Paleo Chocolate Orange Bars

February 4, 2015 25 Comments

Paleo Chocolate Orange Bars

Now that January’s behind us, are you ready for some chocolate?

I was working on a new recipe index for the blog, to improve the recipe browsing experience, and realized that I only had one dessert. I’d like to change that :) The reality is that it’s really hard for me to do desserts on the blog, since there’s a fair amount of recipe testing + tweaking that goes into each post (this is the third revision of the chocolate orange bars), so it just becomes downright over-indulgent and unhealthy. There are some perks of having a seemingly endless supply of chocolate orange bars in the fridge for two weeks straight, but until I learn to wave my magic wand and come up with unique + delicious recipes on my first try, you’ll just have to deal with my heavy bias towards salad-y things :) I am working on it.

I have also been giving some thought to the way that I label my recipes. Since I’ve never identified with or explicitly endorsed any particular diets, I’ve always avoided putting the respective dietary labels on my recipes (i.e. vegan, paleo, gluten free, etc..). I do, however, respect that there are many people that do follow or experiment with these diets, whether it’s by choice or necessity, and I want to make recipes on my blog as accessible as possible, which means being open to labelling them. I’m starting to see that these dietary labels are huge when it comes to recipe searches, and I’m hoping that by labelling my recipes, when applicable, those on the lookout can find what they’re searching for easily.

Which brings me to the Paleo Chocolate + Orange Bars!! The base is dense, moist, and brownie-like, while the orange curd is luscious and creamy, bursting with the citrus flavour that I just can’t get enough of in the winter months. I love citrus curd, but I’ve never loved making it on the stove top – there’s just way too much going on. My favourite thing about this recipes is that the curd is baked and unless you forget the whole thing in the oven, it’s pretty hard to mess up. So here you go! Dessert #2 for all of your February (and paleo) needs.

I’d love to know where you stand on dietary recipe labels. Do you find them helpful, unnecessary, annoying, don’t care? Let me know in the comments below!

Paleo Chocolate Orange Bars // From the Land we Live on

Paleo Chocolate Orange Bars // From the Land we Live on

Paleo Chocolate Orange Bars // From the Land we Live on

Paleo Chocolate Orange Bars

Serving Size: 16

The baked curd was inspired by and loosely adapted from these lemon coconut bars from Green Kitchen Stories

Ingredients

    Chocolate Base
  • 2 cups of pecans
  • 4 medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 3 Tbsp. raw cacao powder + more for dusting
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • Orange Curd
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup of honey

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F and line the bottom of and 8×8 inch oven-proof dish parchment paper.
  2. To make the base, process the pecans in the food processor until finely ground and a little sticky, just before they start turning into pecan butter.
  3. Add the dates, cacao, vanilla, and salt, then process until a thick batter forms. This will be very sticky and moist. Transfer the batter to the lined dish and press it down to evenly flatten it along the bottom. Refrigerate while preparing the curd.
  4. To make the curd, beat the eggs in a mixer with the whisk attachment (I’ve also done this successfully with the whisk attachment on my hand blender), until light and foamy
  5. Blend or whisk the remaining ingredients to form a very smooth mixture, then add it to the eggs. Whisk the entire mixture again to fully incorporate all of the ingredients, then immediately pour over the chocolate base.
  6. Bake for 40 – 45 minutes, until golden on top and set in the center. Test the readiness by using your oven mit to agitate the baking dish. It’s ready as soon as there’s no more jiggle.
  7. Allow the bars to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours until fully chilled (this makes it way easier to cut into bars).
  8. Trim the edges (they’ll probably be stuck to your baking dish), then cut into squares, bars, or diamonds. Dust with cacao powder.
  9. Keep refrigerated.
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25 Comments

  1. Reply

    Brianne

    February 5, 2015

    These sound so good! Since I don’t have any dietary restrictions, I tend to shy away from labels, too. But I see how they can be helpful!

    • Reply

      Sofia

      February 5, 2015

      I hope they’ll be more helpful than annoying – but will have to keep an eye on that! Thanks, Brianne :)

  2. Reply

    Lauren | Wicked Spatula

    February 5, 2015

    These look divine! Trying soon!

