Sweet, sticky, chewy, gooey... these little caramel-y squares are my new favorite indulgent treat! Great to have in the fridge to offer friends* or, of course, to sink your teeth into whenever you feel like a little pick-me-up 😉 You get the caramel-like flavor of the dates and maple syrup, which, with the hint of vanilla and cacao, is utterly irresistible. The walnut butter adds to the luxurious texture, enhancing without competing against the flavors.
Consisting of nourishing, wholesome ingredients, these sumptuous squares do more than just taste great – they provide a steady source of energy, which won’t cause blood sugar levels to skyrocket and crash, like more processed, refined options. A treat for your the tastebuds and a pretty nutritious, fueling snack… win-win situation, right?
*Side note: I tested this on a friend who is highly allergic to peanuts. Even though I used no peanuts in this recipe I was suddenly gripped by the fear that traces of the lethal legume had somehow gotten into into the mix, as, let’s face it, my place is a peanut allergy sufferer’s worst nightmare. Luckily I was just being overly paranoid and she was perfectly fine, giving them the thumbs up without landing in the emergency room 😉
Makes: 12 small squares
- 10 Medjool Dates (ca. 200 g); pitted
- 1 tbsp walnut butter**
- 2 tbsp + 1 tsp raw cacao powder
- 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
- pinch of salt
- some ground vanilla bean (or a drop or two of vanilla extract)
** If you don’t have this on hand, the recipe should definitely work with other nut butters, but the flavor will, of course, vary. Walnut butter is very subtle, so it blends in well with the other ingredients. I like to use the raw organic 100% walnut one by Sun and Seed.
- 2 tbsp walnut butter
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp raw cacao powder
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp unsweetened almond milk
- optional: crushed walnuts to sprinkle on top
Once you’ve pitted the dates, process them in the food processor and mix together with the other ingredients (I like to do this by hand, as it easily forms a really nice, sticky, but perfectly workable, play-doh-type mix). Press down onto a plate with your hands and shape into a rectangle (a knife works well to smooth the top and clean up the edges), cover and place in the fridge while making the frosting.
For the frosting, simply mix together the ingredients and then spread onto the date base. At this point you can decorate by sprinkling some crushed walnuts and raw cacao powder, or whatever else you fancy, on top.
Now, either place back in the fridge or in the freezer to fully harden up. [I didn’t have any space in my minuscule freezer, which is bursting with berries, so I had to just pop the plate back into the fridge. The frosting stayed soft, but, surprisingly, I was able to cut squares without making a mess. If you do freeze before slicing, I’d store them in the fridge after, to get the best, stickiest, fudgiest consistency 🙂 ]. They should last a few days (or longer in the freezer) if you can keep them that long!
Hope you enjoy!
Feel Good Fact: Dates are rich in dietary fiber and contain powerful antioxidants, both of which are important contributors to a healthy diet.