Frosted Mint Chocolate Bars

I know, I know…  
I thought I had signed off too but let me explain.
The boys and I made these mint chocolate bars on Tuesday night as a Christmas gift for their piano teacher.  We were just having fun, playing around and experimenting you know, but things quickly got out of hand – (my youngest declared these bars to be the best *ever* that’s *ever*) – and we simply had to share them with you.
Even better news? 15 minutes is all you will need to make these all natural, mouth-watering delights.  No baking involved.
Looking for more exciting news? Well, Inspired Edibles reached a very nice milestone on Wednesday.  I woke up to discover 1,000 followers on my Facebook page and was filled with exhilaration and gratefulness.  I want to thank each and every one of you for lighting up my days and nights and making it possible for me to continue with this project.  Writing is a patient but sometimes lonely vocation. You have no idea how nice it is to hear from you and receive your kind words of support and encouragement.  So thank you for taking the time to drop-in by email, in the comments section and share a word or two in person. Now let’s party!
Frosted Mint Chocolate Bars {No Bake, Vegan}
For the Base:
  • 1 + 1/2 cups walnut pieces 
  • 3/4 to 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1/3 cup smooth almond butter

For the Mint Chocolate Topping:
  • 100 grams (roughly 1 cup) 75% cocoa chocolate, chopped (I generally use Lindt)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 tsp pure mint extract or to taste (it’s quite present so go easy at first and increase as desired)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp honey or pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened desiccated coconut for topping

~~~~~
Notes:
My European buddies are snickering (snarling) at me right now with my part Metric, part Imperial measurements.  Clearly, I lack coherence.  I’ll sort it out one of these days. We all have our stuff.

You can use whatever nut you wish for the base but walnut has a nice subtlety to it that works well with the mint.  Peanut, for example, may have too much personality and attitude to graciously give way.
Don’t be put off by the banana in the topping.  The mint is the star here and you will barely notice the banana flavour, if at all.  It simply bulks up the chocolate frosting naturally.  If it’s really not your thing, apple sauce may be worth trying (I have used it in fudge but not these bars – yet).
And here’s some GREAT NEWS: these bars do fine in the fridge and travel nicely. You can pack them in a lunch for the office or school – yay!  Many similar bars have to be stored in the freezer, so these are innovative in that way.  Using a solid chocolate (melted and solidified again) seemed to do the trick!
~~~~~~
Directions:
While you are assembling your materials, submerge dates in hot water to soften them for a few minutes before draining (I boil water in the kettle and pour it over the dates set in a bowl).
Place chocolate in a small sturdy pot on the stove over lowest heat.  Allow chocolate to melt, stirring to assist.  As soon as chocolate has melted, remove from heat and set aside.
In a food processor or blender, combine walnuts, softened dates and almond butter. Process until well combined (you will still see some small nut pieces).
It’s important that the base mixture be sticky.  If it’s too dry, you can add a little bit more almond butter or coconut milk to achieve desired consistency. If the mixture is too wet (looks like a big ball in the blender rather than distributed), add a few more nuts.
Scoop base mixture out of food processor/blender and place in a parchment lined loaf pan.
Using the back of a spoon or cake knife, spread the base mixture evenly in the pan while patting it down with your hands (it should end up being about a half inch thick). 
Using the same blender or food processor, add melted chocolate, banana, mint extract, vanilla extract and honey or maple syrup.  Blend until smooth and silky (it’s a thing of beauty!).
Pour mint chocolate topping over the base and spread evenly using a spoon or knife to assist. Sprinkle chocolate layer with a dusting of coconut.
Place loaf pan in the fridge for 1 hour (or the freezer for 20 minutes or so) until the topping has solidified over the base.
Remove from fridge/freezer and cut into bars or squares, as desired.
You can store the bars/squares in the freezer or fridge as desired.  They travel well.
Enjoy!!
this is how we presented the gift to the boys’ piano teacher
the bars were cut into bite-sized squares and placed in a festive mug
she loves her tea!

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Comments

  1. Tam says

    Kelly, I just had my follow up with my Naturopath who is suggesting a major cleanse and switch to Vegan….thank you for this lovely gift, it will make the “cleanse” somewhat tolerable!!! xoxoxo

  2. Barb Bamber says

    You’re forgiven, in fact any time you want to whip up a new recipe and squeeze it in before Christmas, go right ahead.. this looks like the perfect hostess gift! xx

  3. says

    This is great. I have been making similar recipes for a while but they always need to stay in the fridge to keep firm but I have been trying to eliminate added sugar and, of course, chocolate has added sugar. I might have to give in a little and use the solid chocolate instead of cocoa.

  4. inspirededibles says

    Actually 75% cocoa chocolate has very little added sugar Suzanne. You will get more sugar from honey/syrup. Cheers!

