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Frosted Mint Chocolate Bars

Posted Dec 20 2012 4:53pm

I know, I know...  
I thought I had signed off too but let me explain.
The boys and I made these mint chocolate bars on Tuesday night as a Christmas gift for their piano teacher.  We were just having fun, playing around and experimenting you know, but things quickly got out of hand - (my youngest declared these bars to be the best *ever* that's *ever*) - and we simply had to share them with you.
Even better news? 15 minutes is all you will need to make these all natural, mouth-watering delights.  No baking involved.
Looking for more exciting news? Well, Inspired Edibles reached a very nice milestone on Wednesday.  I woke up to discover 1,000 followers on my Facebook page and was filled with exhilaration and gratefulness.  I want to thank each and every one of you for lighting up my days and nights and making it possible for me to continue with this project.  Writing is a patient but sometimes lonely vocation. You have no idea how nice it is to hear from you and receive your kind words of support and encouragement.  So thank you for taking the time to drop-in by email, in the comments section and share a word or two in person. Now let's party!



Frosted Mint Chocolate Bars {No Bake, Vegan}
For the Base:
    1 + 1/2 cups walnut pieces  3/4 to 1 cup pitted dates 1/3 cup smooth almond butter

For the Mint Chocolate Topping:
  • 100 grams (roughly 1 cup) 75% cocoa chocolate, chopped (I generally use Lindt)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 tsp pure mint extract or to taste (it's quite present so go easy at first and increase as desired)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp honey or pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened desiccated coconut for topping

~~~~~
Notes:
My European buddies are snickering (snarling) at me right now with my part Metric, part Imperial measurements.  Clearly, I lack coherence.  I'll sort it out one of these days. We all have our stuff.
You can use whatever nut you wish for the base but walnut has a nice subtlety to it that works well with the mint.  Peanut, for example, may have too much personality and attitude to graciously give way.
Don't be put off by the banana in the topping.  The mint is the star here and you will barely notice the banana flavour, if at all.  It simply bulks up the chocolate frosting naturally.  If it's really not your thing, apple sauce may be worth trying (I have used it in fudge but not these bars - yet).
And here's some GREAT NEWS: these bars do fine in the fridge and travel nicely. You can pack them in a lunch for the office or school - yay!  Many similar bars have to be stored in the freezer, so these are innovative in that way.  Using a solid chocolate (melted and solidified again) seemed to do the trick!
~~~~~~
Directions:
While you are assembling your materials, submerge dates in hot water to soften them for a few minutes before draining (I boil water in the kettle and pour it over the dates set in a bowl).
Place chocolate in a small sturdy pot on the stove over lowest heat.  Allow chocolate to melt, stirring to assist.  As soon as chocolate has melted, remove from heat and set aside.
In a food processor or blender, combine walnuts, softened dates and almond butter. Process until well combined (you will still see some small nut pieces).


It's important that the base mixture be sticky.  If it's too dry, you can add a little bit more almond butter or coconut milk to achieve desired consistency. If the mixture is too wet (looks like a big ball in the blender rather than distributed), add a few more nuts.
Scoop base mixture out of food processor/blender and place in a parchment lined loaf pan.
Using the back of a spoon or cake knife, spread the base mixture evenly in the pan while patting it down with your hands (it should end up being about a half inch thick). 
Using the same blender or food processor, add melted chocolate, banana, mint extract, vanilla extract and honey or maple syrup.  Blend until smooth and silky (it's a thing of beauty!).
Pour mint chocolate topping over the base and spread evenly using a spoon or knife to assist. Sprinkle chocolate layer with a dusting of coconut.
Place loaf pan in the fridge for 1 hour (or the freezer for 20 minutes or so) until the topping has solidified over the base.
Remove from fridge/freezer and cut into bars or squares, as desired.
You can store the bars/squares in the freezer or fridge as desired.  They travel well.
Enjoy!!

this is how we presented the gift to the boys' piano teacher
the bars were cut into bite-sized squares and placed in a festive mug
she loves her tea!



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