Sunday, June 9, 2013

Cherry Vanilla Almond Bars - A Pin-Respin


So I found and made this recipe for Almond Power Bars about a year ago.  They were pretty good, but, the chocolate was just a little too sweet and made it a little too heavy so I got tired of them before the pan was gone.  Recently, I had created my own dairy free chocolate ganache recipe and while browsing through my Been There, Done That, Will Definitely Do it Again board, it hit me...the ganache would be perfect on these bars.  But, I decided to make a couple of other modifications and thus, Cherry Vanilla Almond Bars were born.  These are SO delicious and pretty darn healthy too!  I have no guilt whatsoever having one for an afternoon pick-me up or allowing my 5 year old to eat them as a snack either.  It's actually a great way for me to get more protein in her.  Although she thinks it's a decadent treat.  SCORE!  I'm sure these would taste great w/out the ganache as well, but, why would you ever omit something as wonderful as chocolate?   ;)

Cherry Vanilla Almond Bars

Ingredients:

1 cup of dried, sweetened cherries
2 cups raw almonds
½ cup flax meal (I use golden flaxseed meal)
½ cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
½ cup almond butter (I like Maranatha Creamy)
½ tsp salt
½ cup coconut oil (organic, unrefined is best)
2 TblSp maple syrup OR honey OR my favorite, 1 TblSp of each
2 TblSp real vanilla extract
Approximately3/4 C of my Dairy Free Chocolate Ganache.  (Make a full batch and store the rest in the fridge, you will thank me later)

Directions:

  1. Toss your cherries in the food processor and pulse for about 30-40 seconds to get them chopped, but not pureed.  Set aside in a small bowl.
  2.  Place almonds, flax meal, shredded coconut, almond butter and salt in the food processor (no need to wash the cherry goo)
  3. Pulse briefly, about 10 seconds
  4. In a small sauce pan, melt coconut oil over very low heat
  5. Remove coconut oil from stove, stir in sweeteners and vanilla
  6. Add coconut oil mixture to food processor and pulse until ingredients form a coarse paste
  7. Stir in the cherries
  8. Press mixture into an 8 x 8 pan/glass dish
  9. Chill in refrigerator for 1 hour, until mixture hardens
  10. After the almond mixture sets, now it's time to make your Ganache
  11. Pour apx. 3/4 cup of ganache (I didn't really measure, just eye-balled it) over the almond mixture and spread out evenly edge to edge.  It should be just thick enough to cover all of the almond mixture w/ out seeing through the ganache.
  12. Let sit in the fridge for at least an hour before cutting into bars.
  13. Remove from refrigerator, cut into bars, serve & enjoy!
  14. Keep the rest covered and stored in the fridge for up to 4 weeks.  (Although, I seriously doubt they will last that long).

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