Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Coconut Peanut Butter Bars
I was recently inspired by Allison's Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Coconut Candy over at manifest: vegan, and decided I wanted a piece. But this piece had to be really simple. And with very little sugar. And still taste good.
Enter: four little ingredients (well, five, but I don't usually count the sea salt) and a food processor. Easy. Healthy. Really delicious. They take only a few minutes to put together, and if you're packing them for travel--as I am--just skip the chocolate and wrap them in waxed paper or plastic.
And did I mention economical? I made this batch, all organic, for less than $3.
Coconut Peanut Butter Bars
12 or 16 bars
Chocolate is delicate, so be nice to it. This method is a variation on quick tempering, and gently melts it to a drizzling consistency in a double boiler (I just use a sturdy bowl placed over a pan of simmering water). Heat the chocolate to a temperature that's still comfortable to the touch, and let it rest; the unmelted pieces will keep the temperature from getting too high. Or skip the fuss altogether, and melt it in the microwave with a bit of coconut oil or other fat to provide insulation for chocolate's fragility.
3/4 cup dried shredded coconut
3/4 cup roasted unsalted peanuts
very generous pinch sea salt
1 cup pitted dates
3 ounces dark chocolate, roughly chopped, or dark chocolate chips
Line a 9" x 5" or 9" x 4" loaf pan with plastic wrap, and set aside.
In a food processor, combine coconut, peanuts, and sea salt until ground into what looks like coarse breadcrumbs. Take care not to over process; the mixture will appear oily if this happens. Add dates, and continue processing until the mixture begins to come together and any bits of date are very small.
Tumble mixture into prepared pan, pressing well and smoothing the top for an even surface (I like the back of a spoon for this). Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes, and up to 30.
Meanwhile, in a double boiler on the stove, gently heat chocolate until just melted. There may be a few pieces of chocolate remaining; allow it to sit for a moment, and everything will smooth out. Transfer to a pastry bag or plastic bag with a tiny corner clipped off, and set aside.
Remove pan from refrigerator, and ease the bars out using the plastic overhang. With a sharp knife, cut into 12 or 16 bars, and place on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Using a zigzag pattern (or whatever you like), drizzle with melted chocolate. Allow to sit until set, 30 minutes-1 hour, or just eat with the chocolate still melty.
These are delicious with a big glass of almond milk.
Note: While I've labeled this recipe as soy-free, semisweet chocolate often contains a very small amount of soy lecithin as an emulsifier. If you are allergic or very sensitive to soy (or are serving this to someone who is), please check labels carefully.