Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars (Vegan, Paleo, + Gluten-Free)


I was at my computer trying to think of a creative way to make brownies. Or fudge. I really couldn't decide because they're both delicious choices.  Thinking, thinking, thinking....when I overthink recipes, I tend to over-complicate them as well. So I decided to create something rich and fudgy, and wrote down simple ingredients like cocoa powder, dates, and coconut oil. I mean you can't go wrong with that combo, right? It's at that point I randomly thought of pecan pie. To which I whipped up these delicious, decadent, fudgy, chocolate pecan pie bars. A tasty treat that falls somewhere between a brownie and fudge. Te absolute best of both worlds!


Traditional pecan pies tend to have a lot of crap in them - corn syrup, sugar, crap. These bars are easy to make, the perfect serving size, and taste JUST like pecan pie with an exciting addition of chocolate. Oh my! It's as if chocolate chess pie had a baby with a pecan pie. So good! And none of that traditional recipe crap is used to make these bars. Dates, coconut oil, cocoa powder, and coconut flour are among a few of the healthy ingredients used to create this recipe. 



They're also kid-approved! Win-win-win-win!





Ingredients

Crust
¼ cup coconut oil, softened
3 tablespoons maple syrup
½ cup coconut flour
¼ cup almond meal flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons water

Filling
12 oz (340g) medjool dates, pitted (about 2 cups)
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped

Method

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8x8” baking dish parchment paper and lightly coat with coconut oil. Set aside.

2. Soak dates in water for 20 minutes (or until softened), drain, and set aside.

3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together coconut oil and maple syrup until smooth. Stir in coconut flour, almond meal flour, and cocoa powder until well combined. The dough will be crumbly. Add in water and stir. At this point, the dough should hold its shape when pressed together.

4. Press dough into prepared pan, forming a crust, and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let crust cool.

5. Combine dates, coconut oil, cocoa powder, extract, and salt in a food processor. Blend until completely smooth.

6 Transfer mixture to a bowl then stir in pecans.

7. Spoon mixture into pan on top of cooled crust. Smooth down with a spoon and place pan in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or until firm.

Makes 16 servings
1 serving is 1 square


Macros for 1 serving
226 calories, 2.8g protein, 21.7g carbs, 15.8g fat, 14.1g sugar, 4.6g fiber

Notes:
- This can be Whole 30 approved if you omit the maple syrup and use extra water instead.
- You can substitute the maple syrup with any sticky sweetener of your choice. It won’t be vegan if you chose to use honey.
- You can substitute the coconut oil with regular butter or ghee. It won't be vegan is using butter or ghee.
- For added protein, use your favorite vegan protein powder. For the filling, replace ½ cup cocoa powder with ¼ cup chocolate protein powder + ¼ cup cocoa powder.
- If you don’t like pecans, you can make this recipe with any nut of your choice. Just toast and stir in the desired nut.

1 comment:

  1. These pecan pie bars look so heavenly! I always love a decadent slice of nuts and dates. I can't believe they're so easy and healthy to create!!

    ReplyDelete