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Chocolate Energy Bars

Chocolate Energy Bars: Line the bottom and sides of a 9 x 5 x 3 inch (23 x 13 x 8 cm) loaf pan with foil and then butter the foil (or spray with a non stick cooking spray).

In a bowl place the pitted and chopped dates in the hot water and soak until the dates are nice and soft (about 5 - 10 minutes). Drain the dates and pat dry.

Meanwhile, place the peanuts and the cocoa powder in the bowl of your food processor. Process until the peanuts are finely chopped. Then add the drained dates and vanilla extract and process until the mixture starts to clump together (about 1-2 minutes). Add the chocolate chips (if using) and pulse a few times, just until incorporated. Press the mixture evenly into your loaf pan and place in the refrigerator to chill for about 15-30 minutes.

Chocolate Glaze: Chop the chocolate into small pieces. Then, in a heatproof bowl, placed over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter. Spread the melted chocolate evenly over the Energy Bars and refrigerate for about 15 minutes or just until the chocolate has set. Using a sharp knife, cut into bars. The bars can be refrigerated for a two to three weeks or they can be frozen for about two months.

Makes about 6 - 4 1/2 x 1 1/2 inch (11.5 x 4 cm) rectangular bars.

Chocolate Energy Bars:

1 cup (155 grams) dried pitted dates, cut into chunks (I used Medjool Dates)

1 cup (240 ml) (240 grams) hot water

1 cup (140 grams) roasted peanuts (salted or unsalted) (can also use almonds, cashews, or hazelnuts)

1 tablespoon (5 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (regular unsweetened or Dutch processed)

1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup (45 grams) dark chocolate chips (optional)

Chocolate Glaze:

3 ounces (90 grams) semi sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1/2 tablespoon (5 grams) butter