Good to see you, old friend.
I love my job (someone just seriously pinch me that THESE CHOCOLATE BARS ARE MY JOB), but even still, Fridays have some kind of magic in them.
Friday night pizza is only a few hours away and I can stay up irresponsibly late perusing Etsy and VRBO for dream house decor and trips that aren’t real. My idea of fun. And then Friday leads to Saturday, and Saturday morning’s breakfast possibilities are endless – whole wheat pancakes? sausage potato egg bake? a trip to the coffee shop? and Saturday leads to Sunday, and who knows? Sunday might even find me outside, walking around like a normal person to get re-introduced to the sun (♡♡♡♡♡) after months wrapped in hoodies, wool socks, and blankets. This is Friday, and this is my face on Friday. –> 😀
So let’s complete the Friday experience with some chocolate. And raspberries. And almond butter and tons of toppings that are pretty. Yeah?
I’d like y’all (since Charleston is in my soul now and I say things like y’all) to meet these beautiful, naturally sweetened, loaded Chocolate Raspberry Almond Butter Bars. Hugs and kisses are appropriate.
Chocolate Raspberry Almond Butter Bars, in case you didn’t know, start with a layer of frozen raspberries and pecans (but you have different fruit and different nuts? just do what you need to do, girlfriend) and then comes the good stuff –> a layer of melted chocolate fudgy butter sauce, and then a second layer of creamy almond-buttery sauce, and then, finally, maybe most importantly, the toppings come out to play: cacao nibs, crushed nuts, seeds, flaked coconut, and/or powdered sugar if u like it fan-say.
Baking? No siree. Pop these babies in the freezer for 30 minutes and BOOM. You’ve got yourself a super-pretty, feel-good, pre-dinner snack. Not that I ever eat stuff like this before dinner. I mean, me? Come on, you guys. Nevvvver.
In addition to being gorgeous, decently healthful, and indulgent to the max, these little treat bars are essentially Use Anything In Your Pantry kind of bars, which is my number one favorite kind of dessert recipe.
Frozen strawberries? Cashews? Oats? Non-frozen pomegranate arils? Pistachios? Peanut Butter? SO MANY POSSIBILITIES.
Also, they are naturally sweetened, meaning we’re not loading this up with sugar but just a few spoonfuls of honey to sweeten each of the layers. And by some freezer miracle, the honey doesn’t really freeze – it does one better. It sort of creates these gooey pockets of sweet goodness reminiscent of a layer of caramel, and YEAH. I am not even complaining.
Go shorty, it’s the weekend.
Time to treat yoself.
Chocolate Raspberry Almond Butter Bars! So beautiful, naturally sweetened, and fully loaded. Naturally sweetened, so these are completely guilt-free!
- 8 tablespoons salted butter, divided
- 8 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 4 tablespoons honey, divided
- 2 tablespoons almond butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- a couple pinches of salt (to taste)
- 1 heaping cup frozen raspberries
- 1/2 cup whole or chopped pecans
- cacao nibs, flaked coconut, sea salt, or anything else you might like as a topping
- Line a pie plate with parchment paper or foil. Arrange the raspberries and the pecans in a single layer.
- Melt 4 tablespoons butter and 4 tablespoons coconut oil together until smooth. Whisk in the cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons honey, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Taste, adjust, and pour the mixture over the berries in the pie plate.
- Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter and 4 tablespoons coconut oil together until smooth. Add the almond butter, 2 tablespoons honey, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and a pinch of salt – stir until melted. Taste, adjust, and pour the mixture over the chocolate mixture in the pan.
- Freeze for at least 30 minutes – right around the 30 minute mark they will be sturdy and solid but still awesomely semi-soft and bite-able. Cut into wedges to serve. (I stored my leftovers in the freezer and then just let them thaw a bit before eating each time.)
You could mix the two melted mixtures together but I sort of liked having them in two layers. You can necessarily tell (I tried to swirl but it didn’t really work) but I just liked the idea of them being layered better than mixing them all together.
The texture of these is a cross between a fudgsicle and chocolate bark. It will be more fudgy and gooey (and better, IMO) if you let it thaw out a little bit before eating.