Do you ever take a bite into something and you’re instantly transported to when you were younger, always dirty, knees constantly scraped, and continuously running around with kids from your cul-de-sac?
Many foods give me this feeling. String cheese, those ice pops that practically rip the sides of your mouth open, grilled cheeses and…
Peanut butter and jelly is the king of all nostalgic foods.
There is something about the combination of peanut butter and jelly that has such a strong, sentimental quality. There is no way you don’t feel like a kid again when you have those two spreads together in one bite.
In an effort to take care of myself better, I’ve been trying to eat like I give a flying f*. BUT. I literally cannot give up sweets. I always have ice cream. Some form of banana bread is a constant in my home, chocolate is a MUST and I always have fruit. Also, cereal has been a downfall of mine lately. Anyone else on that cereal train? Like, why did I ever stop eating it? There is a lot of disparaging, negative content out there about sugar but I try to ignore it, like a good sugar devotee.
This sumptuous, peanut-buttery, jammy bar is the stuff of nostalgic dreams. For the most part, it isn’t all that bad for you! Minimal amounts of processed sugar, easy to make, and will give you that boost of sweet, nutty energy right at that 2:00pm slump in the day.
Seriously though – the combination of dates and walnuts in the crust and then just peanut butter and jelly and chocolate? What could be bad about that? Also, preparing this took no time at all. Probably 15 minutes to put together and another incredibly long 15 minutes to wait for them to set. Needless to say, my impatience won out and I was covered in half-set chocolate and jam, cramming these into my mouth before long.
Chocolate PB&J Slices
What You’ll Need:
For the Crust:
- 1 cup of pitted, dried medjool dates (approximately 7-8 dates)
- 1 1/2 cup of walnuts (raw or roasted – whichever you like best)
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tblsp of cocoa powder
For the Filling:
- 1 1/3 cup peanut butter
- 1 tblsp of maple syrup (or whatever sweetener you have)
- 1/2 cup of your favorite jam (I used blackberry and it was AMAZING.)
For the Chocolate Ganache:
- 1 cup of semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
- 1 tblsp of coconut oil
- 2 tblsp of milk of your choice
- In a food processor or blender, grind your walnuts, salt, and cocoa powder until you get a fine meal. Throw in your dates and process until everything is finely ground or it forms into a rough ball in the processor. Tip the date and walnut mixture into a greased 8×8 pan and spread evenly to cover the bottom of the pan.
- In a small bowl, mix together your peanut butter and maple syrup together. Spoon dollops of the peanut butter all over the walnut/date crust and gently spread the mixture on top of the crust. Do the same with the jam on top of the peanut butter. *Cooks Note – don’t spread the jam all the way to the edges. Keep about a 1/4 inch perimeter so that when you slice them, the jam won’t squelch out the sides. Set the pan in your freezer while you make the ganache.
- In the same bowl that you mixed your peanut butter in, pour in your chocolate chips, coconut oil, and milk. Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until the chocolate is melted and glossy. Take your pan out of the freezer and pour the chocolate ganache over the jam layer and spread evenly. Put the completed bars back into the freezer and let it set for at least 15 minutes before slicing into 9-12 bars.
- Store these in your fridge or freezer. Either way, they won’t last long!
Can be made vegan-friendly if vegan chocolate is used.
All the amazing pictures were a courtesy of Nick W.