    • Reply

      Sofia

      February 5, 2015

      Awesome! Thanks, Lauren. Let me know how they turn out!

  3. Reply

    Sandra

    February 6, 2015

    I love the combination of orange and chocolate together. I know exactly what you mean about the hazards of experimenting. I definitely want to make some of these bars, they look delicious!

    • Reply

      Sofia

      February 7, 2015

      hahah “the hazards”! Thanks, Sandra :)

  4. Reply

    Karishma

    February 7, 2015

    Oh wow these sound SO good! I love the creativeness of the bar base and I am definitely trying this out.

    • Reply

      Sofia

      February 7, 2015

      Thanks, Karishma! Let me know how they turn out. I had the curd top from the first try, but the base took a little work…that’s where all the fun’s at right?

  5. Reply

    Ksenia @ At the Immigrant’s Table

    February 16, 2015

    I love this recipe! I just finished a paleo month but in many ways, I’m still trying to maintain a paleo diet… And this recipe is perfect.

    Thank you so much for developing and sharing this!

    • Reply

      Sofia

      February 17, 2015

      Thanks, Ksenia! Curious if you’ve noticed any benefits from Paleo month…can you give us a little recap on your blog? Or did I miss it?

  6. Reply

    Zeeshan

    October 6, 2015

    I was a little apprehensive because it was paleo and then when I was making the curd I didn’t know how it would turn out because it was only egg, orange and honey…… BUT it turned out Amazing!. Really great when you’re craving something but don’t want to be unhealthy.

    • Reply

      Sofia

      October 6, 2015

      Thanks, Zeeshan! So glad you liked them :)

  7. Reply

    Ilona @ Ilona’s Passion

    February 12, 2016

    wow! Such a delicious treat. I will definitely make them. Saving to my collection:)

    • Reply

      Sofia

      February 12, 2016

      Thanks, Ilona! Hope you like them :)

  8. Reply

    Lily @GastroSenses

    February 12, 2016

    Dropping some love here because these bars look absolutely sinful!! My family is gonna love me after I make these!! Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply

      Sofia

      February 12, 2016

      Just don’t give it to the doggies! Sometimes I forget and almost sneak my guy a piece of something chocolatey. Hope you guys like them! Thanks, Lily!

  9. Reply

    Sean

    February 12, 2016

    Is there anything like chocolate and orange? You know, if you ever get a chance to get your hands on some Seville oranges, I would try making the curd with them. They’re less sweet than a standard orange, but they have the most intense ‘orange’ flavour imaginable. I made a Seville orange pie (like a key lime) with a chocolate graham wafer crust a while back, and it was absolutely spectacular.

    I love the use of the dates in the crust! The more I see medjool dates being used, the more amazing and versatile they seem. Thanks for sharing these!

    • Reply

      Sofia

      February 12, 2016

      Love seville oranges! There’s only one place that sells them near me and I’ve been making marmalade for the past few winters. Great idea to use them in dessert though…I will totally try your pie next time I get my hands on some. Thanks, Sean!

  10. Reply

    Alanna @ One Tough Cookie

    February 12, 2016

    Having just spent a week drowning in chocolate meringue cake tests, I can relate! But these bars look absolutely spectacular! I’m sure walking Benji for a couple extra minutes will offset them — plus there’s orange curd, which practically makes these a health food. ;) Seriously, though, Sofia, these look beautiful! I’m bookmarking them for my next baking project!

    • Reply

      Sofia

      February 12, 2016

      I’m sad I missed your cake today. My pancake shoot was kinda meh…pancakes were great but I hate it when the photos seeeeem OK on camera but are not quite right when I upload them. Should of just skipped it and come over for cake instead :) Thanks for the kind words on the orange bars…it was nice to be able to pull something up from last year and still have it rock the FBC thread!

  11. Reply

    Sahar Aman

    February 13, 2016

    My friends and are all a little crazy for these! One of the your most popular recipes for Love To Eat It users as well. Nice to go back into the vault and now I’m craving them. Hope you are well xoxo

    • Reply

      Sofia

      February 14, 2016

      Thanks so much for sharing them on Love to Eat it and glad to hear that they’re a hit with your friends as well! ♥

  12. Reply

    Jared @ thehesitantchef

    February 15, 2016

    These look really good! I want one.

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