19 February 2014

Candy Bars

I wouldn't say I'm an 'all or nothing' type of person, but when it comes to food then that may sometimes be the case. I don't really do moderation that well. My diet tends to consist either of quinoa and vegetables or chocolates and cake - there isn't much of an in-between, and although it's not the perfect combination of foods, I like to think it all sort of balances out somehow. My efforts to bring a bit more balance to what I eat lead to me picking up It's All Good  by Gwyneth Paltrow from the library (I love libraries that stock cookbooks!). I'm hoping to write a review of the book soon - some recipes have been good, others less impressive, but out of all the recipes I tried, this was my hands down favourite. (As I type, I'm eating quinoa for breakfast, another recipe from It's All Good, and surprisingly, it tastes really nice).
I was skeptical of the title, but actually, these are pretty good, maybe even better than candy! They are sweet and chewy with a bitter layer of chocolate on top. And they are seriously, seriously addictive. I originally cut them into bars, as per the recipe, but after realising I was getting through them at quite an alarming rate, I cut each bar into squares. I've been hoarding them furtively, refusing to share them with my family because I know that once they get their hands on my precious candy bars, they will be gone in an instant! 
I made a few tweaks to this recipe, leaving out the coconut flour and replacing the almond butter with peanut butter (because the supermarket didn't seem to sell it and I prefer peanut butter anyway). Other than that, the recipe is pretty much the same. You grind cashew nuts until fine, then add dates, peanut butter, maple syrup and desiccated coconut until it forms a sticky ball of dough. Press into a tin, pour over some melted chocolate, and thats pretty much it. 
I also think these would make really good truffles, so next time I might try rolling the mixture into little spheres and then coating them with chocolate. Or I might simply eat the dough straight from the bowl of the food processor.

Candy Bars 
Adapted from It's All Good  by Gwyneth Paltrow and Julia Turshen

200g cashew nuts
30g oats
250g pitted dates
125g peanut butter
120ml maple syrup
50g desiccated coconut
100g 70% dark chocolate
1½ tbsp coconut oil

Grind the cashews and oats until they are very fine in a food processor. Add in the dates, peanut butter, maple syrup and coconut and pulse until you have a sticky ball of dough. The dough might seem a bit oily but that's fine.

Line a 17cm square tin with greaseproof paper or baking parchment. Press the mixture into the tin and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until firm.

Melt the coconut oil and chocolate in small glass bowl in the microwave or over a pan or simmering water until just melted. Pour the chocolate over the cold mixture and return the bars to the fridge for at least another hour.

Using the parchment paper, lift the bars out of the tin and cut into rectangles or squares. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. 


  1. The bars look amazing! Peanut butter and chocolate... the best combination. I can't believe they are in a healthy cook book, but the ingredients look a look better than in regular bars!

  2. Wow! They look good! I love dates, cashew nuts, coconut and everything else!!!!!!
    They are on my baking list.

  3. Wow! I never would have guessed that these beautiful bars have such a healthy ingredient list. They look completely gooey and naughty. :) Totally making these - thank you so much for sharing!

  4. These look incredible - I can't believe they contain healthy ingredients! Perfect.


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