Dark Chocolate, Cherry Crisp Bars & a Brunch

A Brunch Worth Having, Part 2: Raw crispy granola bars are held together in a simple mixture - quinoa puffs, oats, dates, cherries and a little dark chocolate. An easy treat to make and bring along on your next Sunday brunch. 

Dark-Chocolate-Cherry-Crisp-Bars | www.8thandlake.com

A few Sundays ago and a few granola bar recipes later (5 to be exact), and not one holds up on its own. Holds up – as in – doesn’t crumble into a million tiny pieces the second you snap the bar in half, or a recipe that says it’s a granola bar but in fact, it again, crumbles to the pan leaving you with simply granola. Not bad since I’d definitely take the unintentional granola. But for the better part of last year I kept trying to wrap my mind around making the kind of granola bar that is hearty, sticks together when out of the refrigerator, and one that mimics the kinds sold in every corner store. You know, your Kind, Larabar, and 18 Rabbits, kind of bars.

So my experimenting began. And to my surprise, the one that I’ve been making again and again doesn’t even use an oven! Oh no it doesn’t, because it’s raw. And it’s very good. So good that I use all the dates, nuts, dried fruit and oats in the house to remake this recipe nearly every Sunday night. So by the time Thursday rolls around I’m out of all my staple foods with the desire to make these bars again. Melting dates in coconut oil and spreading the mixture throughout the oats, bare hands and all, works the sweetness into every nook and cranny. It is because of the chewy dates that these bars stick together seamlessly. And now that we have the texture down, lets throw some dark chocolate, cherries and puffed quinoa into the mix for good measure.

So when I stopped by my friend Amanda’s house last Sunday for a photo-shoot and a brunch, I made sure to bring her a couple of these delicious crisp bars for three reasons: 1) so that we could photograph them on her lovely granite tabletop, 2) enjoy the bars alongside a freshly baked pear galette and home-made blood orange juice (galette recipe/post here) and 3) to see if the bars really did stand the test of time, outside of the refrigerator...and they did. It was a lovely Sunday indeed. 

2-Dark-Chocolate-Cherry-Crisp-Bars | www.8thandlake.com
www.8thandlake.com | Photography Portfolio - citrus - drink
3-Dark-Chocolate-Cherry-Crisp-Bars | www.8thandlake.com

Serves: 10 bars

Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients for the Crispy Bars:

- 1 cup rolled oats

-1 cup puffed quinoa

- 1/2 chopped pecans (or any nut)

- 1/2 cup dried cranberries

- 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate

- 2 cups pitted medjool dates

- 2 tablespoons coconut oil

- pinch of sea salt


Simply mix all the dry ingredients into a big bowl. Then in a saucepan on low heat, melt the coconut oil and add in all the dates. Mix the dates around the coconut oil until they’re soft and have cooked down to form a sticky ball, about 7 minutes. Set aside for a few minutes to cool. Once cooled, pour on top of the crispy bar mixture and mix thoroughly with your hands, smoothing the date sauce around all ingredients. Then pour the mixture into a baking tray and store in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Cut into small bars and enjoy! Store in the freezer or refrigerator for up to a week.

4-Dark-Chocolate-Cherry-Crisp-Bars | www.8thandlake.com

I really hope you guys enjoy this recipe. I've tried my hands at several granola bar recipes and yet this is the only one that truly sticks together without the need for refrigeration. A raw treat that holds on its own? Now that's a win in my book. 

To keep up with Amanda and all the behind scenes of her gorgeous floral designs be sure to catch her on IG: @amandavidmar and www.amandavidmar.com and to see our Part 1 Brunch, including the pear galette recipe, you can find that here.

Thank you for sharing your creations on instagram! Its been so fun seeing your take on a few classics from the blog :) You can find me at #8thandlake.

Lots of love,

xx Marie