  5. inspirededibles says

    Hi Heather, if your family likes mint, you will fall in love with these bars!! Thanks so much for dropping by :-)

  6. says

    Oh Kelly. I thought I was finished baking. Shame on you. I love a recipe like this, and the little squares looks so incredibly good. I can imagine why your son said “the BEST”.
    I really love that ornament in the last photo, it looks so vintage.

  7. Kristy says

    Oh my gosh! How cute are you baking for teachers and packaging it up so beautifully. I LOVE it! These are just adorable. I love the packaging. I can’t believe these only take 15 minutes to assemble. They look like they take much longer – so pretty. I hope you’re having a fabulous holiday season Kelly! Please wish the boys a Merry Christmas for us as well. As you know I’m very thankful for you, your blog and our friendship. Can you believe we’ve known each other through two holiday seasons now? Where does the time go?!

  8. SallyBR says

    Would you do me a favor and sumit this to Tastespotting? The photos are gorgeous, and even though those people judge photos in puzzling ways, these will definitely make the cut!

    Great recipe too, I love dates, not sure why I rarely use them, but it’s a good reminder to change my perspective!

    Have a fantastic holiday time! Looking forward to many more of your posts in 2013!

  9. says

    Congrats on reaching 1000!! That’s a nice holiday gift! And so will these bars be! I will have to make a batch, everyone will be surprised and happy to get a healthy sweet! Happy holidays Kelly!

  10. inspirededibles says

    What a nice note Kristy – thank you! Two holiday seasons of friendship indeed but you know, I feel like I’ve known you (and your babes) much longer ;0) – a different life perhaps. Thoughts of you and your beautiful family Kristy… A very Merry Christmas to all of you!! xo.

  11. inspirededibles says

    Haha, thanks Sally… I submit to the food sites routinely; some get published, some don’t, all good.

    I hope you have a beautiful Christmas Sally – I can smell your fresh loaves baking from here and the one on your site today is an absolutely beauty! (would go perfectly with the matcha I’m sipping on right now! ;0)

  12. inspirededibles says

    Hello Anusha and welcome to Inspired Edibles! I’m always so happy to see new names and faces here and thank you kindly for stopping by. The tea cup is fun isn’t it? And you know, it’s a very affordable gift idea… glad you liked! ;0)

  13. Patricia @ The Answer Is Cake says

    Ohh – they look really good. I can see why your youngest declared these bars to be the “best *ever* that’s *ever*”.

  14. mjskit says

    Congratulations on 1000 likes!!! What a milestone! I love it that you and your boys created this little treat together. What fun! And what a great treat!!! I’m all for treats that can be made in 15 minutes and still taste SO good. As soon as I saw the dates, I was hooked! Have a wonderful holiday season my friend and I’ll see you in the new year!!!

  15. says

    Congratulations, Kelly! I’m happy the group of your fan is quickly growing and I’m sure it will keep on increasing constantly. At least this is what I wish you.
    These bars look rather like hours of hard labour than 15 minutes and no baking. They seem very soft and sticky, just the way I love sweets. The mug mini-version is the one I prefer. The mini-bars are irresistibly cute (and I have fallen in love with your mugs!).

  16. says

    YUM! Stumbled across this on foodgawker, and had to take a peek (as mint chocolate is my favorite combo everrrr!). Love how natural it is! I’m pinning this one to try later!

  17. says

    Okay – I guess I need to get myself a job as a piano teach in Canada. Free tasty treats! These looks fantastic Kelly – I’m curious about the banana… does it come through very strongly, because I find that even though it’s such a benign little ingredient bananas can sometimes overtake other flavours a lot. It’s a good flavour though, so it’s not a bad thing.

    Your note on measurements made me ponder something actually… when you write cups… I guess you mean Canadian cups, right? Oh the confusion…!! :D

    • says

      Ah yeah, missed that part. T’is true though… mint can disguise anything! Re: cups… apparently US cups and Canadian cups are slightly different. Don’t worry, when I’m world leader I’ll force everyone to use metric and there’ll be a public incineration of all those cup measuring devices! :D

      Merry Christmas Kelly!

  18. says

    I so hear you on the mixed measurements, Kelly! I think it’s the lot of us Canadians.., we’re all over the place because we are so used to working with both systems simultaneously… just like us Québécois are so used to talking French and English in the same sentence and have it sound extremely normal!

    As for these bars, they look absolutely fantastic. Been staring at that picture for 3 days now and I’m still drooling just as much… Guess there’s no choice, I will HAVE to make these eventually. I can almost taste them… that’s pure torture!

    Wishing you the very best and most awesome Christmas Kelly. May your heart be filled with joy and laughter and your tummy with healthy food and treats! ;)

    Lots of love to you, my friend! :)

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