Chocolate Peanut Butter Snack Bars

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup (114g) honey or brown rice syrup1
  • 1/3 cup (37g) almond meal2
  • 1 Tablespoon (15g) peanut butter (any nut butter works!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (300g) salted peanuts, roughly chopped3
  • 5 Medjool dates, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup (60g) mini chocolate chips4
  • optional but not really: 4 ounces melted semi-sweet chocolate for drizzling
Special Equipment
  • Food processor or small blender to easily chop the peanuts, dates, and make the almond meal (I own and love this one and this one)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F (149°C). Line an 8 or 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper with enough overhang on the sides to easily remove the bars from the pan. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the honey, almond meal, peanut butter, and vanilla together until combined. Fold in the peanuts, dates, and chocolate chips until combined.
  3. Transfer mixture to prepared baking pan and press very firmly into an even layer. You really want it packed in tight- as tight as possible. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until lightly browned on the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack for 1 hour, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 1 more hour. This firms up the bars which helps them stay compact. Remove bars from the pan using the overhang on the sides and cut into bars. You can drizzle with chocolate before or after cutting.
  4. Individually wrap each bar in plastic wrap or parchment. Store at room temperature for 1 week or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. I find they get a little sticky at room temperature over a few days, so I prefer the refrigerator.

Make ahead tip: These bars are freezer friendly. After wrapping individually, freeze for up to 3 months and thaw before enjoying.

Recipe Notes:

  1. I do not suggest a thinner sweetener like maple syrup or agave-- honey or brown rice syrup are perfect.
  2. You can use store-bought almond meal or almond flour, or you can make your own. Start with 1/3 cup of slivered, sliced, or whole almonds. Pulse them in a food processor until a crumbly meal has formed. Do not run the food processor continuously; you may end up with almond butter. Little pulses are best. You will end up with around 1/3 cup almond meal.
  3. I like to use salted peanuts because they make the bars salty/sweet. If using unsalted, add 1/8 teaspoon of salt to the recipe.
  4. I like to use mini chocolate chips because you get more in each bite! Regular size chocolate chips work as well.

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