Hello and happy Sunday evening!
I hope you’re all well and staying healthy and sane. In a time where it’s not as easy or advisable to go to the shops too often and where your favorite local cafe is most likely closed, it’s all the more important to be able to whip up some satisfying treats using simple, ingredients you have in your cupboard and fridge. I’m sure I’m not the only one who enjoys having a little pick-me-up to look forward to mid-afternoon…
Which is where these delightfully easy, fun and delicious chocolate peanut date squares come into play. They don’t require too much prep and use ingredients that you can keep for ages. Whether you’re at home working, studying or just chilling, one of these with a cup of tea or coffee is the perfect way to have a mindful moment.
The bottom layer, which sets the stage for this stack of goodness, is a crumbly oaty base with a hint of vanilla. The fudgey date layer is sandwiched between the oats and a layer of peanut butter, which is in turn topped with some luxurious chocolate and salted peanuts, for extra crunch and a salty kick to all that sweetness.
What I love about these slices is that they taste WAY more indulgent than the list of ingredients would suggest (mainly oats, flaxseeds, dates, peanut butter and dark chocolate, with the main sweetness coming from the dates). This also makes them a suitable pre- or post-workout snack, for instance, or breakfast on the go (for a time when we have places to go to again! 😀 ).
Makes: 6 squares
- 100g oats, ground into flour
- 1 tbsp ground flaxseeds
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp ground vanilla bean
- 2 tbsp neutral coconut (or other) oil, melted
- 2 tbsp liquid sweetener (I use agave / brown rice or maple syrup)
- 200g soft and pitted dates (I use these sukkari dates; if yours are dry, try soaking them in hot water first before draining and blending)
- ca. 3 heaped tbsp peanut butter (mine was a thick, spreadable 100% peanut one; avoid one that is too runny)
- ca. 100g of your favorite chocolate (I like using 70-85%, depending on my mood and what’s in the cupboard);
- optional: salted peanuts for on top
- Base: Mix the ground oats with the ground flaxseeds, salt and vanilla powder. Next add the melted oil and your sweetener. Line a loaf tin with baking paper and press the mixture down (first with your hands – bit easier if they’re slightly wet – and then smooth with a spoon). Depending on the size of your tin and the desired thickness of your base you may not need to use the whole tin. Place in the fridge while you turn your attention to the dates.
- Date layer: If your dates are super soft you can mash them with a fork or even your hands. I like adding some carob powder but if you don’t have any you can omit this step. Remove the oat base from the fridge and press the date paste down evenly with your fingers before spreading a layer of peanut butter on top. Put back into the fridge while you melt the dark chocolate.
- Chocolate: Gently melt the chocolate in a pan on low heat. Pour the melted chocolate on top of the peanut layer and sprinkle some salted peanuts on top before placing back into the fridge.
Once the chocolate has hardened enough for you to cut it (shouldn’t take too long), use a sharp knife to slice the layered loaf into even squares.
Hope you enjoy!
Variation ideas: use other nut or seed butters (e.g. hazelnut, almond or tahini); add a layer or raspberry jam after the oat or peanut butter for a PB&J-vibe. For extra nuttiness add some nut butter to the date layer.