Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Dark Chocolate Pecan Bars

Dark Chocolate Pecan Bars
I came across this recipe as I was going through a bunch of the blog drafts that I have been saving for the past few months.  I knew I had made it back in the Spring, but I couldn't find any pictures saved. That's when I remembered that these were so delicious and I was so excited making them that I never took any photos before they were completely eaten (which didn't take very long at all, less than a day I believe).  So I figured I better make another batch, remember to take photos, and maybe savor them a little longer, if possible.  I do have to admit though, that the recipe shown uses cashew butter instead of pecan butter, because as I always say, you can often use whatever you have on hand at the time and substitute things in a recipe, especially nut butters, whenever needed. I didn't feel like going to the grocery store that I sometimes feel that I live at, this morning, and I had a jar of cashew butter with a "best before" date less than a month away, so I figured that would work.  And, as you can see by the photos, it certainly did.  As usual, anything made from scratch tastes better, so if I had raw nuts, like pecans, or cashews on hand, pureeing them in the food processor would have been a nice step, but jarred varieties, provided they have no, or very few other ingredients, work just as well.  I ate one large piece before going out for a walk today, and gave my kids each a piece when they got home from school.  The rest are being saved for snacks tomorrow or going into the freezer, so I can have a treat at a later date as well.  If you want to know exactly what they taste like, think of a super gooey, fudgy brownie, that melts in your mouth.  Ya, that good.

Dark Chocolate Pecan Bars
ready to bake

1 1/2 C. pecan butter (2 C. whole raw pecans)*
4 oz. dark chocolate, melted
1/2 C. pure maple syrup
1/4 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. cocoa powder
2 organic eggs
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 C. mini chocolate chips, optional

* I've also made them with cashew butter

Mix together the pecan butter and the melted chocolate until smooth and creamy. Stir in the maple syrup, brown sugar and cocoa powder, and then combine the eggs one at a time.  Mix in the cinnamon, salt, and vanilla, and then fold in the chocolate chips, if using.  Bake in an 8 x 8, or 7 x 11 inch pan for about 25 - 30 minutes at 350F.  Let cool completely before cutting into bars.  Store in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for a few months.

cooling off, and taste testing

cutting into portions

wrapping up for lunches and snacks

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