Devin’s Note: Though it will take a few extra minutes to chop the dates by hand, it is best to do that over throwing them into a food processor for this recipe. To create the perfect bars, you want the date pieces nicely chopped and bite-y, not at all paste-like. But don’t go overly perfectionistic on me on this one. They don’t have to be uniformly chopped, so throw them on your cutting board with a big, heavy knife and chop away like you see us chefs do on tv.
If you want the bars to be really gooey (I actually prefer them that way), it’s best to cook them 2 or 3 minutes under what is recommended in the recipe. That said, if you want them to look perfect on your holiday table, I’d suggest sticking to the recipe as is.
Butter-flavored cooking spray
1 cup whole-grain oat flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup egg substitute
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound pitted dates, chopped into small pieces
¼ cup finely shredded, reduced-fat, unsweetened coconut (I used “Let’s Do…Organic” 40% less fat coconut)
¼ cup natural, 70% cocoa mini dark chocolate chunks, divided
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly mist an 11” x 7” glass baking dish with spray.
In a small mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set it aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, using a sturdy spatula, mix the egg substitute, sugar and vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture until well combined, followed by the dates and 3 tablespoons of the chocolate chunks. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish. Sprinkle the coconut evenly over top, followed by the remaining tablespoon of chocolate. Bake 24-26 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out sticky, but not wet. Cool the bars on a wire rack until completely cool. Cut them into 16 bars, cleaning the knife in between each slice.
Makes 16 servings. Each (1 bar) serving has: 170 calories, 3 g protein, 36 g carbohydrates (27 g sugar), 2 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, <1 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 90 mg sodium
The Biggest Loser Dessert Cookbook