Weeknight Cooking

Another Excuse to Never Leave Your Kitchen

February  4, 2015

For those nights when you get home hungry, stressed, and impatient, Hangry is here to help. Each Monday, Kendra Vaculin will share quick, exciting meals to rescue anyone who might be anxiously eyeing a box of minute rice.

Today: If you've got a well-stocked pantry and a food processor, you'll never have to venture out of your kitchen for a chocolatey, nutty treat (that also happens to be raw and vegan -- but in a good way). 

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I live on a fairly populous block in Brooklyn, and with good aim, an aerodynamic rock could hit between 4 and 7 bodegas from my front door (and 2 from the fire escape). Yet this does not stop me from feeling agonizingly far away from sweets at all times. If I want a cookie while curled up in my bed with tea and Gilmore Girls, I have to get up, put on pants and a coat and shoes, walk a block, and spend 2 dollars. Seriously? So much work. Easier to just make my own.

What is this mindset that prefers kitchen clean-up to having to get dressed, that would rather measure and mix than lace up a pair of boots? I cannot tell you -- other than that I am a baby and a stubborn do-it-myself-er. If this all sounds familiar -- and if in the last week’s non-blizzard frenzy, you found yourself more inclined to stock up on nut butters than batteries or bottled water, this recipe is for you. 

More: When you do make it the grocery store, stock up at the bulk bin aisle, then make these no-cook granola bars.

Raw slivers of sweet, sweet uncooked love, these bars came into the world on a day when both the bodega seemed too far AND our gas was out, (love you too, National Grid). I had read about ground dates acting as the binding agent in raw baking, so I threw them and whatever else seemed like a good idea at the time into a food processor, and then into the freezer. The result is a chewy, (coco)nutty, chocolate-y bar that take barely any time at all to come together. And, if you have a similar understanding of what is a kitchen pantry "essential," you never even have to venture to the store to make them happen. 

Raw Vegan Chocolate Coconut Bars

Makes about 20 small bars

2 cups chopped pecans
2 cups pitted Medjool dates
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/3 cup nut butter (I used smooth almond, but sunbutter would be awesome!)
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons -- heaping, because it's chocolate -- unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 pinch salt

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photo by Alpha Smoot

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

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    Rebecca @ Bring Back Delicious
A fan of female driven comedies, a good beat, your hair today, and making foods for friends.


Sarah J. February 4, 2015
If I had a batch of these in my freezer right now...
Susan W. February 4, 2015
These sound so good. Perfect thing to keep in the freezer.
Rebecca @. February 4, 2015
These look great. A lot farmers markets in my area have a vegan baker that makes things like this. They're always delicious.

Personally though, we live in a no treat household most of the time. Too tempting!!