Friday, December 28, 2012

Marginally-Homemade Vegan Chocolate Nibbles

I have an issue with vegan energy bars, and it's that most of them (with the exception of Zing bars, which are my absolute favorite but which are expensive and not readily available around here) are date-based. Dates are tasty, but they're also texturally dense and very sweet. When you add to that things like dried cherries, walnuts, and agave, they turn into brick-like sugarbombs.

If I had to pick a favorite - Zing not included - it would be the Pure Bar:

The chocolate one especially. It doesn't really taste like a brownie to me, contrary to what the package says, but the cocoa cuts the sweetness a bit. The cherry cashew is... okay. When I'm desperate for a quick snack in the middle of the day, I'll eat one if it's the only carb-y thing around. 

But still... These things have heft, and once I eat one, I can feel the heft in my stomach. See? Dense, dense, dense:

However, they make a fantastic base for quick and easy chocolate nibbles. All you need is a bar and some dark chocolate. I use Trader Joe's: it melts well, and it's inexpensive:

Cut the bars up into little bite-size pieces...

...and then melt a few of the chocolate bars in the microwave. Heat on medium-high for 2-3 minutes, stirring once every minute.

Then just drizzle the chocolate over the bites. My five-year-old son did this part - his method was to dot each bite with a glob of chocolate. My method is to cover the whole thing (chocolate everywhere!), but I like how his chocolate dribbled over the sides. He did, too: he now fancies himself quite the pastry chef.

So easy, a Kindergartner can do it! (He loves stuff like this.)

I'll keep them in the refrigerator and have them as dessert for the next few days. Two or three bites are enough to make me feel satisfied and chocolate-happy.

This "recipe" makes Sandra Lee's creations look like food worthy of the French Laundry.

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