We both agreed we were in a movie that day; the way we stood across the sidewalk from one another in frozen sunlight, trying to plan our next move authentically. Delivering great confusion to the woman on the corner handing out flyers. Earnestly plotting the next destination.
One thrift shop, no, next thrift shop, no… we didn’t find what we were looking for. There was an in-between time when we let go of that plan and found our new adventure. That middle bit was static, stretched cotton… what do you say, what do you do, when you’re with one of your favorite people but feel totally uninteresting, bland and destination-less?
You go to the East Village.
You delight in the sight of the cobblestones, creeping up on you. You laugh about text messages and plan fake (absurd) vacations. You wonder out loud; wonderings that aren’t yet fully formed. But now they’re breathing between brains.
You meander into your new favorite bookstore, whose bathroom requires the payment of a quarter because “the disposal of needles in the toilet had become overwhelming”, or so reads the sign. That’s when you know you’re still in the belly of a metropolitan beast. That was easy to forget when you and your best friend sat reading dessert cookbooks and giggling about nonsense.
Standing at a counter in a restaurant themed of your past- Michigan, everywhere- you order a $7 peanut butter and jelly sandwich on sourdough. You wanted the least expensive thing on the menu, since you splurged on two beautiful, brand new books full ‘o’ life just moments ago. You laugh that anyone, anywhere can charge $7 for a swipe of fruit, pulverized nuts and two slabs of white bread. But you eat it, smilingly, in the corner. You listen to the bizarre but highly sing-along-able radio playing over your heads. You “table dance”- swinging your arms from side to side and bopping your head while you chew.
It was a great day, and it’s hard to say why. All you know is that your friend found a book about homemade candy bars and it snagged his appetite. So you start thinking…
Candy Bars for Breakfast
Caramel crunch layer:
1 cup medjool dates
1 cup almonds
1/2 cup shredded (unsweetened) coconut
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tbsp coconut oil
You’ll need a blender, some bowls, a pan and the “HBO Girls” Spotify playlist.
For the caramel crunch layer, pull dates apart and pit them. Soak them, covered in water, for 10 minutes or so. While they soak, put your almonds in the blender and blitz them until they’re small, nibby pieces. Set aside in a bowl. Blend your soaked dates until they’re smooth and resemble a thick caramel sauce. Mash together almonds and date puree (preferably with yo hands).
For coconut layer:
Mush together shredded coconut, coconut oil and maple syrup. That was easy.
For chocolate shell:
Boil water in a sauce pan and stick a medium ceramic bowl in there… or use a double boiler, but I’m going un-fancy here. Put your chocolate chips, coconut oil and cocoa powder in the bowl until they’re melted by the warm water around them. Stir and remove from heat once you’ve got a uniform texture.
Assembling los bars:
Press the caramel crunch layer into the bottom of a small pan, about 1 cm thick. Top with coconut layer (or do a peanut butter variation, like I did, and just smother some refrigerated PB on top of the crunch), also about 1 cm thick. Freeze those two layers for about ten minutes. When they’re thoroughly cold, slowly pour your chocolate shell over the bars. Freeze overnight… or not… and consume.