In case you didn't hear...
While New York didn't get the extreme blizzard that was initially forecasted, we still got enough snow for Brett and I to bundle up, get some hot chocolate, and walk around Central Park. Yeah, we act like tourists even though we live here. We gotta live it up while we can!!
I was actually dreading wintertime when Brett and I first moved to New York. Everyone kept talking about how horrible last winter was and it made me nervous. Living in Florida and traveling to Africa had turned me into a wimp, so I didn't know how well I'd fare in single digit temperatures. I remember when the temperature would "drop" into the 60's in Florida. Everyone would bundle up and pull out their boots and scarves, myself included, and still I would freeze my derrière off. Okay, maybe not freeze, but it was cold y'all.
But I gotta say, it's amazing how our bodies adjust. Now that I live in New York, temperatures in the 50's feel incredible and I could probably walk around in shorts. It's also amazing how well quality snow gear works in keeping you warm. Hello boots with the fur...
Since Brett and I will only be living in New York for a year, we're trying to make sure we experience every season. We had fun walking around Central Park on Tuesday. There were so many people out sledding, taking pictures and building snow men.
We also loved hearing all of the different languages being spoken as we walked around. I bet we heard 20 different languages during the hour we were out and about! That's one of our favorite parts about New York: the diversity.
...And the fact that I could sing off key at the top of my lungs in the Subway and nobody would care.
Hmmmm. We'll see if that happens.
Once our fingers started to go numb, we made our way back to our apartment. I quickly got to work prepping a salad, boiling some water for pasta, and preparing Angela's Italian Bean Balls for dinner (amazing by the way). That night we were having one of my college roommates over for dinner. She just moved back to the city and it's been so fun to catch up after over 4 years of not seeing each other. It always amazes me the people that come and go in our lives.
For dessert I prepared these Raw Almond Joy Bars.
These bars are good.
And they're so easy to make and require just 6 ingredients!
These bars were inspired by my Homemade Almond Joys, which I LOVE...
...but sometimes I don't want to go through the extra effort to shape them into rectangles and dip them in chocolate.
So I thought, why not just take the same flavors and create three-layer Raw Almond Joy Bars?!
Um, don't mind if I do!
All of my friends and coworkers love these bars, including my college roommate. Whenever I take these to a party or meeting, there are never any leftovers to bring home. Now that's a win in my opinion!
The base layer is perfectly sweet and chewy. The middle layer is creamy and oh-s0-coconut-y. The top layer is rich and decadent and adds a subtle crunch.
You can't get much better than that my friends!
I hope you all enjoy these as much as my friends, my husband, my college roommate and I do;)
But you won't know until you try, right?!
Looks like it's time to whip out your food processor!
- 1 cup walnuts (or almonds)
- ½ cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
- 1 cup packed and pitted Medjool dates (about 10)
- 2 cups shredded coconut, unsweetened
- 6 tablespoons coconut oil
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
- ¼ cup cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Line a 8x8 inch pan with parchment paper or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside
- For the base layer, place the walnuts and shredded coconut into a food processor and process into fine crumbs. Add in the Medjool dates and process until a sticky dough forms, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Evenly spread the base layer onto the bottom of your prepared baking dish and press down until level and well packed.
- Add all of the ingredients for the middle layer into the food processor and process until as creamy as possible, scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Spread this layer evenly on top of the base layer with a spatula.
- In a bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the chocolate top layer and pour this mixture over the coconut layer. Place the baking dish into your freezer until the chocolate topping sets.
- Remove from the freezer and cut into 16 bars.
- Store in the freezer.
*Wait until all of your layers are present before sticking these bars in the freezer. If you stick the base layer in the freezer while you prepare the coconut filling, and then top the base layer with the coconut layer, they won't stick together. Prepare all of the three layers at room temperature and then place the bars in the freezer.
Nutrition InformationYield 16 Serving Size 1 bar
Amount Per Serving Calories 226Total Fat 21gSaturated Fat 15gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 0mgSodium 6mgCarbohydrates 9gNet Carbohydrates 0gFiber 3gSugar 6gSugar Alcohols 0gProtein 2g
Nutrition information is a rough estimate provided by Nutrionix and should be used for informational purposes only.