New Year? New You? naaaa,... it's a New Choc full of Chocolate recipe by Vanessa!
As she writes:
While I don’t necessarily subscribe to the New Year, New Me mantra (we’re fabulous all year round!), I may have to admit that once or twice, or many times, over the Christmas period I over-indulged. And it was worth every second!
Now that it’s the New Year I still want to indulge though. And chocolate remains a life or death necessity. So these paleo chocolate pecan pie bars are the perfect way to feel like you’re indulging, giving you a good boost of energy and a perfect on-the-go snack or post-lunch sneaky dessert. The base is crunchy and tastes like biscuit, and the filling is soft but with the gratifying crunch of the nuts and chocolate. The bars also only have unrefined sugar from dates in them, so won’t give you a sugar dip, and the pecans are packed full of protein.
I first came across the recipe for pecan pie paleo bars on Feasting on Fruit, and my mind went to its usual place – how can I incorporate chocolate into this! I adore Green and Blacks 85% dark chocolate and love adding it to my brownies and bars. So I thought, let’s chop in a bar of this. This chocolate does have a small amount of cane sugar in, so if you’re looking to only get your sugar from sources like dates, may be opt for the 100% cocoa solid version (I know Lindt do one of these) but it will be more bitter. And the chocolate doesn’t stop there, I’ve also added cacao to the base. Cocoa will work just fine too, but cacao has a lot more health benefits and that slightly richer taste.
Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars
For the base
- 1 ½ cups 180g chopped pecans
- 1 cup 70g unsweetened shredded coconut
- 12 ~160g pitted dates
- 3 tsp cacao
For the filling
- 14 210g pitted dates
- 1 ¼ cup 300g non-dairy milk
- 3 tbsp tapioca starch cornstarch or arrowroot are also fine
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 1 ½ cup 150g pecan halves
- 100 g bar Green and Blacks 85% dark chocolate or dark chocolate of your choice
- Preheat oven to 175⁰C and line a brownie tin with baking parchment.
- Start by making the base. Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor until it is sticky and clumpy. It won’t be fully blended together, and you still want a crunch from small pieces of pecans.
- Press the base firmly into the baking tin and set aside.
- Now onto the filling. Blend the dates, milk, tapioca, vanilla and salt until smooth.
- Add just one cup of the pecans (the rest is for decorating) and pulse them in so they are in small chunks.
- Chop up the chocolate so it is in chunks.
- Mix ¾ of the chocolate chunks into the filling mix, then spread the filling mix on top of the base.
- Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chunks and pecan halves across the top of the filling.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the pecans are golden brown.
- 10. Cool in the tin, then place in the fridge overnight.
- 11. Slice and cut into squares. They will keep for up to a week in the fridge. You can also put a few in the freezer if you don’t want to eat them all at once!