Edible Bakes: No-Bake Chocolate Oat Bars

Back to school is always a hectic time of year. Make life easy and keep everyone in your family happy and energized by making these yummy no-bake bars. Have fun with the recipe and sprinkle the top with toasted coconut or chopped nuts. This recipe is based on one from Pinch of Yum, among my favorite websites for delicious baking recipes.

Ingredients for the base/topping:
1½ cups toasted nuts (walnuts, pecans or almonds)
1½ cups rolled oats
8 whole Medjool dates, pitted
½ cup coconut oil, melted
pinch salt 

Ingredients for the chocolate filling:
½ cup cocoa powder
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
¼ cup liquid sweetener (agave, maple syrup, honey)

Spray 8- by 8-inch pan with nonstick spray. Cut parchment paper and lay it into the pan. Set aside.

Make the base/topping: Pulse nuts, oats, pitted dates, melted coconut oil and salt in food processor until it forms a sticky dough. Remove ¾ cup of mixture and set aside. Press remaining dough into baking pan. Set aside.

 Make the filling: In small bowl, whisk together cocoa powder, melted coconut oil and liquid sweetener of your choice. Pour over crust and spread with offset spatula.

Crumble remaining dough on top and press gently into chocolate filling to get it to stay in place. Sprinkle with sea salt and chill in freezer for 2 hours. Remove from freezer, cut into bars and serve.

 Storage: Store bars in freezer. Because these are not baked, they are best enjoyed when frozen.

Karen Collins is a self-taught pastry chef and owner of Bisousweet Confections, a wholesale bakery located in Shirley, MA. She also co-founded Nashoba Brook Bakery. Karen has always loved to write and has a blog called As the Bread Burns where she discusses baking, business-ing, parenting and life. When she's not baking or writing, Karen spends her time parenting her three children and three dogs, cycling, running, skiing, volunteering and vacuuming.