These vegan halvah bars are definitely not your everyday dessert! Absolutely irresistible, strangely addictive and gluten free.
Halvah is one of those things I find strangely addictive. The first time I had it as a kid, I wasn’t crazy about it. I found it to be a little “pasty” and had an odd taste I couldn’t quite describe. But for some reason, I kept going back to it, and before I knew it, I found myself eating it right out of the clear, green lidded tub with a fork. Not exactly the best thing an overweight 10 year old could be doing… but hey, I was a foodie child, what can I say?
Although there are many versions of it, the halvah (or Halawe, as we’ve always called it) we grew up eating, was made with tahini, honey or sugar, and pistachios. These bars are our twist on the luscious Middle Eastern treat. A tad less sweet, and on a crispy oat and date crust. The filling is a combination of coconut cream and tahini whipped with a couple of tablespoons of confectioners’ sugar and a little bit of almond flour to bind it together. The pistachios on top give it a little crunch, and the pomegranate molasses add some acidity to offset the sweetness a little bit.
- For the crust:
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- ½ cup almond flour
- 6 Medjool dates, pitted
- 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- ¼ tsp coriander
- Pinch of salt
- For the halvah filling:
- 5.4 oz coconut cream
- ⅓ cup plus 2 tbsp tahini
- 3 tbsp confectioners' sugar
- 2 tbsp almond flour
- 2 tbsp shelled pistachios, chopped
- Crushed pistachios and pomegranate molasses for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line A 8X8 inch baking dish with parchment paper and coated lightly with cooking spray
- Combine all the crust ingredients in the food processor and pulse until they come together. Press the mixture into the lined baking dish, so it slightly comes up the sides. Bake for 25-28 minutes until it starts to crisp up. Set aside to cool completely.
- In the meantime, prepare the halvah filling. Using an electric mixer, whip together the coconut cream, tahini and sugar for 2-3 minutes. Add the almond flour and continue mixing for another minute. Using a spatula, fold in the chopped pistachios
- Spread the filling over the cooled crust, sprinkle some chopped pistachios on top and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Cut into bars and drizzle pomegranate molasses on top. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator