Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Treat for Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope it is a great day full of love for each of us. May we all share love and joy with those close to us.

Now to celebrate your Valentine's Day, here is a recipe that will not only hit your sweet tooth but do it without causing unnecessary damage. I made these treats this week and got rave reviews. I think what contributed to those reviews was the first time I made these a few months ago, I burned the pecans and burnt pecans lend a distinct flavor of overdone to any recipe they inhabit. So, this time I watched the pecans much more closely and the candy bars turned out much, much better.

Again, this recipe is from Elana over at She continues to inspire and influence my cooking. This journey has been a lot more joyful because I've had her as a mentor through it. So, I hope this recipe hits the spot for some of you who are looking for a sweet treat that is quick, easy, and without some of the normal pitfalls (white flour, sugar) of sweet treats that abound at this time of year.

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
2 teaspoons celtic sea salt
2 cups pecans, chopped
1 cup almond butter
½ cup agave nectar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups dark chocolate 73% (I cut this down to 1 1/2 cups for a little less chocolate)

  1. Preheat oven to 500°
  2. Warm grapeseed oil and 1 teaspoon salt in a large saute pan over high heat
  3. Add pecans to pan and cook for 3 minutes
  4. Remove pecans from pan and immediately transfer to a baking sheet
  5. Place pecans in 500° oven for 3 minutes, remove and cool
  6. Warm almond butter, agave, vanilla and ½ teaspoon salt in a saucepan over medium heat
  7. Remove from heat and stir pecans into almond butter mixture
  8. Spread batter into an 8 x 8 inch pyrex dish and freeze for at least 1 hour
  9. Remove from fridge, cut into 1 x 3 inch bars; place on small (parchment paper lined) baking sheet
  10. Melt chocolate in saucepan over lowest heat possible
  11. Drizzle chocolate over each bar
  12. Sprinkle bars with remaining ½ teaspoon salt
  13. Freeze and serve

Makes 18 candy bars

I love chocolate and these treats are particularly good with gooey chocolate. What I've found though is that when I consume really good dark chocolate like this recipe recommends that I don't have to eat the whole pan of candy bars. One or two hits the spot just right for me. And then there are more treats left over for the next day and the next and the next. Also, my taste testers and I decided that these treats are even better the second day because the chocolate is less intense and the almond buttery goodness of the pecan mixture is even more noticeable.

Hope the day of love is full of lots of sweetness and light for you and your loved ones.

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