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Homemade To Go—Chocolate Coconut Candy Bars

Posted May 29 2013 7:50pm

Minutes ago, David dropped me off at the airport. We hugged and kissed and I fell under a pregnant weepy spell. I’m off to British Columbia on assignment and will miss the blazes out of him and Luke. Meanwhile, the little bean moves to droning airport sounds, a coffee grinder whirs in the distance, and I swear the guy seated behind me keeps winds a disposable camera.

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Comforted by coconut water and Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, my plan is to read and sleep on the plane to Vancouver tonight. Vancouver…can’t wait.

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Earlier in my packing frenzy, I tried stuffing my film gear into a pack with my laptop and digital Nikon plus lenses. That didn’t work. I’ll be on a helicopter on another leg of this trip and since I’m flying solo, traveling light is key.

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My plan was to pack my suitcase and carry on with a few of these chocolate coconut candy bars I made earlier in the month. That didn’t happen.

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Instead I fit some trail mix, kale chips, and Cliff bars in my bag. Semi-homemade to go this time around. I’m off to board a plane, briefly to Montreal then onto Vancouver. I’ll keep you posted along the way and please, if you make these soon, send me some!

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Things have been busy in the best way lately so I thought I would share some quick news…I dropped off work for an upcoming show and yes, you’re invited . I’ve also been working with a designer to update Design, Shoot, & Show so that it reads on all mobile devices. Being pregnant has taught me that no, I can’t do everything and to ask for help often. Also, a few of my recipes are in the latest Foodie app which is out now, just in time for grilling season.

Chocolate Coconut Candy Bars
makes 12 bars

1 cup raw hazelnuts
1 cup raw almonds
16 pitted Medjool dates
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon course sea salt (plus extra for sprinkling on top)
1 cup chocolate chips
¼ cup unsweetened coconut milk, plain
½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a food processor or high-speed blender, pulse hazelnuts and almonds until roughly chopped. Add dates, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt and process until combined. Using a spatula, scrape down the sides of the container and process again until the mixture firms up.

Scoop the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Using your hands then the spatula, spread into a 6 x 10-inch rectangle. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour or until firm.

Meanwhile, place the chocolate chips, coconut milk, and shredded coconut in a glass or metal heatproof bowl. Bring a medium saucepan filled with an inch of water to a simmer. Set the heatproof bowl on top of the pan. Using a spatula, stir occasionally as the chocolate mixture softens. When nearly all the chocolate is melted, remove bowl from heat (residual heat will melt the rest).

Remove baking sheet from the refrigerator. Pour the melted chocolate mixture on top of the bars and coat evenly with a knife or spatula. Sprinkle the chocolate with a little salt, to taste. Cut the rectangle into 12 (1 ½ x 3 ¼-inch) bars and then chill in the refrigerator or freezer until chocolate is set. Store bars in airtight containers in the refrigerator or freezer.

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