If you’ve had the Mid Day Squares Peanut Buttaaa flavour before – you’ll know exactly why you need this recipe in your life (iykyk)!
Mid Day Squares are one of my most favourite on the go snacks and so I found myself buying a lot of them (and it certainly was starting to add up)! This is why I decided it was time I tried to make my own at home – and I truthfully could not be happier with how they turned out! It’s also a win win because when you make them at home you have the exact say of the ingredients that go into them!
These bars make for the most perfect snack as they are loaded with protein, healthy fats, and fibre – not to mention they give you just the boost you need to get you through your morning, afternoon, or evening!
I love them because they taste incredibly delicious and fulfill all your chocolate/ sweet cravings without causing a huge spike in blood sugars. Oh and they’re gluten free, dairy free, vegan, and lower in sugar than your average ‘sweet treat’ making them a true crowd pleaser to all (whether a health nut of not).
And some more good news – despite being a double layer bar they are actually relatively simple to make – so don’t let the 2 layers scare you away from giving this recipe a go!
I can’t wait for you to make these 2 layer peanut butter chocolate protein bars! And if for whatever reason you can’t – give the Mid Day Squares PB Bars a try from the store – and you’ll likely be hooked as I am 🙂
– 1/2 cup all natural, smooth peanut butter
– 1/2 cup medjool dates (de-pitted and then well packed into the measuring cup)
– 1/4 cup maple syrup
– 1/2 cup almonds (NOTE: can sub for a mix of nuts like almond, cashew, hazelnuts, pecans OR use sunflower seeds)
– 1 heaping scoop vanilla protein powder (as always I recommend Botanica Perfect Protein Vanilla) *See note a)
– A pinch of sea salt
– 1 cup dark chocolate chips * see note b)
– 4-5 tsp. unsweetened almond milk
a) The protein powder you use here really matters as it WILL impact the taste! Botanica is my all time fave, but if you can’t find that – try using another simple ingredient organic vanilla protein. Note that you can add 2 scoops if you want there to be more protein (just know that it will give it a stronger flavour so if you’re not used to the protein powder taste I’d stick to just 1 scoop!)
b) Using 1 cup of chocolate chips will make for a nice and rather thick layer of chocolate – if you’re less of a chocolate lover than I am (yes, I know you who exist) feel free to minimize to 3/4 cup or even 1/2 cup for a thin layer of chocolate and adjust the amount of almond milk you need accordingly
– Pre-heat your oven to 325°F convection
– Place the peanut butter, dates, and almonds/ nuts into a food processor and mix for approx. 30 seconds. If you don’t have a food processor, a high speed blender can definitely work!
– Then add the maple syrup, vanilla protein, and sea salt to the food processor and continue to mix
– You should reach a smooth, homogenous texture without any chunks
– Next, firmly press the PB mixture into a loaf pan (9×5) using your hands to disperse throughout. I like this size pan as it makes the bars nice and thick! To ensure the bars are ultra pressed into the pan – use either a small jar (250mL) and roll it on top of the mixture or a fork to continue to press them super evenly throughout the pan
– Place the pan with the pressed PB mixture into the oven and bake for 8-9 minutes (the bars should look the slightest bit browned/ golden on the corners – but no more!). This will help to firm up the bottom layer so it doesn’t crumble when you cut into them!
– In the meantime, make your chocolate layer by placing the chocolate chips into a small pot. Turn on low heat (as low as possible) and then add 2 tsp almond milk. Stir constantly being careful not to take your eyes off of the mixture or it will burn! Add another 2 tsp of almond milk as you continue to stir until it is completely melted. You want the chocolate to be thick but spreadable. If it’s still quite thick – add another 1-2 tsp. almond milk. Remove from heat immediately after it is a nice melted consistency for spreading. Do not keep on any longer or it will start to get too thick
– Remove the bars from the oven and then pour the chocolate layer on top. Evenly spread the chocolate layer using a small spatula or metal spoon.
– Next place the bars in the freezer for a minimum of 1 hour in order to set. Overnight works well if you can be that patient!
– Once the bars look completely frozen throughout, remove from freezer and allow to sit for 20ish minutes before cutting into squares
– Cut into squares using a sharp knife. Store in the fridge in an air tight container for up to 1 week or the freezer any longer