Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Bars

January 18, 2022
6 Ratings
Photo by MJ Kroeger. Prop Stylist: Brooke Deonarine. Food Stylist: Lauren LaPenna.
  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • makes 12 to 14 bars
Author Notes

These ooey-gooey vegan chocolate bars are the perfect sweet treat to grab while on the go, munch on after a hearty dinner, or indulge in after a long day at work. I have been making a variation of this recipe since high school, and they’re still a kitchen staple of mine to this day. At one point, I even convinced half of my relatives to make them—everyone had so much fun creating their own take on the concept, it came to a point where we had a group chat dedicated to sharing our homemade bars each week (fun!).

This particular version doubles down on the chocolate (I used Montezuma’s delicious vegan dark and milk chocolates, which are made by the sea in the South East of England) with a chocolate hazelnut base and a chocolate coating sprinkled with sea salt. To complement those rich chocolatey, nutty flavors, I also included a silky, salty-sweet date mixture in the filling. Depending on the texture you’re aiming for, the finished bars can be stored in a cabinet in your kitchen, in the fridge, or in the freezer if you’re feeling frisky.

I think the best part about this recipe is its versatility; you can use it as a guide to make your own creations. Play around with the base of the dessert—instead of hazelnuts, you could use peanuts, sunflower seeds, cashews, or a mix of nuts and seeds—or add other dried fruits like goji berries, sour cherries, or blueberries. You can even try using two or three different types of chocolate—just have fun with it! —Carolina Gelen

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe is shared in partnership with GREAT British Food and was developed using Montezuma's British Chocolate and Halen Môn Anglesey Sea Salt, which are both proudly produced in Great Britain. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • For the hazelnut base:
  • 3 cups hazelnuts
  • 100 grams (or 1 cup) Montezuma’s Absolute Dark Chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 160 grams (about 7 to 10) medjool dates, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Halen Môn Anglesey Sea Salt
  • 80 grams (or 1 cup) quick oats, optional
  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds, optional

  • For the creamy date filling:
  • 350 grams (about 15 to 20) medjool dates, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 45 grams (or 3 tablespoons) coconut oil, melted
  • 75 grams (or ⅓ cup) nut or seed butter of choice, like peanut or almond
  • 225 to 285 grams (or 1 to 1 ¼ cup) water, as needed
  • 1 tablespoon Halen Môn Anglesey Sea Salt, plus more as needed

  • For the chocolate shell:
  • 300 grams (or 2 to 2 ½ cups) Montezuma’s Like No Udder Milk Chocolate Alternative, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • Flaky sea salt, like Halen Môn Anglesey Sea Salt (for garnish)
  1. Roast the hazelnuts: Microwave them for 1 minute 30 seconds to 2 minutes, mixing at 30-second intervals. You can also bake them at 400°F for about 8 minutes. Once roasted and slightly cooled, toss the hazelnuts in a clean kitchen towel and rub them against each other and the towel, using your hands to remove most of their skin.
  2. Prepare the hazelnut base: Add the hazelnuts to a food processor or blender. Pulse for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the hazelnuts are roughly ground. Add the chocolate, coconut oil, dates, and salt and blend for 2 to 3 more minutes, or until the mixture starts to clump together. Lastly, add the oats, and chia seeds. Blitz a few more times, then taste, and add more salt as needed.
  3. Line an 8- or 9-inch square tin with parchment paper. Tightly press the hazelnut mixture down in the tin using your hands or a glass. Set aside.
  4. Make the creamy date filling: Blend all the ingredients using a food processor, high-speed blender or an immersion blender (which I find works best). Start with 1 cup water and add more as needed, depending on the desired caramel consistency.
  5. Pour the creamy date filling over the hazelnut base and freeze for approximately 1 hour, or until the date filling has fully solidified.
  6. Once hardened, divide the squares into about 12 to 14 rectangular bars. Place the bars on a wire cooling rack set over a baking sheet.
  7. Make the chocolate shell: Combine the coconut oil and three-quarters of the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl or bain marie. Microwave the chocolate at 30-second intervals until completely melted. Mix in the remaining chocolate; the residual heat will melt it.
  8. Evenly coat each bar with the melted chocolate, letting the excess drain onto the baking sheet. Drizzle the remaining chocolate over the bars and sprinkle flaky salt, like Halen Môn Anglesey Sea Salt, on top.
  9. Store in a cool, dark place in your kitchen for up to 5 days, or keep in the fridge for 1 to 2 weeks (but I doubt they’ll last that long).

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Carolina is a resident at Food52. She's also one of the hosts of Choose Your Own Recipe Adventure, our YouTube show where our Food52 readers pick the ingredients and techniques for a brand new recipe. Carolina recently immigrated to the U.S. from Transylvania, a place she spent most of her life. She continues to get inspired by the classic Romanian and Hungarian foods she was raised on, creating approachable, colorful, and fun recipes. For more cooking ideas and candid moments, check out her Instagram @carolinagelen.

4 Reviews

Rosalind R. March 19, 2023
Does no one review these posts before they're published?

It's obvious that Ms. Gelen doesn't know the first thing about cooking. A bain marie is NOT what you use to melt chocolate. That would be a double boiler.

This site has gotten more and more ridiculous, with lower and lower standards as time has gone on.

Erica March 20, 2023
I always used a double boiler or a bain marie to melt chocolate. That is how my grandmother taught me to melt chocolate. She was born in 1902 and had always done it that way. You just need to be careful about getting any moisture in the chocolate. Now I often melt chocolate in the microwave instead. There are often more than one way to do things.
mary D. March 20, 2023
Look up the definition of Bain Marie. I see a picture of another version of a double boiler.
[email protected] January 28, 2022
Love them