Strawberry Chocolate Dessert Bars and a #‎GalentinesDayParty‬

A long, long time ago, as far back as 2010, a new and important tradition began. It was called Galentine’s Day. Write it down girls because someday you’ll begin the tradition with your daughters, granddaughters and their friends. Sorry boys, if you feel a little left out on this one, but we’ll make it up to you by letting you buy us chocolate and flowers tomorrow. For now, I’m celebrating Galentine’s Day with something near and dear to my heart, dessert. And because this is such a special tradition, I pulled out all the stops to share with you these Strawberry Chocolate Dessert Bars. Let the wild rumpus begin!

Strawberry Chocolate Dessert Bars for a vegan Valentin's Day!If you watch the TV show Parks and Rec (and who doesn’t), you’ll know the main character is Leslie Knope, a passionate albeit quirky director of her community’s park and recreation department. Leslie throws an annual Galentine’s Day party celebrating women everywhere, regardless of their relationship status.

Here’s a little fact you may not know about me: I am on the board of directors of our community’s parks and recreation department. That means, if I lived in Pawnee, I would be Leslie’s boss. And if I were Leslie’s boss and she created such a crazy event like Galentine’s Day, well, I would have no other option but to say…Great Job!

Celebrate Galentine's Day with Strawberry Chocolate Dessert Bars

I love having a reason to celebrate the successes and failures and courage of other women. So my friend Courtney at NeighborFood decided to take this party to another level by have a blogger celebration for Galentine’s Day. Great women. Fabulous food. A quirky, but fun reason to celebrate. That sounds like a recipe for perfect day.

One quick look out over the frozen, snow-covered tundra that is now my front yard snaps me back into reality. So let me rephrase that. It sounds like a recipe for a nearly perfect day!

Galentine's Day is made extra special with these Strawberry Chocolate Bars

Check out the other lovely ladies participating in today’s Galentine’s Day Celebration:

Galentine’s Day Drinks

Blood Orange Bourbon Fizz with Fried Sage from Lauren of Climbing Grier Mountain

Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Martini from Shanna of Pineapple and Coconut

Ladies’ Night Rum Punch from Lindsay of The Live In Kitchen

Galentine’s Day Brunch

Sweet Potato Cornmeal Waffles with Bourbon Cream and Pecan Butter from Susan of Girl in the Little Red Kitchen

Chocolate Dipped Donuts from Angie of Big Bear’s Wife

Lemon and Ginger Scones from Lauren of Healthy. Delicious.

Beet, Blood Orange, and Chèvre Salad from Lori of Foxes Love Lemons

Galentine’s Day Desserts

Piña Colada Cupcakes from Courtney of Neighborfood

Strawberry Chocolate Dessert Bars from Marly of Namely Marly

Banana Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Chocolate Frosting from Nancy of Gotta Get Baked

One Layer Fudge Cake from Liz of That Skinny Chick Can Bake

Double Strawberry Angel Food Cake with Whipped Vanilla Creme Fraiche from Cynthia of Two Red Bowls

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Ice Cream with Candied Bacon Bits from Steph of Girl Versus Dough

Fruity Dessert Pizza from Morgan of Peaches Please

Secret-Ingredient Chocolate Pecan Bites (Gluten Free!) from Karen of The Food Charlatan

DIY Cheesecake Parfait Bar from Heather of Heather’s Dish

My recipe today does feature two cake mixes, but they’re offset with some healthy fiber via one of my favorite ingredients, chickpeas. That’s right. These Strawberry Chocolate Dessert Bars are another addition to my 100 Things To Do With Chickpeas series.

The only thing (besides palm trees) that would make this day better is celebrating it with you. Happy Galentine’s Day!

Strawberry Chocolate Dessert Bars

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 24 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dairy-free milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 box Duncan Hines Dark Fudge Chocolate Cake Mix
  • 1 box Duncan Hines Strawberry Cake Mix
  • 4 tablespoons heart sprinkles
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons dairy-free milk
  • ¼ teaspoon raspberry extract (or vanilla)

