Paleo Cherry Ripe Bars

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For the chocolate
1/2 cup cacao butter, coconut oil, or butter, melted
1/4 cup raw honey, plus more to taste, if you want
a pinch of salt
a pinch of vanilla bean powder, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup cacao powder

For the cherry filling
1 1/2 cups dried unsweetened cherries
1/4 cup raw honey or maple syrup
1/3 cup coconut oil (liquid)
a pinch of salt
2 cups unsweetened desiccated or shredded coconut

Grease or line an 8″ square pan.

Make the chocolate mixture by whisking together the coconut oil, honey, salt and vanilla in a bowl.  Add the cacao and thoroughly mix until there are no lumps of cacao left. Taste and add any extra honey if you want.

Spread half the chocolate mixture into the base of the prepared pan. Put it in the fridge while you make the filling. Keep the bowl with the other half of the chocolate mixture in a very warm place (I fill a small saucepan up with hot water and place the bowl in that, making sure that the water doesn’t go into the chocolate mixture.)

Make the cherry filling by combining the cherries, honey, coconut oil and salt in a food processor. Process until the cherries are finely ground, then add the coconut. Process until mixed, then place this mixture on top of the chocolate in the pan. Press into an even layer, then spread over the remaining chocolate mixture. Leave to set for half an hour at room temperature, then enjoy, or refrigerate or freeze to eat at another time.

*if you have trouble finding unsweetened cherries, you could try using sweetened ones and not adding any honey to the cherry/coconut mixture. Or you could try dehydrating your own fresh cherries when they’re in season.

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