Sunday, 25 February 2018

Double Chocolate Almond Bars

I have been itching to bake something for a few days, and decided that today was the day to do it! There were two small good quality chocolate bars  that we were given for Christmas (yes, we have resisted eating them), as well as a partial jar of almond butter in the fridge. Perfect!

The almond butter was one that I had made as part of a Christmas gift basket, and had cocoa nibs, cinnamon, vanilla and Kahlua in it. So yummy, and it would be perfect for baking with.

I made a fudgy, chocolate bar, using the dark chocolate and almond butter in the batter, and folding in the white chocolate as chunks. I sprinkled some flaked almonds on top, adding a bit of crunch. These were very easy to eat, not as sweet as they seem they would be...and surprisingly enough, the Kahlua flavour came through.

The best part of this is that it is all mixed in one pot!

Start off by lining an 8" X 8" pan with foil, and lightly greasing it. Turn the oven on to 350F.

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, over low heat, melt:

4 ounces butter

When the butter is half melted, add:

2 1/2 ounces finely chopped bittersweet chocolate

Keep the heat on low, and stir until the chocolate and butter are completely melted. Remove from the heat.

Before adding the egg, make sure that the temperature of the melted butter and chocolate are slightly less than body temperature.

Whisk in:

1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Whisk in:

1/3 cup almond butter (slightly heaped)

The mixture may appear to separate, but don't will come back together.

Whisk in:

1 cup brown sugar

Stir in:

1 cup flour

Lastly, stir in the white chocolate chunks:

2 1/2 ounces chopped white chocolate

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly.

Sprinkle the top with:

2 tablespoons flaked almonds

Bake until a wooden skewer inserted into the centre of the pan comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs attached.

This should take 20 - 25 minutes.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely before cutting.

To serve, carefully remove the foil from the pan, peel the sides down and cut the into 16 bars or squares. Serve at room temperature, as is, or with vanilla ice cream.

  • This is a forgiving recipe, as it can easily be adjusted to what you have available.
  • Chocolate: any type or combination can be used, dark, white or milk; chocolate chips or chunks; shaved chocolate; chopped chocolate bars such as Skor bar.
  • The dark chocolate that is added to the butter can be omitted if you choose. You can also replace it by removing 1 tablespoon of flour and replacing it with cocoa.
  • Any nut butter will work...peanut, almond, cashew or even mixed nut butter.
  • As most nut butters do not contain Kahlua, if you like the idea of the coffee flavour, add 1/2  teaspoon of instant coffee to the melted butter and allow it to dissolve.
  • Up the almond by using almond extract instead of vanilla.
  • Spices such as cinnamon, ground ginger or even cayenne pepper can be added.
  • The bars are thin; if you want them to be thicker double the recipe, and bake for longer. 
  • The thinner bars can also be used to make ice cream sandwhiches: soften some ice cream, spread it onto half of the uncut bar and then place the other half on top. Freeze until the ice cream is firm, and then cut into portions using a hot knife.
  • These keep well in an airtight container, but I prefer to freeze them as I don't trust myself not to eat them all!

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