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Bob loves to share his raw treats with others, well except for these, which I found him hoarding. He even stashed a few in the freezer, thinking they were for safe keeping… from others. haha For about 2 weeks, he kept walking by with one in hand and he would say, “You can make these again. Seriously.” I got the hint. Little does he know that I too have a stash in the back of the freezer for when he runs out. Shhhh! Please don’t tell on me. :)
Although it looks difficult, honestly, this is such an easy treat to throw together. I made up a bunchand froze them without the chocolate coating. I like to do my chocolate fresh so I figured that with the bulk of the recipe all put together, it would make for a quick treat when the cravings hit.
There are four layers to this candy bar. The bottom layer is made from coconut, cacao and to add a little spice, I threw in a few dashes of cayenne powder. This is completely optional but I love hidden layers of flavor. There is just enough there to be an element of surprise, but not “hot” enough to make you run for the water hose. I also added in cacao butter. This is not required but it made for a nice “snap” to the candy bar base. Cacao butter adds firmness to a recipe as well as a deep rich chocolate flavor.
Working from the bottom up, we hit the almond butter layer, this can be substituted with peanut butter, cashew butter, walnut butter, pecan butter, sunflower seed butter, tahini, or raw coconut butter. Shew! The sky is the limit on this one.
Next, we have the date layer. I used Medjool dates and I highly recommend that you stick to that variety. They are large and very moist, which is a perfect combination for this treat.
Lastly, we have the chocolate layer. You can use either a raw hardening chocolate or melted chocolate chips. These days you can find, fair trade, organic, vegan, gluten-free, soy-free chocolate chips on the market…. which is a nice option if you don’t have the ingredients to make the raw version just yet.
I used my Freshware 24 Cavity Pan (as shown in the photo below) which makes for great perfectly sized candy bars but it isn’t necessary. You can always spread the bottom cookie layer in a large pan and cut into candy bar shapes. Then proceed as normal.
One of the greatest joys when creating raw food recipes is experimenting with different ingredients… a practice that I highly encourage. Daily I get questions regarding substitutions. Of course we all might have different dietary needs and tastes which could necessitate altering a recipe. I love to share with you what I create for myself, my husband, friends and family. I spend a lot of time selecting the right ingredients with a particular goal in mind, looking to build a certain flavor and texture.
So as you experiment with substitutions, remember they are what they sound like, they are substitutes for the preferred item. Generally they are not going to behave, taste, or have the same texture as the suggested ingredient. Some may work, and others may not and I can’t promise what the results will be unless I’ve tried them myself. So have fun, don’t be afraid, and remember, substituting is how I discovered many of my unique dishes.