Easter is here already? It really seems April is speeding by for me this year – though perhaps part of this is helped by how much is on my calendar this year, I think this Easter weekend is actually the only weekend that isn’t packed with plans already. I also just had my second food list published on Eater P – in January it was the PDX Essential Ramen List and now I have a list of Hottest Portland Popups. But I still squeezed some new recipe trying from a cookbook. If you have a little free time and some extra chocolate bunnies, have you ever considered re-purposing the chocolate into making your own chocolate treats? Like say, Salted Almond Butter Chocolate Bars? I also will highlight some other possibilities for Easter recipes.
This recipe is adapted from A Modern Way to Cook by Anna Jones, a cookbook teeming with 150+ vegetarian recipes, many which are vegan or can also be made vegan. What makes the recipes stand out is how packed they are with flavors so they can inspiring as well as nourishing. Her chapters are broken down by time, and the Salted Almond Butter Chocolate Bars are under her chapter for Quick Desserts and Sweet Treats that take 25-30 minutes of active time, though it does take a couple hours in the freezer to set. The recipe calls for sea salt, but there were some bars I didn’t add salt because F is sensitive to salt, and a few we also used smoked salt instead as we were planning to enjoy these with a vertical of Alaskan Smoked Porter beers.
Salted Almond Butter Chocolate Bars
- 7 ounces of almonds (basically a handful and a half)
- 3 tablespoons of agave syrup or runny honey (use agave syrup to be vegan)
- 2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil
- seeds from 1 vanilla pod, or 1 teaspoon good vanilla extract
- sea salt
- (optional) 5 ounces of unsweetened desiccated coconut – I left the coconut out
- 7 ounces of 70% dark chocolate
- flaked sea salt
- Process the 7 ounces of almonds in a food processor for about 5 minutes until the nuts are beginning to turn into a soft butter. Then add in the 3 tablespoons of agave syrup/honey, 2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil, seeds from 1 vanilla pod or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and a good pinch of the sea salt and process to combine. Next, if using (I just left it out because someone in my dining party didn’t like coconut, and I’m ok without coconut too), add in the 5 ounces of unsweetened desiccated coconut and process again until have what she calls a “scruffy dough like mixture”. When my friend and I made this we made multiple comments the rest of the day whether mixtures we had looked scruffy or not, though I think this is partially an effect of the coconut…
- Line a small square baking pan with baking parchment, and pour the dough from step 1 into it. Using clean wet hands, even out the dough into a square. If you are using the coconut it will be about 2 cm thick. Put the baking pan into the freezer for a few minutes as you do step 3…
- Break the 7 ounces of dark chocolate into a double boiler or a bowl that will sit comfortably over one of your pots with some boiling water (the bowl should not touch the water) to melt the chocolate.
- While the chocolate is melting, take the almond mixture out of the freezer and cut into 24 bars, then pop them back into the freezer to chill. You want to do this before it gets too hard because then the cutting might crack some of the bars, but you needed it to chill a little bit from the fresh mixture you initially processed.
- Once the chocolate has melted, take it off the heat and allow to cool and thicken, stirring occasionally. Cooling the chocolate a little helps and is important so that the bars will be thickly coated.
- Line another baking sheet with parchment. Take the frozen bars out of the freezer and dip them into the chocolate ,using two forks to turn them, and lay them on the parchment to solidify, sprinkling each bar with flaked sea salt.
- Once you have coated all the bars, put them into the freezer to set, about 2 hours.
So that’s my recipe suggestion to help use out some possible Easter chocolate (or take advantage of chocolate sales after Easter).
Also, here are my previously shared favorite Easter recipes:
- Prosciutto wrapped Cantaloupe with Red Pepper Lime Oil and Manchego
- Rosemary and Cheddar Breakfast Sausage Dip
- Asparagus Goldenrod is a great way to use up some leftover eggs in your egg carton, especially during Easter time with the leftover boiled eggs!
- Easter or Spring little appetizer or side of a Spaghetti Nest Recipe you can top with mozzarella and marinara, or a baked egg, or have fun with meatballs or pesto or more!
- Cut these up into three or four and serve open as a pretty appetizer: Radish, Edamame, Ricotta and Greens Sandwich
For main dishes I lean towards those you can prep and just pop in the oven the morning of
- You can prepare everything for this Biscuits Breakfast Casserole the day before and I like how this casserole basically puts all of breakfast – like a breakfast that would have Biscuits and Sausage Gravy as one item, and Cheesy Egg on the side, all together in every bite.
- Balkan Cheese Pie – Burek and Adjika Sauce is similar to a Mediterranean quiche but made with layers of cheese and phyllo (adding mushrooms or ground meat is optional), and can be served with salad or vegetables or soup
- For a side dish add some green with Roasted Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad
- These Ham and Cheese Slider Melts are always a hit
What are you plans for this weekend? Are you doing anything special for Easter?