"Cookie" #2: Chocolate Cherry Fudge Bars

These are definitely more fudgey bar than cookie, but whatever.  Moist, dense and chocolaty.  These were a favorite of Ian's before paleo, so I thought it would be nice to make a paleoized version for him for the holidays.  I also made him a waffle version a while back when cherries were in season.  Speaking of which, I used a frozen organic sweet cherry in these, very inexpensive even at Whole Foods.  There was nothing in the ingredients list besides cherries, so I felt pretty good about using them.  They do need to be un-thawed before you chop them up, so be sure to take them out of the freezer well before you want to make these bars.   Oh, and disregard what I said about the pumpkin macaroons, those had a taste only a mother could love.  Next up is the Magic Bars.

Chocolate Cherry Fudge Bars
(Print Recipe)

For cake layer:
1/2 cup Almond flour
1/3 cup Cocoa powder
8 Dates, soaked for 30 minutes
3/4 cup Applesauce
3/4 cup Cherries, chopped
2 Eggs
1/2 tsp Almond extract
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
1/4 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking powder

For fudge layer:
1/4 cup Coconut milk
1 Tbls Coconut oil
1/4 tsp Vanilla extract
3/4 cup Chocolate chips/chunks (I used Enjoy Life Mega Chunks)

Note:  Depending on the type of applesauce and size of the dates you use, you may need to add 1 Tbls of Coconut flour to your mixture to offset the extra moisture, be mindful of the consistency.

Preheat oven to 375.
Add dates to bowl of food processor and pulse until broken down.  Add apple sauce and extracts, pulse for a few seconds.  Add eggs and blend until mostly smooth, set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, combine almond flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.  Add food processor ingredients into dry ingredients and mix well.  (Feel free to use a hand mixer.)  Gently fold in cherries.  Pour mixture into greased 8x8 baking dish, and bake for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, create your fudge topping.
In a small saucepan, combine coconut milk and coconut oil.  Heat on medium just until warmed through and the coconut oil melts.  Remove pan from heat and stir in chocolate and vanilla.  Keep stirring until chocolate is completely melted and incorporated into coconut milk.
Pull cake from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes.  Pour fudge mixture over cake and spread evenly.  Let stand until cool and fudge topping has set up.  Refrigerate if necessary.
Cut into bars and enjoy!