When you hear the words gluten free, vegan, parev, raw and kosher for Pesach to describe one dessert, your first thought is likely – must be tasteless. Well, have I got a pre-Pesach surprise for you! I’m calling these “Miracle Bars” because while they are all of the above, they are also miraculously and inexplicably very very delicious, even though they lack just about everything that usually goes into making a sweet treat taste good.
These 3-layer raw bars (no baking required) are made from cashews, almonds, coconut, dates, peanut butter, dark chocolate, among other ingredients. And they’re not too unhealthy either.
A pretty essential piece of equipment for this recipe is an excellent food processor. When I tested this recipe the first time, I used my Magimix, and the first two layers of these bars were a breeze to blend together. When I made them again for Pesach, using a cheapie food processor that is part of my KFP kit, there was a lot of cursing (from me), some wheezing and smoke (from the food processor), and a quick switch to a very small but stronger food blitzer that also almost cracked under the pressure. So do as I say, don’t do as I do and you will impress your guests and family this Pesach!
1 cup raw cashews
½ cup shredded coconut
2½ tablespoons finely ground almonds
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons silan (date honey) or regular honey
12 large dates pitted and cut into 4 (Medjool dates are the best)
¼ cup silan (date honey) or regular honey
1/3 cup peanut butter (preferably unsweetened)
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt
100g (3½ oz) dark chocolate melted over a double boiler
How to do it
1. Place all the ingredients for the base layer in your food processor process until well combined and until the cashew are quite fine. If you feel it’s too crumbly, add a little more honey. But don’t overdo it because the mixture comes together well when you press it down. (Wash the food processor bowl and blade)
2. Line a 15x20cm (8×6 inch) baking pan with baking paper and press the cashew mixture firmly and evenly into the pan (wet your hands to make this easier). Put it in the freezer for 30 minutes at least.
3. Place all the ingredients for the second layer in the food processor and blend till completely smooth. Remove the pan from the freezer and spread the date layer evenly over the base. Return the pan to the freezer and leave it there until it’s completely frozen.
4. Cut the bars into even-sized pieces to your own taste. They are quite sweet, so I keep them quite small. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler (you can just use a very small pot inside a larger pot with boiler water at the bottom – do not allow the smaller pot to touch the water and do not allow any water to splash into the chocolate or it will be ruined).
5. Pick up each bar from the bottom, holding onto the nutty base, and dip just the surface of the date layer into the chocolate. This way you will see all 3 layers clearly from the side. Place them on a piece of baking paper laid out on the countertop, and allow the chocolate to harden.
6. Put them on a flat tray or baking dish on a piece of baking paper, and freeze in one layer. When they are completely frozen, transfer them to an airtight container to store. You can then layer them with baking paper between the layers.
Keep them frozen until you serve them. They soften very quickly. You can keep them in the freezer for a few weeks.