Yesterday was one of those days where everything was annoying. I kept walking into the wet painted walls at work — who paints an entire inside of a corporate center while people are working?!?! Is that a thing?
Yesterday was one of those days where everything was annoying. I kept walking into the wet painted walls at work — who paints an entire inside of a corporate center while people are working?!?! Is that a thing? I was trying to purposely avoid the paint and instead I get all clumsy and run into it. Usually in front of people. Then I just nervously laugh it off and pretend I don’t care that I have white paint on my shoulder and by then I realize they already walked away so now I’m just laughing at myself. Also, I had beet juice all over me from yesterday’s smoothie. White paint + beet juice + laughing at self = brownies.
These kind of taste like Larabars but better. Because I made them and there is espresso in them. I would put espresso powder in every meal if I could. OMG I’m going to put it in granola, hell yeah. I’m a little over-excited because I made espresso powder yesterday. This recipe I found called for it but I only had regular espresso.
I took my leftover grounds and cooked them on a low heat in my toaster oven for about an hour and that was it. I had to research what espresso powder really is first (I know, weirdo) and it’s just brewed espresso that’s been dehydrated. Putting the grounds in the oven seemed to work for me. And these bars.
These come together relatively easily with minimal ingredients and you can play around with the flavors. You can get really creative with the mix ins.
You can and should double this recipe — I was giving this a shot and wanted to make a small amount so I could play around with it. Also, in case it was a total fail and then I wasted overpriced organic chocolate and precious dates.
Thankfully, this was so delicious and was just enough for my roommate and I to indulge with a Sex and the City marathon while we complained about everything.
Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Espresso Bars with Peanut Butter Drizzle
adapted from Minimalist Baker
- 1 cup hazelnuts
- 1 cup pitted medjool dates
- 6 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1/4 your favorite dark chocolate bar, chopped
- pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp espresso powder
- 2 tbsp peanut butter
Roast nuts in oven for 15 minutes at 350°. Shake the pan vigorously to remove some of the shells off the nuts — no need to be neurotic about it, it’s okay if they don’t all come off. When cooled, pulse in food processor with cocoa powder, salt and espresso powder to a fine ground. Place in mixing bowl and set aside.
Place dates in processor and pulse until sticky and relatively smooth. If you have an awesome food processor, add the nut mix back in and combine until a loose dough develops — you are looking for dough that sticks together when you squeeze it in your hands. Add in chopped dark chocolate. If you own a magic bullet and not an awesome food processor ( -___-) place dates into mixing bowl with nuts and combine with your hands until desired consistency is reached, tossing together with chopped chocolate at the last minute.
Place dough in a baking pan or loaf pan — depending on the thickness and shape you are going for. You could even use a muffin tin for brownie bites. I used a small loaf pan to make bars. Using your fingers and the back of a spoon, press dough flat into bake ware lined with parchment paper.
Next, make the peanut butter drizzle. I use PB2, which I just combine with a little milk to my desired drizzle thickness, but you can also thin out regular peanut butter with some milk or nut milk. Drizzle over bars and refrigerate until you can slice dough with ease, about 1-2 hours.
Be gentle — dough is delicate and may crumble if not cold enough.
Crumble over ice cream, make little peanut butter sandwiches or mock-aroons (hehe) or just eat the whole thing out of the pan.
This looks so so good! 🙂