Owwwwwww! These. Are. Ridiculous. Make them (especially if you vibe with the holy trinity of chocolate, hazelnuts and pretzels). That is all.
I’ve got a running list of recipes that I seriously wish never existed. Not because they’re terrible (that’s a different list), but because they are just so damn good. These Chocolate Hazelnut & Pretzel Bars are now on that list.
I’m also trying very hard not to include an entire spiel on my recipe posts and rather just give you the recipe. Now that’s not to say I’m done with the long-form stuff, because I’m not, but don’t be shocked if you just see a recipe in the future without an entire life story attached to it.
I’m working with CNC this month and using an array of their incredible products in a few healthy-ish recipes for you to enjoy. CNC is a family-owned business based in Cape Town which has been around since the ’80s and was named after founders’ Louis and Lena’s three children, Cyril, Norman and Charlene. They started their business sourcing and distributing salmon to the hospitality industry and grew their product offering from there, including now supplying directly to the public via their online shop.
Chocolate Hazelnut & Pretzel Bars
The majority of ingredients used for these are available via CNC’s online shop, which I’ve linked for your convenience. You’re going to need to store these in the fridge or freezer, especially if it’s warm outside, but bring to room temp or just about before serving.
2 cups raw hazelnuts
Oat & Pretzel Base
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- ⅓ cup fresh dates, pitted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1.5 cups roasted hazelnuts
- 150g Callebaut 54.5% Dark Callets
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/2 cup roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup pretzels
Hazelnut Roasting + Skinning (DO THIS FIRST)
Preheat oven to 180°C. Place the raw hazelnuts on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown. This should take about 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the hot hazelnuts into a clean kitchen towel, bringing the ends together to form a pouch so that the hazelnuts steam as you allow them to cool for about 10 minutes while you make the base of the bars. When they are cool use the dishtowel to vigorously rub the hazelnuts to loosen their skins and get as much of them off as possible. It’s totally okay if a few skins are left.
Oat & Pretzel Base
Add the oats and pretzels to a food processor and pulse until the mixture forms a flour. Add dates and continue pulsing until the mixture forms a coarse consistency. Add coconut oil and cocoa powder and pulse until well mixed. Place the mixture in a lined baking dish or loaf pan (should be around 23 x 13 cm) lined with baking paper. Pack the mixture down firmly in an even layer using your hands or the back of a spoon. Transfer to the freezer while you prepare the filling.
Add 1.5 cups hazelnuts and coconut oil to the food processor and blend until the mixture becomes a smooth nut butter, stopping every now and then to scrape down the sides as needed. Add the dates, vanilla, and salt and blend until it forms a thick paste then using the back of a spoon or your hands, press the filling over the base. Transfer to the fridge to chill and harden slightly for about 20 minutes before preparing the chocolate topping.
Melt chocolate and coconut oil in the microwave or over a double-boiler, stirring until smooth. Pour over the filling which has been chilling in the fridge. Sprinkle over roughly chopped hazelnuts and pretzels. Place back in the fridge to set for about 2 hours, slice into bars and serve.