Thank you to everyone who’s offered feedback on my new layout! I also enjoyed hearing your thoughts on coconut oil and agave this week, which has been quite an eventful one for me. I’m simply bursting at the seams with some super-duper exciting news. It’s been brewing for some time, but has now been confirmed and finalized. I want to tell you so badly! However, today’s post will serve as a precursor to the big announcement, which I shall issue…tomorrow!
I think it’s safe to assume that you all know by now how much of a Matthew Kenney fan I am. I can pinpoint my lunch at 105 Degrees back in May as THE moment I officially fell in love with raw food once and for all. I returned there in July to have dinner with Ani Phyo AND Matthew himself. In corresponding with him since, he has graciously commended my blog and complimented my writing, for which I am both grateful and delighted. When a copy of his latest opus, Everyday Raw Desserts, landed in my mailbox, I was overjoyed! 75+ brand spankin’ new recipes for cakes, pies, puddings, flan, brownies, candy, cookies, and ice cream—ALL raw? Oh, hell yes!
Matthew gave me permission to share some of the recipes with you, so I’m starting out with these “hello dolly” bars. I had never even heard of such a thing before (and a Google search didn’t yield much info, other than that they’re also commonly called “7-layer bars”), but I knew at first glance that I HAD to make them, expense be damned. So it seems “Dolly,” whoever she is, has gone, raw, vegan, and gluten-free!
- 3 cups cashew flour*
- 4 Tbsp agave nectar (or coconut nectar, maple syrup, or honey)
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1½ cups unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 cup cacao nibs
- 1 cup agave nectar (or coconut nectar, maple syrup, or honey)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp sea salt
- (*Note: To make cashew flour, just pulse dry cashews in a food processor until a fine powder forms.)
- In a large bowl, combine all crust ingredients.
- Use a wooden spoon and/or your hands to mix thoroughly.
- Grease a 9-inch square baking dish with coconut oil, then press the crust mixture firmly into the pan. I like to grease the bottom of a measuring cup or glass and use it to really pack down the crust.
- In the same large bowl (no need to wash it), combine the coconut, walnuts, and cacao nibs.
- Add the agave, vanilla, and salt…
- …and again use a wooden spoon and/or your hands to mix thoroughly (the mixture will be very sticky).
- Spread the filling evenly over the crust…
- …and press it down firmly.
- Dehydrate for 3-4 hours, until warm and chewy. Alternatively, you could put it in the oven for a bit at a low temperature. (I haven’t tried it, so I can’t recommend a specific temp or length of time, but remember that all you really want to do is warm it, not bake it.) You could also probably just pack the layers into the pan extra-well, and eat it straightaway!
Cut and enjoy. And oh, you will enjoy. The relatively plain crust is an excellent base for the chewy, sticky, nutty, nibby, crunchy concoction on top. How sweet it is! These bars are downright decadent.
I can’t say enough great things about Everyday Raw Desserts. It’s full of recipes like this one—simple and straightforward in both ingredients and preparation, but with amazingly flavorful and foolproof results. Thank you again, Matthew!
Come back tomorrow to hear my big news! EEE!