Chocolate-Date Cookie Bars
A few people in my family have low sugar tolerance (either from diabetes or gastric bypass). This is a pretty low-sugar cookie I make during the holidays that everyone really enjoys.
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup mixed nuts, ground to a coarse meal by pulsing in a food processor. (I used a mix of macadamia, cashew, almond, and Brazil nuts.)
- 1/4 cup 10-grain hot cereal or cornmeal, dry.
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- Pinch salt
- 2 tbsp. raw honey or agave (I really like buckwheat honey in this, but anything will work.)
- 1 medium egg
- 2 tbsp. natural peanut butter
For the filling
- 1/2 cup Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp. almond extract
- 1 heaping tbsp. dutch process cocoa powder
- 1/2 oz. 70% dark chocolate, chopped.
For the topping
- 1 tbsp. shredded, unsweetened coconut
- 1/2 oz. mixed nuts, roughly chopped. (If you would like the recipe to be lower-fat, you can skip this and use some lightly toasted seeds, rolled oats, or cereal.)
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F.
In a small saucepan, combine the dates, extracts, and water over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally until thickened. Use a potato masher or immersion blender to create a more even consistency. Stir in the cocoa and dark chocolate and set the mixture aside to cool.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the oats, ground nuts, cereal, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Slowly drizzle in the honey while pulsing occasionally to disperse evenly.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and peanut butter, then add them to the food processor while pulsing occasionally until a sticky dough is formed.
Grease a 9×5 loaf pan and press the cookie dough into the bottom to create an even crust. Next, layer on the chocolate-date paste, and then top with the chopped nuts and shredded unsweetened coconut.
Bake for 20 minutes and cool completely before cutting into bars.