Fudge… What’s not to love right? I remember as a kid always hanging out by those one stop fudge shops thinking… if I stand here long enough making my sad eyes I’m hungry face maybe they’ll give me a free sample? Then you’d do a lap of the surrounding area and come back hoping they don’t realize that you’ve already done this song and dance.
But speaking of sweet treats, takes me back to a trip that I took with my sister a few years back. We hit up Europe for three months and one of the stops on our culinary adventure was Switzerland, land of Lindt chocolate, fondue parties, and Mövenpick ice cream.
This trip was before dairy hated me so I still had a healthy relationship with ice cream, but the poopy part was when we pulled into Switzerland so did the biggest rain cloud. But don’t worry because we came prepared only the “protection” that we purchased to brave mother nature may as well have been a veggie bag that you get at the grocery store. So we opted for a night in at our fancy pants hotel, AKA hostel break of showering with flip flops. We also celebrated a little thing on our trip that we called tradition, everyday we would indulge in some sort of treat, and this time the treat of choice was a tub of Mövenpick’s finest, Swiss Chocolate Ice Cream. We clearly didn’t have bowls as we were staying in a hotel but those cute little water cups would do the trick. Only the cup was about the size of a thimble so it only made sense that I had to go back again and again to get a proper serving right??? I remember on my fourth scoop (ok thats a lie might have been my fifth) I was starting to feel a little… ill??? But it would have been a shame to see the rest of that ice cream go to waste.
I learnt an important life lesson that night… Just because you don’t have a freezer doesn’t mean you have to eat the whole thing.
But today we are making guilt free, dairy free, fudge bars. Just don’t shoot the messenger when you eat the whole thing in one go, you’ve been warned, THEY ARE TASTY SO BEWARE!!!. It actually kind of reminds me of ice cream, smooth and creamy, but still fudgey with a tasty peanut butter crunch.
Chocolate P&B Banana Fudge Bars
This recipe makes about 16 squares.
1 cup pitted medjool dates about 15
1/4 cup hot water
1 cup of peanuts, unsalted, skins removed
1/2 cup cacao powder
2 ripe bananas
4 tbsp peanut butter, crunchy or smooth the choice is yours
4 tbsp honey
salt to taste
To start line a 9×9 baking dish with parchment, next toss your dates into a bowl with a 1/4 cup of hot water just to soften them up a bit. Now measure out 1 cup of peanuts and toss those into the food processor and pulse a few times just to break them up a bit, now add the dates, 1/4 cup of your cacao, and a pinch of salt then blend it up until it forms into a ball. Don’t worry if you have chunks of dates or peanuts; just think of those as a tasty surprise.
Now take your date mixture and press it out to fit in your 9×9 dish, I used a piece of parchment to press it down. The reason I don’t just toss it into the dish and flatten it out with my hands is because this stuff is super sticky and I found I ended out with more of it stuck to me than anywhere else.
Once that’s set we are going to work on the top layer. So back to our food processor (no cleaning necessary) and in goes your bananas, the rest of your cacao, honey, another pinch of salt, and the peanut butter then blend until everything is nice and smooth. If you’re using crunchy peanut butter it wont come out perfectly smooth but close enough, and again… Tasty surprises.
Scoop your top layer out and smooth it over the date base as best as you can. Feel free to top with cacao nibs, or chopped peanuts, even sliced banana would be nice. Then into the freezer it goes to set for about an hour. You want it to be solid enough so you can cut it into squares.
The only drawback is that if you leave them out for too long they will melt and become a fudgey mess, but let’s be honest, there’s not going to be much left over once you try these bad boys.
Side note, this is one of those recipes that you can actually eat straight out of the food processor, so should you want to lick the spoon, go nuts!!! Get it… NUTS…cause of the peanuts…