Chewy Chocolate Squares with Dried Fruit and Nuts Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Chewy Chocolate Squares with Dried Fruit and Nuts

A dense treat with chocolate, dried fruit, and nuts.



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½ cup slivered almonds, toasted
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½ cup shelled toasted pistachios, chopped
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8 dates, pitted and coarsely chopped
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½ cup chopped dried apricots
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½ cup chopped dried figs
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½ cup dried cherries
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¼ cup all-purpose flour
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¼ cup fine whole-wheat breadcrumbs
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2 Tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder
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1 tsp. grated orange zest, dried
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1 tsp. ground cinnamon
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½ tsp. grated nutmeg
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¼ tsp. ground allspice
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⅛ tsp. salt
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¾ cup agave nectar
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¾ cup sugar
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2 Tbs. vegetable oil


1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Coat 9-inch-square pan with cooking spray, and line with parchment paper. Spray again.

2. Combine almonds, pistachios, dates, apricots, figs, cherries, flour, breadcrumbs, cocoa, orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt in bowl.

3. Bring agave nectar and sugar to a boil in saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 10 minutes. Stir oil, then agave nectar mixture into fruit-and-nut mixture. Transfer to prepared pan, and smooth top. Bake 50 minutes, or until mixture is done on sides but still soft in center—it will firm up completely once it cools. Cool, then cover with foil, and let rest overnight. Unmold, remove parchment, and cut into squares.

Nutrition Information: 

1 g
Total Fat: 
2 g
Saturated Fat: 
<1 g
20 g
0 mg
9 mg
2 g
16 g
Makes 36 squares

Comments on this Recipe

These were delicious! The recipe wasn't clear on this point: Make sure the parchment lines the bottom and sides of your pan. And I had a happy accident adding the same amount of cranberries in addition to the cherries. It added a nice tang to the bar. (Hey! When both are dried, they look the same.)

No comment, just a question. What can I substitute for agave nectar as I don't believe I will be able to purchase that here?

I have made these several times and everyone loves them. Subbed pecans for almonds, fruit juice sweetened cranberries for cherries and xylitol for sugar. Also cut back the agave to 1/2 c. People I share these with always ask for the recipe. Once cut up into squares, they freeze well. Delicious!

Any way to reduce the sugar in this? Seem like it could be sweetned wth more fruit sweetner or less white sugar? Any suggestions?

Maple syrup makes a pretty good substitute for agave nectar, that's what I use =)

Also added cranberries, simply because I like them and DO know the difference:)On the nutty side, I used cashews, however paranuts (also called brazilian nuts) will take you to the moon. Agave can be subbed by maple syrup as mentioned, or plain honey, you may want to choose bio or 'GREEN' honey without preservs. ( so no green color) Recipe is ok, but I would use less flower. No reduction of sugar is needed if you add more lemon juice and exercise. If you insist, use 1/2 cup. Final tip is to definitely bake for LESS then 50 mins. After 3 times, I now use only 20 mins, then leave in oven and turn OFF for 5 mins. Cool completely, ideal overnight. Do use shredded knife for cutting to get yummy bars. Njoy!

Great recipe! The list of ingredients is long, but easily adaptable to what you have in your pantry. I didn't have figs, used cranberries instead of cherries, and hazelnuts instead of almonds. Used only half a cup of maple syrop, and didn't make any sugar at all, still it was sweet enough for me. But I do think sugar syrop is needed though as it will bind better the ingeridients together. All in all good tasting and healthy snack or desert.