No-Bake Maple Nut Chocolate Bars
Gahhh it's the last day of January already! Which means that I've survived over a month of winter at this point. Just two more months of this dark and cold season and spring will be upon us. I. Can. Make. It. *fingers crossed*
Here's a cute, little way to get you through the rest of winter: make a batch of these no-bake maple nut chocolate bars and store them in your freezer. Then, whenever the winter becomes just too obnoxious, strut to your freezer and retrieve a couple of these bars. And eat them on the spot. Frozen. Yep - these bars are meant to be eaten straight from the freezer.
I know, it may seem counterintuitive - eating frozen foods when the temperature outside is freezing. But trust me, one bite of these maple nut bars and it won't feel strange anymore. They're just too good. These bars have a way of warming up the soul that'll cause the actual temperature to become a non-issue.
So what's so special about these maple chocolate bars, eh? So many things where to even begin.
Let's start with the fact that these nut bars have a total of six ingredients in them: nuts, maple syrup, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, salt, and oats.
And let's continue with the fact that all those six ingredients are wholesome, dairy free, refined sugar free, gluten free, and vegan.
And let's conclude with the fact that all those six wholesome ingredients are thrown into a food processor and blended up. Which means that these bars will take you a total of five minutes to make and leave you with a total of one mixing utensil to clean. I like those numbers.
Oh, and before I forget - that no-bake part. Yep, these bars are raw. No oven required. These bars go straight from your food processor to your pan to your freezer.
But let's also talk about the taste and texture of these no-bake nut bars, k?
These raw bars are CHEWY, peoples. Like so very chewy it's scary. Scary good.
Also, just FYI, these bars are addictive. So don't say that I didn't warn you. I shall not be held accountable.
And also, these bars are so rich. And tasty. And chocolaty. And nutty. And maple-y. And oat-y. And vanilla-y. All the good stuff, basically.
Nuts act as the base for this recipe. The nuts take the place of both flour and butter in these no-bake bars. That's the magic of nuts in desserts. They're really just wonderful things, nuts are. Nuts.
And the only sweetener used for these maple nut bars is maple syrup. No sugar, no brown sugar, no coconut sugar - not even honey. Just the maple syrup.
And, like I mentioned earlier, store these bars in the freezer and eat them frozen. The freezer is what actually enables these maple bars to be so chewy. If you keep these chocolate nut bars at room temperature for too long, they're just gonna turn into a greasy mush. A delicious greasy mush, but a greasy mush nonetheless. This is your second warning.
So, from now on, whenever you’re craving a quick, energy-dense, wholesome, delicious snack, you know what to do: stroll on over to that freezer of yours and grab a few no-bake maple nut chocolate bars. Because we know you're gonna be stocking these up in your freezer. We know.
No-Bake Maple Nut Chocolate Bars
Yield: 16-21 bars
1 ¼ cups assorted raw nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds, or cashews)
5 tablespoons maple syrup
4 teaspoons cocoa powder
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
pinch of salt
¼ cup oats (gluten-free if desired)
-cocoa powder, for garnishing (optional)
1. Line an 8x8-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
2. In a food processor, blend the nuts until a smooth, buttery mixture forms.
3. Add in the maple syrup, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and salt and blend until incorporated. Don't over-mix, or oils from the nuts will emerge and make mixture difficult to work with.
4. Add in oats last and pulse a couple times until incorporated (not until ground).
5. Drop dough into prepared pan and flatten to spread it evenly to the edges of the pan. Dust top with cocoa powder if desired.
6. Place pan in fridge or freezer until dough is slightly hardened before slicing bars or squares. Store bars in freezer and eat straight from freezer (yes, eat them frozen).