F U E L E D F R I D A Y
So....it's the weekend and sometimes we need to indulge a little. These chocolate peanut butter bars are not as naughty as they seem. They are Vegan and Gluten Free with no flour or refined sugar. They are three layers of yummy goodness: crisp chocolate crust, creamy peanut butter and a layer of dark chocolate. We will be packing these bad boys with us on our long trail run this weekend! Recipe credit Natural Girl Modern World.
Chocolate crust (base layer): 1 cup blanched almonds* 3 tablespoons cocoa powder 6 dates (pitted) 2 tablespoons maple syrup 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted Pinch of salt 1/2 cup oats 1/2 cup puffed rice cereal
Creamy peanut butter (middle layer): 1 cup natural peanut butter (unsalted)** 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon maple syrup 1 teaspoon salt
Melted chocolate (top layer): 3.5 oz / 100 g bar of high-quality dark chocolate (85-90% cocoa)*** 3 tablespoons coconut oil 2 tablespoons cocoa powder 1 tablespoon maple syrup
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 8" x 8" baking pan with parchment paper. For the base layer, use a food processor to grind the blanched almonds until they are the texture of fine sand. Then, add in the cocoa powder, salt, pitted dates, maple syrup, and melted coconut oil. Process until well combined. Pour the mixture into the baking pan, then add the rice puff cereal and oats. Stir ingredients in the baking pan and once combined, use your hands to press the ingredients down firmly to create the first layer. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Allow it to cool for 10 minutes while you prepare the next layer. For the peanut butter layer, use a medium sized bowl to combine peanut butter, melted coconut oil, maple syrup, and salt. Stir until well combined. Pour peanut butter on top of the base layer. Use the back of the spoon to spread evenly. Place the baking pan in the fridge. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes, until the peanut butter has begun to firm up. Chop up the dark chocolate bar and place it in a double broiler (or a heatproof bowl over simmering water). As the chocolate begins to melt, add the coconut oil and cocoa powder. Whisk until well combined, then add the maple syrup and vanilla. Pour chocolate evenly over the peanut butter layer. Return to the fridge to set (~2 hours). Sprinkle with flaky sea salt (if desired), and slice to serve. Store extras in the refrigerator. Notes: *In this recipe, we make our own almond flour from whole blanched almonds. You may however substitute for almond flour instead. **This recipe uses 100% all natural peanut butter (no salt / sugar added). If you're using peanut butter with salt or sugar, you'd need to adjust accordingly. Since each manufacturer would vary, for the most reliable results, start with 100% peanut butter (no additives). ***Vegans, make sure you're selecting a chocolate bar that's free from dairy. High quality dark chocolate with this high of a cocoa content shouldn't have dairy in it, but read the labels to confirm.