No-bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Tahini Oat Bars

Kind of a mouthful. The good sort.

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Some breathing time during the week makes way for occasional creative insight. The early morning heralds possibility, and it’s only when my head hits the pillow that I realise how startlingly tired I am from the events of the day. The night pulls you in. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

There are so many things that make life sweet. Like this recipe. But there are also the cute coffee shop corners, insightful nutrition links I keep finding online, and inspiring folk everywhere. Here in London especially, there’s just no shortage of things to do, eat and see.

But yes. There’s just so much yes in this recipe.

No-bake chocolate peanut butter oat bars, bound together with earthy tahini, maple syrup and oats. 

There’s:

  • no flour
  • no egg
  • no sugar (as in your typical white sort, but the maple syrup provides all the goodness, and a wonderful flavour dimension)

and heck, even though I love all these things, it just means another 3 things you don’t have to lack and cry over. Easy.

The formula is simple, the taste lush. You don’t need much to handle in the first place. In fact, it’s so simple I won’t even provide a proper list of ingredients. Just some instructions, with a few cup measurements thrown in here and there. Oh right, and you need a pan. But I thought you would’ve figured that out.

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No-bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Tahini Oat Bars (makes 36 medium bars in a 9×9-inch baking pan)

Grease (line if you wish) a 9×9-inch baking pan. In a saucepan over low heat, melt together 100ml (a little more than 1/3 cup) maple syrup, 113g (one stick) salted butter, 270g (1 cup) peanut butter (smooth or chunky, do as you wish) and 180g of chopped dark chocolate. This will take about 3-5 minutes.

Take off the heat and stir in 80ml (1/3 cup) tahini, a half cup of chopped nuts (or more chopped chocolate), and 135g (1 1/2 cups) whole rolled oats. Pour the thick mix into your pan and let sit in the fridge until firm– around 30 minutes (yes that’s it!)

Cut into bars with a sharp knife and have a ball. There’s no real need to dress these up with anything, but I imagine them nice with chocolate hazelnut spread or more peanut butter on top.

Eggless Honey Chocolate Oat Cookies

I could drone on about the wonders of a cookie and the definite importance of all the components needed to make it, well, wonderful. But to sum this entire post up: Holy shite, little did I know that miracles are within reach without the use of an imperative baking ingredient– eggs.

It was hard not to panic, because the cookie craving was kicking strong. An impatient unborn child raging in my abdomen. I just wanted a cookie, and no, I didn’t want to walk all the way to Sainsbury’s just to buy more basic life needs. That’s for Saturdays, and I don’t mind waiting.

Took my chances.

I was even lacking on the sugar side, and that’s where the honey stepped in. Oh, the honey. Without much sugar left, this was the main sweetener, and surprisingly the biggest flavourer. I didn’t think the flavour would be so profound in the final result, but the first thing that popped into my head when I took a bite was, heck, this is a honey cookie. Which is why the word honey comes before chocolate in the title, and that’s highly, highly unusual. It’s right there, it says everything. It’s fact.

The first batch was not a total failure, but I didn’t quite get what I was looking for. The flavours were all there, but everything was an absolute mess. The overly spread out cookies ranked 10 on the edibility scale but about a 2 for aesthetics. After tweaking the baking temperature and proportion of flour, things were looking up. It’s a little messy, and you end up needing to wait a little longer than usual for a proper set in the middle before tucking into a thin, soft stomach of chewy batter. I thank all that honey and zero egg. It’s grossly divine when you get a bit of chocolate and a bit of oaty chew. Yes, chewy is a key descriptive word here.

Happy mistakes.

Eggless Honey Chocolate Oat Cookies (makes 10-12 medium cookies)

Ingredients

130g (around 1 cup) all-purpose flour

23g (1/4 cup) whole rolled oats

40g (slightly less than a half cup) white sugar

100g (3/4) cup chopped chocolate

1 tsp vanilla extract

113g (1/2 cup) butter, softened at room temperature

8-ml (1/3 cup) honey

1 tsp baking soda

pinch of coarse salt

Directions

Preheat your oven to 350F (177C) and grease 2 large baking sheets. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients– flour, oats, baking soda and chopped chocolate (not the salt!). In a large bowl, whisk together the room temperature butter, white sugar, honey, vanilla and salt. Pour the dry mix into this large bowl and stir together with a spatula or wooden spoon, just until everything comes together. Dollop tablespoonfuls of the mixture on the baking sheets, leaving at least 2 inches in between the cookies. Bake for 15-18 minutes in the preheated oven. Once done, leave to cool for at least half an hour.

Pumpkin Pecan Chocolate Chip Muffins

This is a special dedication to the one and only Emily Olivia Tapp, AKA the girl I’ve been meaning to see for more than a year…? Or a sister-like figure who’s finally on the same continent as me. Blessings are real.

As we sat in Mildred’s in Soho consuming all sorts of outrageously delicious vegan fare (cue sweet potato fries, roasted cauliflower!!, colourful salads and a pretty memorable apple crumble), it suddenly occurred to me just how long it’s been since I’ve seen her, or since I’ve written her a letter, for that matter.  But next to Em, it felt as if not much time has passed between us. In the middle of a million lectures, lab reports and walking everywhere all the time, Tuesday night was peace. Peace and Happy.

