Today’s recipe is in honor of the Virtual Vegan Potluck….and Mother’s Day! If you have been following my blog since last year, you may remember my recipe from the last potluck, Chocolate Espresso Biscotti. These bars are serious business….serious, very serious about the hazelnut flavor and of course chocolate. 3 layers…a bottom chocolate crust, dreamy chocolate hazelnut middle layer and layered on top with roasted chopped hazelnuts and fresh raspberries. Using a strong dark chocolate not only intensifies the hazelnut flavor, but makes a beautiful companion with the raspberries. O.M.G. These are insane. Go make them!
I debated many times over what to make and somewhere between all my kitchen madness, I decided to take a jumping point off of my Cinnamon Hazelnut Cookies. I’ve been getting an insane amount of views on them and they have been such a hit with those that have made them, so I figured, hazelnut butter is coming back! Totally different recipe though, obviously. When I saw these raspberry beauties at the store, that got me excited to make these bars. They taste incredible, so juicy and fresh.
You will become best friends with your refrigerator…as you keep going back for another bite….after another…
These are the chocolate chips I used. It is a deep chocolate flavor, but mildly sweet. It is perfect for this recipe. I highly recommend 60-65% cacao because that is what makes the bars rich. I only added 1 tablespoon of coconut sugar to mine because coconut sugar has a wonderful caramel flavor. These are incredibly dense and rich, I seriously couldn’t finish one bar all at once…which is probably a good thing!
CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT RASPBERRY BARS
Recipe: Makes 12 bars Prep time: 20 mins total Bake time: 30 mins total
- 2 1/4 cups chopped raw hazelnuts
- 1 1/4 cups raw whole almonds
- 3 tablespoons cocoa
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup pure grade B maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon organic coconut sugar, this may be optional or adjustable, depending on the chocolate you use.
*Just under 3/4 cup dark bittersweet chocolate chips or your favorite chocolate bar (I used 65% cacao chocolate chips which are slightly sweet and a deep chocolate flavor. I would advise against semi-sweet chocolate chips as they are too sweet for these bars in my opinion and don’t have a deep chocolate flavor)
*3 oz fresh organic raspberries
Note: Make sure to follow the recipe closely, as the hazelnuts are divided into steps after roasting.
1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Spread the hazelnuts out evenly. Bake 8-10 minutes on the lower rack until fragant, being careful not to burn them. Don’t skip this step, as this is what imparts a deep flavor and brings out the oils so the hazelnut butter can be made. Leave the oven on at 350 degrees for the next steps.
2. While the hazelnuts are roasting, grind the almonds into a flour in a food processor. It should only take a minute or two. Add the almond flour to a large bowl with the salt, baking powder, cocoa and stir well.
3. Once the hazelnuts are finished roasting, add only 1 cup of them to a food processor. Pulse for a few minutes, scraping the sides as necessary, until a paste forms. Add the syrup and vanilla and pulse again until it becomes very creamy and smooth. Do not stop too early, it should be smoother than almond butter. Add the mixture to the dry ingredients of the bowl and stir well, it will be very thick.
4. Line an 8X8 square baking pan with parchment paper going in both directions for easy removal later. Add the batter to the pan, place a sheet of parchment paper over it and press the mixture flat and out to the edges with your hands. Start from the center and work your way around. Even if it seems there isn’t enough dough, keep pressing the mixture around evenly. You can also use a pastry roller over the paper to get it smooth and flat. I slightly dampened my fingertips to press the dough along the edges. Bake on the middle rack for 10 minutes.
5. While the dough is baking, prepare the 2nd layer of hazelnut chocolate. Add another cup (the remaining 1/4 will be for garnish) of the roasted hazelnuts to the food processor and again, pulse until very creamy and smooth. Do not stop at the thick paste stage, keep going, and scrape the sides as needed. After a few minutes it will become silky smooth. Once it’s smooth, add the sugar (if using). Taste and add another tablespoon if you want it slightly sweeter. In a small bowl, add the hazelnut butter, chocolate chips and stir together.
6. Pour over the pre-baked bottom layer and spread out. Doesn’t have to be perfect because it will be melted when baked. Bake for 10 mins. Remove and spread the melted chocolate hazelnut all over the bottom layer. Place the reserved 1/4 cup hazelnuts and raspberries evenly all over the melted chocolate. Chill in the fridge to set and firm up for 1-2 hours before slicing. Mine took 1 1/2 hours. Keep stored in the fridge.
Nutrition per serving: 301 calories/ 21g fat/ 8g protein/ 22 carbs
Moist, dense, fudgy and insane.
Still licking the chocolate off of my fingers as we speak…..
To feast your eyes on the previous dessert in this Virtual Vegan Potluck, click on the icon below!
To feast your eyes on the next dessert in this Virtual Vegan Potluck, click on the icon below!
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