Chewy Chocolate Brownie Bars
We love chocolate.
Haha. Kidding. Sort of.
I’ve got a quick recipe for you guys. It’s basically a homemade Larabar that tastes like a sticky, chewy brownie. Nothing wrong with that, right?
I’ve tried many versions of the “homemade Larabar”, and while most of them were very good, I didn’t quite feel like they were as nourishing as they could be. I mean, I want my snack to taste like a brownie, but I don’t want it to be one, ya know?
The Chocolate Brownie/Energy Bar Love Child
If a chocolate brownie and an energy bar had a baby, I believe this would be their offspring. These bars are moist, chewy, chocolate-y. There’s not one ingredient in these bars that’s what I would call “if-y”. They’re free of casein, grains, gluten, refined sugar, soy, corn, and eggs. And these bars are low in anti-nutrients since they call for soaked and dehydrated almonds. If you don’t have almonds, feel free to substitute soaked/dehydrated pecans and/or walnuts.
They contain magnesium- and antioxidant-rich raw cacao powder, superfood chia seeds, the good fats and protein of soaked almonds and unsweetened coconut, and organic vanilla.
Dates provide not only the textural component of these bars but also the perfect amount of sweetness.
Here’s what you need:
- 2 cups pitted dates (16-18 medium), soaked in hot water (reserve soaking water)
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened, shredded coconut
- 1 1/2 cups crispy almonds
- 3 Tablespoons raw cacao powder
- 2 Tablespoons chia seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)
Here’s how to do it:
First, soak dates in very warm-hot water for about 10 minutes and reserve the water.
Pulse the almonds a few times in a food processor, until coarsely ground. Then add the remaining ingredients, including soaked dates, and process until combined. If the mixture is not sticking together, it may need more moisture. Use the reserved soaking water and add 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture is very thick and paste-y. You may have to stop the processor a few times and press the mixture down if it sticks to the walls of the processor bowl.
When it’s combined and sticking together in a ball, use a wooden to stir in mini chocolate chips, which I highly recommend. Remove from the processor and press onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Thickness should be between one-quarter and one-half inch. If you keep your hands moistened with water, it will be much easier to press and won’t stick to you.
Alternatively, you can sandwich the mixture between two pieces of parchment and use a rolling pin. That’s how I roll. (Get it? Hehe.)
Using a pizza cutter, cut into bars of your desired size. You can go as big as traditional bars or as small as 1/2″ bite-sized pieces. Place the cut bars on the cookie sheet into the freezer for 30 or so minutes to firm up.
To store, stack the bars with small pieces of parchment paper between them to avoid their sticking together. Or wrap in individual pieces of parchment and tape or tie each one closed for easy transport, packing in lunches or hiking packs, or keeping in your purse. Store the bars covered in the fridge.