So, pumpkin. With chocolate, granola, and pecans. Everything lovingly encased in a golden batter, speckles of everything in each bite. Not a particularly daring experiment, but armed with a new baking pan, cupcake liners and instinct, I did my best. The rooty, earthy pumpkin marries well with the chocolate, and who doesn’t love gooey hot chocolate pockets in the middle of a warm, fluffy muffin?

Pumpkin Pecan Chocolate Chip Muffins (makes 6 muffins)

Ingredients

95g (3/4 cup) (95g) plain all-purpose flour

100g (1/2 cup) white sugar

120g (1/2 cup) pumpkin puree

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

pinch salt

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

30ml (1/8 cup) vegetable oil

1 egg

1 tbsp whole milk

1/4 cup granola or rolled oats

45g (around 1/3 cup) chopped chocolate

30g (around 1/4 cup) chopped pecans

Directions

Preheat your oven to 180C. In a medium bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients, except for the last 3 (chocolate, pecans and oats/granola). In a larger bowl, mix together all the wet ingredients– egg, oil, pumpkin, milk and vanilla. Mix in the dry ingredients, and just before everything is incorporated, mix in the remaining 3 ingredients. You really only need 2 clean bowls and a wooden spoon for this entire process!

Divide the batter amongst 6 cupcake liners (double the recipe of you want of course), then bake for 25-27 minutes (mine took 25) in the preheated oven. Let cool once finished baking and tuck in. Any uneaten ones can be stored at room temperature for a couple of days, or in the freezer for however long you want.

White Chocolate Caramel Banana Bread

Because we all know banana bread is actually cake.

Side note: I’m back!!

An apology is necessary and expected. The past few weeks have been an absolute blast, busy busy busy, what with moving to London to embark on a very science-y and exciting adventure. Early lectures, lots of note-taking, and the constant fear that I’ve done nothing to deserve a place in this wonderful university. The people are amazing, the work intriguing, and nothing beats the nighttime kitchen adventures, midnight study sessions and later-night parties. Nothing I say here could ever fully justify the experiences that have been thrown at me as well as those which I have yet to encounter. It’s still incredibly surreal; like a dream come true, yet somehow better.

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A modification on one of my previous banana bread recipes, this one has a gallant twist with the incorporation of white chocolate and caramel. If ever I do this again, I’ll be sure to add in a nuttier texture or more earthy flavour component to up the ante of everything else going on in the picture. It’s the sweetest pick-me-up, and a one-bowl wonder. Don’t you love the easy stuff? Remember: I’m all about simple. Sometimes. Ok, most of the time. With college matters whirling around my head, this loaf was a nice and easy break, which took no time at all to put together and bake. Feels good to get into mixing, picking ingredients and experimenting again in the kitchen. Made it with one of the sweetest people I’ve met here, and everyone loved (and then attacked) it. Crowd-pleaser. Bananas. White chocolate. Caramel. Good play.

Now, it feels like home.

White Chocolate Caramel Banana Bread (makes 1 loaf)

Ingredients

3 ripe bananas, mashed

1 1/2 cups (190g) plain white flour

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup (76g) melted unsalted butter

2 tbsp milk

2 heaping tbsp caramel sauce

1/3 cup (68g) white sugar

3/4 cup white chocolate chips (I cut up a good bar)

Directions

Preheat your oven to 180C (350F). In a large bowl, mix together the mashed bananas, milk, sugar, melted butter, egg, salt and vanilla. Then add in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, milk, caramel sauce. Finally, gently stir in the white chocolate chips. Pour into a greased loaf and bake for 50-55 minutes. This one was ready by 53 minutes.

To serve, slice up and serve with more caramel, marmalade (a touch I personally adore) and more chopped chocolate. I’m guessing whipped cream or ice cream would sort out any lonely evening, too.

Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Pancakes

In other words, sin.

Pockets of sweet fudge, buttery, mildly sweet batter, the familiar mosaic on each side of a perfectly cooked, risen pancake.

Each forkful is effortless, tender.

Can’t wait any more. I know I have a well-stashed ‘Babbles’ category, but sometimes there’s no time for babbling. Especially with as straightforward and delicious a recipe like this. Stocked the praise in the main post which you can find in the directions below, but I felt the need to dedicate a separate post to this chocolate version. Ugh, stuffed silly with chocolate. You can’t not like chocolate. Or these. On a Sunday, with the birds chirping and the world is glistening.

Directions

Make the pancakes according to the instructions in my previous post for my favourite buttermilk pancakes herebut add 85g (a large handful) of chocolate chips (I love Ghirardelli’s or Nestle’s mini milk or semi-sweet chips for this, which make for the perfect little pockets of goo) to the dry mix before adding the wet mix.

And that’s it! Top with maple syrup or whatever you want. I added tahini for a slight savoury, creamy punch. You don’t need much when chocolate’s in the picture.