Is there any more delicious combination than cherries and chocolate? It’s hard to think of anything that could top that tart, sweet + decadent mixture of ingredients.
With such a fool-proof flavor pairing, I figured this recipe would turn out tasty but after just one bite of these habit-forming bars, it’s clear that “tasty” is a gross understatement. These bars are amazing.
The base of these bars is made from a combination of raw almonds, raw walnuts, medjool dates, cacao, and puffed millet. The mixture is pushed into a pan to form a thick, chewy, and sturdy crust. The next layer is made from melting together (nearly) equal parts coconut cream and dark chocolate to form a ganache/mousse like layer of chocolate cream. Fresh cherry chunks are folded into the chocolate cream to add texture, and the mixture is spread on top of the crust. Another heaping pile of cherry chunks are sprinkled on top, and then the bars are popped in the freezer to set. After a cool 45 minutes, the bars are sliced and garnished with a delicate drizzle of coconut butter.
These are the perfect summer dessert bars, and they’re nearly fool-proof. Chilled, dense, and creamy chocolate bars accented with bright red cherry chunks. Does it get any better?
- 3/4 cup raw almonds
- 1/2 cup raw walnuts
- 1 1/2 cups packed, pitted medjool dates
- 1 cup puffed millet
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons raw cacao
- 1 1/3 cups coconut cream*
- 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chunks or chips
- 2/3 cup fresh cherries, pitted and cut into eighths
- 1 1/4 cups fresh cherries, pitted and cut into eighths
- optional: 1/4 cup coconut butter
- Add the almonds, walnuts, pitted dates, puffed millet, and cacao to a food processor. Pulse 10-15 times and then let the mixture process for 2-3 minutes or until a large ball forms.
- While the mixture is processing, line a 9x13 jelly roll pan with parchment paper, leaving extra parchment on all sides so that you can lift the bars out later.
- Pour the crust mixture into the pan and begin pushing the mixture evenly across the pan with your fingers. Form into an even crust and place in the freezer for 15 minutes to set.
- While the crust is setting, add the coconut cream and dark chocolate to a double-boiler over low heat. Whisk the mixture together until the chocolate is melted and you have a smooth mixture. Fold in the cherry chunks and let the mixture cool for a few minutes.
- Remove the crust from the freezer and pour the cherry-chocolate mixture on top. Use a spatula to evenly spread the mixture across the crust. Return the pan to the freezer for 10 minutes to set slightly. Then, drop the cherry chunk topping evenly over top and return the pan to the freezer for 45 minutes to completely set the bars.
- Remove the bars from the freezer, and use the parchment paper to lift the bar out of the pan. Place on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to cut the bar into squares.
- If desired, melt the coconut butter over low heat, stirring constantly. Transfer to a Ziploc baggie, snip off the corner, and drizzle the bars with coconut butter.
- You can store the bars in the refrigerator or freezer. I recommend storing them in the freezer and removing them 10-15 minutes before you're ready to eat them so that the ganache layer has time to soften.