Chocolate Almond Cherry Bars
- 1 cup whole almonds
- 2 Tablespoons cocoa
- 1 1/4 cup dates
- 1 cup dried bing cherries
Chop the almonds in a food processor until you have a mix of chunk sizes. Add cocoa and pulse once. Add dates and cherries and pulse until well combined. Line a loaf pan with wax or parchment paper, press fruit and nut mixture into the pan and press down firmly. Remove from the pan, cut into bars, and wrap individually in plastic wrap or wax paper, tie with string.
Store in airtight container inside the refrigerator or freezer.
Makes 8 to 10 bars
Try different fruit and nut combinations using dried fruit like apples or pomegranate arils instead of the cherries, pecans and cashews instead of the almonds, and adding spices or juice like pomegranate or orange. you can even add substitute some of the almonds with coconut, or make layers of different flavors in one bar.
If you don’t have a food processor, chop up the ingredients individually, then combine well (this is what I did = the almonds pieces were chunky). Use your hands or a mixer to combine them.
Make sure the dates you use are fairly new as they will be softer and make your bars come together better.
There are a few things that could have happened if your bars don’t stick together: your dates may not have been moist enough to make a proper paste (see above note); your almonds may not have been chopped or processed finely enough – you want them to be almost like almond meal, although if there are a few big chunks it’s not a big deal (i like that, actually).
When I use dates I am either using whole medjool or deglet dates from the bulk bins at my local natural foods store. Medjool are a sweeter + moister variety, but deglet are cheaper. There are other varieties but those two are the main ones I use because they’re available.
Any dried cherry will do, although I would double check the ingredients to see what they used to aid the drying process (sulfur dioxide, etc).