Carlito’s PB & Chocolate Squares

I found the best vegan chocolate in Indonesia. I bought several chocolate bars with the hopes of melting it and covering some treats. Since I really miss peanut butter filled chocolates, I decided to make something similar. And because my brother Carlos who has been visiting for about 9 months is finally going back home I decided to make something for him. These are his PB and Chocolate squares.

Ingredients (for 24 squares, more or less depending on size)

  • 1 cup of soft dates, pitted. (If the dates are not soft, after you take the pits out, put them in a small bowl with hot water for about 10 minutes. Then drain).
  • 1 cup of almonds.
  • 1 cup of coconut flakes.
  • 1 cup of oats (ground as flour).
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
  • 1 tablespoon of white chia seeds.
  • 1 tablespoon of black chia seeds.
  • 1 orange (just the juice).
  • Pinch of salt.
  • Peanut butter (better to use cold peanut butter, 1-2 cups depending on cooking pan).
  • Vegan chocolate (I used 3 standard size bars, but quantity will depend on the cooking pan you use and size of your squares).
  • Materials: a cooking dish/pan (I use a 20x30cm – 8×12 inch – pan), parchment paper.

Procedure (this will take 2-3 days, so patience!!! Also, I only have a few hours a day available to cook, so you might be able to do this in 1 ½ days)

  1. In a food processor, process the almonds, coconut, and oats (separately) until achieving a flour/dust like texture. Mix in a bowl adding a pinch of salt, the cinnamon and chia seeds (now on, the “dry ingredients”).
  2. In the food processor now process the dates until making a soft paste (add the orange juice for thinning and flavor.
  3. Once the date paste is soft, add in the dry ingredients and mix well.
  4. You will get a paste that is moist, but it should not stick to your fingers.
  5. Line a pan or baking dish with some parchment paper. Expand making sure it’s the same thickness across the entire pan (Tip: I usually cover it with parchment paper and use a small cutting board to press down and even out).
  6. Put the peanut butter in the fridge or freezer and let it harden overnight (this will make the peanut butter easier to manage when making the square sandwiches).
  7. Now, you have two options: (1) Pop in the freezer overnight. The next day cut in half (be aware that for the following steps you’ll always have to make sure you are keeping the date paste cold, otherwise it will be difficult to manipulate); or (2) In a preheated oven, bake for 5 minutes at 120 degrees Celsius (this is what I do). Then, cut in half and let cool down covered overnight (Note: make sure it’s well covered so it doesn’t dry up).
  8. On day two, use half of the date “cookie” as the bottom piece of your sandwich. Spread peanut butter as evenly as possible without letting it cool off and then put the remaining date “cookie” piece as the top creating a “peanut butter sandwich”.
  9. Smooth the edges and freeze for 2 hours.
  10. Remove from the freezer and quickly cut into squares of the desired size. Then once again let freeze overnight.
  11. On day three, melt some chocolate and one by one dip the squares in the chocolate. Place them on a tray with parchment paper. Once all the squares are done, let cool down again in the freezer.
  12. Serving: Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, and keep cold to prevent the chocolate from melting. You can eat them as a snack on-the-go, but I particularly like them as a post workout treat or for mid afternoon tea time (just like my dates balls). Just let them thaw for 3-5 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

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