I came across this recipe while reading a book on hygge – The Danish Art of Happiness by Marie Tourell Søderberg. As I have strong Danish roots, learning about this integral part of everyday life for an average Dane was pretty significant to me. If you haven’t yet discovered the beauty of hygge, it’s not difficult to achieve. Hygge (pronounced hue-guh) is the coziness or comfort of meeting a friend in the park and going for a walk, listening to the rain hit the roof with your hands cupped around a warm mug of tea or simply enjoying coffee with a homemade, healthy snickers bar! Hygge is all about the small things, about finding balance in our everyday life…something that makes your heart happy. I can highly recommend that you get your hands on a book about Hygge and giving it a go because it is very enlightening and all the books on the subject are beautifully put together with lovely photos and impeccable layout, as all things Scandinavian. These healthy homemade bars are perfect for lunch boxes or an afternoon treat – a great way to curb that sugar craving when it hits! So give it a go and enjoy getting to know all about hygge.
For the base
- 250g Raw almonds
- 150g Raisins
- 4 Medjool dates (stones removed)
For the caramel
- 16 Medjool dates (stones removed)
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- Pinch of vanilla powder
- 2 Tbsp boiling water
For the topping
- 80g Salted peanuts, chopped
- 300g 70% Dark chocolate
- To make the base, process the almonds in a food processor for about a minute, until they reach a fine texture. Remove and set aside in a bowl.
- Process the raisins and stoned dates in a food processor, until they form a smooth paste (this might be tricky if your food processor isn’t very powerful and the sticky mixture could get stuck, but just keep moving the mixture with the processor with a spatula or give the processor a bit of a wobble, to get the mixture moving).
- Add the ground almonds and process the entire mixture.
- Place the mixture between two pieces of greaseproof paper and, using a rolling pin, roll it out until you have a square that is 1cm thick.
- To make the caramel, blend the dates, coconut oil, vanilla and water in a blender until it becomes a uniform caramel-like mass. It shouldn’t be runny, but should hang easily on a spoon. Add a few additional dates or put in the fridge if it’s too runny – just be aware that it solidifies quickly.
- Smooth the caramel over the base and sprinkle with the chopped peanuts.
- Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie and pour it over the caramel and peanuts or, if you’re brave, in the microwave.
- Let the chocolate cool, then cut the mixture into 14 pieces or smaller blocks. Place in the fridge – I popped mine into a glass mason jar, for easy access. The bars can also be frozen, ideal for when you are in need of a treat to impress a house guest. You can just whip out some from the freezer and allow to defrost and there you have it, a perfectly yummy treat that’s also kind of guilt-free!
Note: I adapted this recipe from the book Hygge, by Marie Tourell Søderberg.