Instructions

  1. Heat your oven to 350F and spray a 9X13 cake pan with vegetable spray.
  2. Add milk, corn starch, ground flax seeds, chickpeas, and oil in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until smooth, up to a minute or so.
  3. Pour the chocolate cake mix into a mixing bowl. Now pour half the chickpea mixture into the bowl and stir to combine. You will have a thick batter, more similar to a cookie dough. Press this into the bottom of your prepared 9X13 pan. Sprinkle half the chocolate chips over the top of this layer.
  4. Rinse out your mixing bowl and dry. Then pour the strawberry cake mix and the remaining half of the chickpea mixture. Stir to combine. Add about 2 tablespoons of heart sprinkles and give it another stir. Again, you will have a thick batter. Gently press this layer over the top of the chocolate layer. I find it helps to get your fingers wet and press the strawberry batter evenly across the top. Sprinkle the top with the chopped pecans and remaining chocolate chips.
  5. Bake at 350F for 45 - 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  6. Prepare the drizzle by placing the powdered sugar in a small mixing bowl. Add the dairy-free milk, one tablespoon at a time until the mixture has reached a desired drizzling consistency. Add the raspberry (or vanilla) extract. Stir to combine.
  7. After the dessert bars have had time to cool, drizzle with the raspberry icing. Top with remaining sprinkles.

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Posted 8 months ago by Marly on Thursday, February 13th, 2014 · Permalink

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21 Responses to Strawberry Chocolate Dessert Bars and a #‎GalentinesDayParty‬

  1. I’m so glad you could join us Marly! And how cool that you’re on the board for your Parks and Rec department! These look stunning. So perfect for girl’s night. I’m so glad we were able to meet this year. Can’t wait to learn more from each other in the year to come!

  2. SQUEAL! What a perfect Galetine’s Day treat! I love it!

  3. What gorgeous, festive bars, Marly! They look amazing!!!

  4. Wow! You really pulled out all the stops here. This looks so rich and delicious. That is so funny that you work in Parks and Recreation!

  5. Marly, that is too funny that you actually do work in Parks & Rec — what a fitting holiday! And I love these vibrant dessert bars. Definitely fit for a girls’ get-together. Glad to be celebrating with you :)

    • I always like to clarify, I’m on the board. The incredibly talented and hard-working staff do all the work…I just like to take the credit.

  6. This looks awesome Marly! And perfect for Galentine’s Day OR Valentine’s Day. I love that there are 2 cake mixes, you’re doin it right :) Also, I can’t believe you live in Real Life Parks and Rec. Awesome!! Although probably not quite as awesome since Aziz Ansari is not there to call you his boo.

    • I cannot trust any man who talks like this: “Zerts’ are what I call desserts. ‘Trée-trées’ are entrées. I call sandwiches ‘sammies,’ ‘sandoozles,’ or ‘Adam Sandlers.’ Air conditioners are ‘cool blasterz’ with a ‘z’ — I don’t know where that came from. I call cakes ‘big ol’ cookies.’ I call noodles ‘long-ass rice.’ Fried chicken is ‘fry-fry chicky-chick.’ Chicken parm is ‘chicky-chicky-parm-parm.’ Chicken cacciatore? ‘Chicky-cacc.’ I call eggs ‘pre-birds,’ or ‘future birds.’ Root beer is ‘super water.’ Tortillas are ‘bean blankets.’ And I call forks ‘food rakes.”

      Although, it does kind of grow on you. Tortillas as bean blankets? It kind of works!

    • BEST QUOTE EVER MARLY!!! oh my gosh I’m still laughing. How could you not trust him?? :) I call forks ‘food rakes.” bahaha.

    • I know! What about Chicka-chicka Parm Parm? That’s just fun to say! I may have to come up with a vegan version of that recipe and that’s what I’ll call it!

    • Marly’s comment reminds me of this comic:
      http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/winter.png

    • Love it!

  7. Admit it, you’re actually Leslie Knope. Right? Right? Okay, kidding aside these bars are great, I love the color and I bet they taste delish!

    • Well, we are both fond of vegetable puns. She says “porn on the cob” and I say, “corn in its natural state that tastes really good.” Oh wait. I guess I need to work on my puns.

  8. Like whoa. I’ll take 47 of these bad boys!

  9. Yay! Happy Galentines day ! Love these : )

  10. It’s so nice to meet you, Marly, and discover your wonderful blog! It’s awesome that you’re on the board of directors for your park ‘n rec dept. What a perfect connection to today’s post. These strawberry chocolate dessert bars are divine. Fabulous flavour combination, perfect layers and gorgeous photos. I’m dying over the amazing lighting you’re getting (despite the frozen tundra outside!). Happy Galentine’s Day!

  11. These are perfect for the party!! Happy Galentines Day!!

  12. I want to marry these dessert bars. SO YUM.

  13. Wow. I would never have thought to use chickpeas like that. That’s really cool!

    • You’d be surprised what you can do with chickpeas. I wonder what Aziz would call them? Maybe Chicka Chicka Peas?

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