips. Immediately a good day. But instead of shoveling handfuls into my face, as per usual, I knew my long lost chips were made for something more. And that’s why I bring to you this ridiculously easy, simply, and whole food based chocolate bar. My Chocolate Nut Bars are a dairy-free, energy dense, sweet and slightly salty treat. They’re no bake and fahreakin’ AMAZING.
I may have went overboard with how many pictures are in this post. Oops. I hope you are drooling by the time you get to the recipe. You’ll have no excuse not to make them for you and yours.This recipe takes about 30 minutes to make (perfect for watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt in the background) and the bars will last about a week in the fridge, or longer in the freezer. Plus, they’re made with almonds, walnuts, rolled oats and sweetened naturally with only a few tablespoons of honey and some medjool dates. It can’t get much better than that – real, whole, unprocessed ingredients for a sweet, decadent and healthy treat.
I don’t really care what kind of chocolate you use for this recipe, but I do highly recommend using something dark or semi-dark. I like a 75-85% dark chocolate, not too bitter but not too sweet. A good balance, especially paired with the flavor of roasted almonds and walnuts.
If you are as excited as I am about this recipe, get on with the sharing! Email your momma, print and send by snail to your long lost gyspy Uncle, win over your Snicker’s lovin’ friends, or simply share on Pinterest/Twitter/Facebook. These bars are way to good to keep to ourselves. Sharing is caring and you will be my favorite (forever). <insert toothy-grin smiley face emoji here>
free from: dairy/gluten/refined sugars
- 1 1/4 cup raw whole almonds
- 1/4 cup raw whole walnuts
- 1/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- 3/4 cup chopped and pitted Medjool dates
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 heaping tablespoons raw cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa)
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spread almonds and walnuts flat on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until fragrant and beginning to brown. While baking, be sure to stir the nuts twice so they don't burn. Remove from oven and cool 5 minutes or until cool enough to handle.
- In a food processor, add the roasted nuts, chopped medjool dates, rolled oats, cinnamon, vanilla an sea salt. Process for 30 seconds then add in the honey and cacao powder. Process an additional 1-1.5 minutes. The mixture should appear a bit coarse but form easily into a ball when packed together. If the mixture is too crumbly, continue processing and add an additional 1 teaspoon of honey.
- Form the mixture into a large ball. Place between two sheets of parchment paper and begin rolling to about 1/2" thin with a rolling pin or pressing with the bottom of a water glass.
- Lay a 8x8 inch pan on top of the parchment paper after the mixture has been flattened out and trim the excess off. This will allow the bars to fit inside a pan easily. Alternatively, place the prepared mixture on a parchment paper lined baking sheet if you don't have a square baking pan.
- In a double boiler, melt 1 cup of dark chocolate chips. Remove from heat and pour over top of the prepared bar mixture, spread into an even layer.
- Place the bars in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight. Cut into twelve squares and enjoy immediately or package in individual snack bags for on-the-go snacking.
Since the recipe uses roasted nuts, it is best to store the bars in the fridge or freezer. These bars will be fine at room temperature for a few hours, but be careful they don't get too warm or else the chocolate will melt.
In health, happiness, and chocolate.