I’ll be honest, the inspiration for these bars is a pistachio and chocolate gelato I had in Italy. I absolutely loved those two flavors together and thought I need to make something when I get home that satisfies that craving. As much as I want to have gelato every day, I decided instead to make myself a snack that I can make in advance so I could have those flavors whenever I wanted. In my experience, these are well loved by both adults and kids and are perfect for grab and go lunches, on my way to a hike or even to satisfy a sweet tooth later in the day.
Your Time: 35 minutes Fridge Time: 4 hours
Oatmeal Fig Bar:
3 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil
1 cup rolled oats (about 3 ounces)
1/2 cup walnuts (about 1 ounce)
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (0.5 ounces)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch Kosher salt
1 cup dried figs, stems removed (about 5 ounces)
2 tablespoons honey
2 1/2 cups raw, unsalted pistachios (about 11 ounces)
1/3 cup unrefined coconut oil, melted
Pinch Kosher salt
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup raw, unsalted pistachios (about 1 ounce)
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (about 0.25 ounces)
3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (about 4 ounces)
1 tablespoon unrefined coconut oil
1/4 cup cacao nibs (optional)
To make the oatmeal fig base: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper, letting 2 sides overhang by at least 2 inches. If needed, use nonstick spray to help the paper stick to the pan. Set aside.
Add the coconut oil to a large skillet and melt over medium heat. Once the oil has melted stir in the oats, walnuts, coconut, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Toast the ingredients until fragrant and just beginning to turn golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Add all the ingredients into a food processor along with the figs and honey. Blend the mixture until finely ground and evenly combined, about 1-2 minutes. Add the oat and fig base to the prepared pan and press it into an even layer from edge to edge using the bottom of a measuring cup to ensure it is even and smooth on top. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes or until the base is set and brown on the edges. Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
To make the pistachio butter: Add the pistachios, melted coconut oil, salt and honey to the same food processor the fig base was made in, no need to clean it out first. Blend the pistachios until they become a creamy, smooth butter, about 8 minutes. The pistachios will first break down and become a dry, fine paste, then it will form into a ball before finally becoming a smooth, creamy butter. Remove from the food processor and set aside.
To make the chocolate topping: Add the pistachios and coconut flakes to a small baking sheet and toast in the oven for 7 minutes or until the coconut is golden brown all over and the pistachios are browning in spots. Remove from oven and let cool slightly, then roughly chop the pistachios.
Add the chocolate chips and coconut oil to a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 1 minute – 1 minute 30 seconds, until melted, stirring every 30 seconds. Remove from oven and set aside.
To assemble: Evenly spread the pistachio butter over the still warm oat and fig base, making sure to smooth out the top. Pour the melted chocolate over top, using a rubber spatula to spread it to the edges. Sprinkle the top with the chopped pistachios, toasted coconut and cacao nibs. Place in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight to let the pistachio butter and chocolate set completely.
Remove the pistachio bars from the pan using the overhang parchment to help lift out. Cut into 4 even strips by cutting once down the center and then cutting those two halves in half again. Rotate the parchment one turn, and then cut again the same way into 16 squares.
Serve immediately or store the bars in an airtight container with parchment between each layer in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 2 months.