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Monday, August 8, 2011

Chocolate Date Bars

I learned this delicious, NO BAKE, dairy-free dessert from my mother in law years ago and I immediately fell in love. These bars are a mix between the Middle Eastern culture (dates) and the American culture (cereal)...however, I say the spices I've added push them over to the Middle Eastern side ;-)

The bars freeze extremely well, just make sure to wrap and seal tightly. I really enjoy making a pan and having them around because they are quick to put together for last minute guests, and will last for quite a while in the refrigerator. Many mornings I have a bar of these as a sweet yet healthy start to my day with my coffee.

Dates are an excellent source of fiber and potassium, and their natural sugars give a boost of energy. This means you can enjoy them guilt free ;) Use coconut oil and non dairy chocolate chips to easily make this recipe vegan.

Makes about 32 bars

-2 tablespoons coconut oil (or butter)
-13 ounce baking dates (pitted and pureed)
-optional 2 tablespoons water
-4 cups crushed Honey Bunches of Oats (or corn flakes) cereal
-optional: 1 teaspoon each ground cardamom, anise seeds and cinnamon powder (I use all of these)
-1/2 cup shredded coconut (either sweetened and unsweetened)
-1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips (or milk chocolate, but the bars will be sweeter)
-1 teaspoon coconut oil (or vegetable oil)

Sprinkled with coconut and ready for the chocolate
-Melt the butter in a saucepan (this can easily be done in a microwave instead) and add pitted dates. Stir together until the dates are softened. If the mixture feels too firm, add the optional water 1 tablespoon at a time until you have a spreadable consistency. Remove the pot from heat and stir in crushed cereal, ground cardamom, anise seeds and cinnamon powder. Use your hands (I recommend wearing disposable gloves) and mash the mixture together until everything is well incorporated. It will be really hot so you may want to give it a few minutes to cool down before mixing with your hands.
-Spray or butter a 9x13 inch pan and then spread date mixture evenly into the pan. Smooth out the top with the palm of your hand, then sprinkle the coconut evenly over the date mixture.
-Melt chocolate and oil for 30 seconds, then stir until all the chocolate is melted. Spread over the date mixture and refrigerate until the chocolate has set, about 30 minutes.
-Remove from the fridge and let the pan sit out for 5 minutes to soften a bit. Cut into 1/2 inch x 1 inch thick rows or any desired shape.
-Enjoy :)

All cut up and ready to be plated
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  1. Omggg these are my favorite! No one makes them as good as you!

  2. gorgeous photos! I've been making these ever since you posted years ago and now I can't go anywhere in Ramadan without them. They've become a tradition in our house, thank you