Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars with Sea Salt

I remember making some amazing Peanut Butter Squares from the ever-fabulous Nigella Lawson's "How to be a Domestic Goddess" book, which I have to say is one of my favourite cook books. I decided to try and make a healthy version as Nigella's called for copious amounts of icing sugar and dark muscovado sugar. Peanut butter and chocolate are one of my favourite combinations and with the addition of some flaked sea salt you have me sold!

If you aren't a fan of peanut butter (I don't think there are many of you out there though!) feel free to try this with almond butter or any other nut butters. 




Ingredients:

280g Peanut Butter (1 jar of Meridian smooth peanut butter)
50g ground almonds
3tbsp Sweet Freedom or honey
140g dark chocolate
Flaked sea salt (I used Maldon)

This product Sweet Freedom (available in large supermarkets and health food stores) is an alternative to add sweetness to your baking, porridge or tea. It is made from 100% fruit so no added nasties, and it tastes great, quite similar to honey. 

This 74% cocoa solids chocolate from Lidl is a great bargain, just as good as the expensive stuff if you ask me.


Method:

1. Line a 9 inch x9 inch baking pan with greaseproof paper. 

2. Mix the peanut butter, ground almonds and Sweet Freedom together in a bowl. You can add more or less of the Sweet Freedom, depending on your taste - just bear in mind that the more you add, the wetter the mix will be, so you may need to add more ground almonds to get the right consistency.



3. Spread the mix into the pan, making sure to cover it all, use your fingers to push it towards the edges. Place in the fridge to harden for about 30 minutes.

4. Melt the chocolate over a 'bain marie' and then leave to cool for about 10 minutes. Pour the chocolate evenly over the peanut butter layer and spread with a spatula. Sprinkle with flaked sea salt and place in the fridge to set. 



5. When cutting the peanut butter bars, make sure to let them come to room temperature so the chocolate doesn't crack (I was a bit too impatient so mine cracked a bit). A tip for ensuring a clean cut is to heat a sharp knife under hot water and then dry it so that the heat from the knife makes it easier to cut into the hardened chocolate.




6. Cut the bars into small pieces as they are quite rich. Store in the fridge as the peanut butter layer can soften otherwise. They should keep for a week in the fridge (if you can keep them around for that long!). 



This recipe is vegan, gluten free, dairy free, and sugar free!

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