I know, I know, you didn’t come here to get “health-ified” (and if you did, I strongly apologize as you have been, in general, grievously misled). Sometimes though, we all like something that’s desserty, but not overly sweet. Am I right? Or is that just me? There’s very little sugaryness in these. In fact virtually all of the “sweetner” (*shudder* says I at even using that word for the “fake sugar”-ness that it implies. If you feel like sugar, have sugar, or maple syrup, or agave, or whatever. I just can’t get behind artificial sweetener, so I’m sorry if that’s something you were expecting here. If you really want to be healthy and don’t want sugar, eat a piece of fruit and call it a day. Or whatever. You’re in charge of your own life, I can’t tell you what to do…although clearly I’m attempting to anyway 😉 ) comes from a few dates and figs. That is not to say that they’re not incredibly delicioso (that’s Spanish for delicious. That’s me, super worldly and bringing just a little bit of international flair into your day 😉 ). They’re peanut buttery, chocolatey, crunchy with chopped peanuts and (bonus in my opinion), nowhere near as dense as I often find protein-y so-called dessert things to be.
These actually are really good for you, high in protein and healthy fats etc. but I’ll be honest, I don’t give a fig ( 😉 ) about that. I actually just thought they were really delicious and would eat them regardless. The whole reason I made them in the first place actually was because Kevin was looking into protein bars since he’s on the go a lot for work and wanted something portable that wouldn’t require heating and could keep him going until he had time for an actual meal. He tried out a couple and just found them to be ok (and also incredibly expensive), at which point I jumped in and said “I need a new baking project anyway, what if I made some protein bars? Would chocolate-peanut butter work for you?” That last question when aimed at Kevin is always completely rhetorical. “I’m making stew, would chocolate peanut butter work for you?”, or “I’m making a (vegan) omelet, would chocolate peanut butter work for you?” or finally “I’m trying to trick you into eating rubber tires by slathering some kind of coating over it. Would chocolate peanut butter fool you sufficiently?”. The answer to all three of these questions is a resounding yes.
I did add a very thin layer of melted chocolate and maple syrup as a topping for a little extra sweetness and ‘zazz, but that is completely optional.
There were so many things that I thought would go wrong with these that completely didn’t happen (how often can a person say that? Maybe I shouldn’t bring you down with me, I shouldn’t project my frequent ineptitudes on you as well, so I’ll rephrase that. How often can I say that?). For most people it seems, if they’re anticipating five disasters to happen, maybe one or two actually do. For me, if I’m expecting five disasters to happen, all five, plus an additional five that I hadn’t even considered, end up occurring. For instance, the following entirely fictional scenario:
“I’m going to bake a pie today! What might go wrong with this that I can try and avoid?
- The pie crust doesn’t bake enough or overbakes (avoid this by baking at a lowish temperature and keeping an eye on it).
- The filling doesn’t set (have a back up plan of calling your filling of choice “pudding” so that it looks like it’s on purpose 😉 ).
- You leave the pie in the oven and forget all about it while you leave the house to go shopping coming home to a burnt down husk that used to be your primary residence (I think big with my possible mistakes). How to avoid this? Verify before pie making that you don’t have Alzheimer’s or some other form of what I deem “Juvenile Dementia”.
- You burn your hands removing the pie from the oven (Use oven mitts you dope!!! I know you want pie, but take those extra two seconds to protect your delicate, delicate flesh. Also, if you do burn yourself, be prepared to soak them in cold water immediately).
- You’re baking the pie for a specific purpose (someone’s birthday, a party, bookclub, BBQ etc) which then gets cancelled. How to resolve this if it happens? Ummm…eat all the pie yourself before it goes bad 😉
So it sounds like I’ve got it all covered right? Commence baking! (Amber bakes said pie, slightly burns the crust when she gets distracted by a squirrel climbing a tree just outside her window, the filling doesn’t set, she burns her hands through the oven mitts and just as she finally places it on the kitchen table to cool in front of the window, gets a message that [insert event here] has been cancelled). Just then, a huge Santa Ana wind (I know right? What are the odds? Zero, but this is, as I said, fictional, so poetic license and all that) blows through the open window, upending the pie all over the floor. Instantly, both her cats bum-rush into the kitchen and commence rolling around in the not-set pie filling and crust before running up to her bed and using her bedding to clean the pie from their fur.”
You see what I’m saying? How can a person possibly plan for such an insane scenario? Such is my life dear readers, so consider the very existence of any successful recipes on this blog a minor (or major) miracle 😉 .
Yield: 25 pieces
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 figs, chopped (soak overnight in water if possible)
- 4 dates, chopped
- 1 cup chocolate protein powder of your choice
- 1/3 cup rolled oats
- 1/3 cup oat flour
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoons ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons chopped peanuts
- 1/4 cup cup chocolate chips, divided
- 1-2 teaspoons coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- Lightly grease an 8×8 glass dish.
- In a food processor, combine the peanut butter, almond milk, vanilla, figs and dates and blend until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, combine the protein powder, rolled oats, oat flour, cocoa powder, salt, ginger, cinnamon, peanuts and 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips.
- Mix the wet peanut butter-fig-date mixture into the dry ingredients (you might have to get in there a bit with your hands to fully combine).
- Press into glass dish and place in the fridge
- If desired, melt 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips with maple syrup and coconut oil in the microwave and drizzle or spread on top.