There is a lot to be said about these wonderful shortbread one-bite-wonder bars. It takes but just one bite and your mouth will fill with a flood of sheer yumminess!
Let me describe it to you; The fudge allows your teeth to nestle right in, bringing home that feeling of pure comfort. Then you detect the buttery, golden-colored, sweet and crumbly shortbread.
The fudge is full of wondrous surprises… the walnuts cause tiny pockets of crunch and the dried cranberries, oh their sweetness, their tartness, their chewiness… they cause time to suspend and as a result creates a coating of deep, rich orange infused chocolate to coat your mouth (inside and out :). Then comes the swallow, the moans, the eyes get lost in the back of the head… and the tummy sends a signal to the brain, it wants MORE!
So all-in-all, not bad. hehe I meant every word I said. I do my best to never steer you wrong. I love sweets and I do monitor my intake but this sweet treat brought my taste buds so much joy, in just one little bite. I loved the fact that the shortbread tones down the richness of the chocolate.
This sweet treat is also protein packed. Just in case you haven’t scanned through the ingredient list, I put one cup of raw natural protein powder in the recipe. I provided a link below to the brand that I used. I can’t really comment on how other protein powders would work. Well, they would work, just not to sure about the flavor.
Over the years I have tried and tasted so many protein powders and if you have as well, then you know first hand, that each one tastes different. It took me quite a few tries to find this one and I am very pleased with it. So if you decide to try your protein powder, I would love to hear what you used and how it tasted.
There are two other ingredients that I wanted to quickly touch base upon because I know some of you will be wondering… Oats. I suggested to soak and dehydrate them. The link below will explain why if you are new to using oats in such a manner.
The key is to dehydrate it before adding to the recipe. Sometimes, depending on the recipe you can use the oats right after the soaking process but because this recipe doesn’t require dehydrating, the oats need to be dry. Secondly, lecithin. This is needed for the stability of the fudge. Without it, the fudge won’t hold up well at room temperatures. With that being said, if you don’t want, can’t use or don’t have lecithin, you can skip it… just make sure to keep the bars chilled.
yields 8 x 8 pan
Shortbread: (2 3/4 cup batter)
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp orange extract
- 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
- 2 Tbsp lecithin powder / liquid
- 1/2 cup diced, dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, soaked & dehydrated
- Line a 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper or plastic wrap. Bring it up over the sides. Set aside.
- Place the oats in a food processor, fitted with a “S” blade, process to a medium flour texture.
- Add protein powder, salt and pulse together. Pour into a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
- In a small-sized bowl combine the coconut manna, agave and flavoring. Mix well and pour over the dry mixture.
- Mead the shortbread with your hands, working everything together.
- Press the batter into the pan that you had set aside. Press in firm and evenly. Set aside.
- In a food processor, fitted with a “S” blade, process together the coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla and orange extract.
- Add the cacao powder and process until it resembles a creamy chocolate sauce.
- Add the lecithin and process until incorporated.
- Hand mix in the cranberries and walnuts.
- Pour over the shortbread and with a spatula, spread the fudge out evenly.
- Place in the fridge to set and chill.
- Storage; On the counter top it will hold up for approximately 24 hours. (my test pieces were all eaten by then (BOB!), so may last even longer). In the fridge 1-2 weeks or 1-2 months in the freezer. Make sure that they are well sealed so they don’t inherit fridge odors.
The Institute of Culinary Ingredients™
- To learn more about maple syrup by clicking (here).
- What is raw cacao powder?
- What is Himalayan pink salt and does it really matter? Click (here) to read more about it.
- Is coconut butter the same as coconut oil? Click (here) to find out.
- Are oats gluten-free? Yes, read more about that (here).
- Are oats raw? Yes, they can be found. Click (here) to learn more.
- Do I need to soak and dehydrate oats? Not required but recommended. Click (here) to see why.
- Why I use lecithin… click (here) to read about it.
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.