Wishing you all a deliciously healthy and happy Halloween!
No tricks just treats for you!
(Grain Free, Vegan, No bake)
1/2c ground almonds 1/2c ground pecans 2T Vanilla extract 8-12 pitted dates
Pumpkin Butter frostingChocolate Layer
1 generous cup chocolate chunks of chips of choice 1teaspoon coconut oil
Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper. In a food processor grind your almonds and pecans into meal (not looking for perfection, no worries if it’s still a bit chunky). Add your vanilla extract and process. Through the food processor chute, begin adding dates until the mixture is well combined and holds when pressed together without being overly sticky. When you’ve got your desired “firmness”, press the mixture evenly into the baking pan and pan. Place the pan in the freezer for 10 minutes or so to firm.
Pull the pan out of the freezer and top with a generous, thick layer of Pumpkin Butter frosting [I think just about any frosting would be good, too]. Place the pan back in the freezer for 20-30 minutes for the frosting to firm up.
In the meantime, using a double broiler**, melt chocolate and coconut oil. Be sure to stir the chocolate so that it doesn’t burn or harden. When it’s nice and melted, pull the baking pan from the freezer and spread the chocolate layer evenly over the top.
Guess what happens next? That’s right! The pan goes back in the freezer! Give it some time (if you can be patient) to harden.
When it’s good and solid, grab a knife and cut yourself a square or two… or three, or four (guilty!).
Thanks to the coconut oil in the chocolate, the chocolate not only looks nice and smooth but it’s easy to cut into, as well, without breaking apart into chunks. Despite the amount of nuts used in the recipe, the combination of all of the nuts, extract and dates the bottom layer tastes just like a cookie. And the gooey, Pumpkin Butterfrosting center is flavorful without being overwhelmingly sweet.
These Naniamo Bars in general are not over-the-top sweet, because you're sweet enough, and the combination of layers lends all the necessary sweetness. These are like a new healthy candy bar and like all of my desserts, you can feel good about the ingredients inside so that you feel good inside.
I should probably mention that because I found a Halloween mold, I decided to use that instead of a pan. I love the spooky shapes and really I love any chance to celebrate Halloween in a not-so-scary way. I don’t do scary. Give me eery-shaped Naniamo Bars and Snoopy and The Great Pumpkin any day!
**If you don't have a double broiler, fill a pot with a bit of water and get it boiling. Set a heat safe bowl on top and melt the chocolate and oil in your make-shift double broiler.