I think there is a frenetic bumblebee stuck inside my chest. I think he is flying in circles around my sternum, breathless, whizzing, so fast as to be only a blur, so fast that even he, in his wild zooming, can’t be sure whether his movements are borne of excitement or terror.
I cannot feel still tonight. I can sit still, yes, but I cannot feel still. Something is coming. Change is coming. It is like the way the air smells before a thunderstorm hits on a stifling summer’s day: electric, fresh, new, dangerous. I am balanced on the balls of my feet, ready to spring, even as I sit here calmly, carefully, slowly typing these words.
I want to dance madly in the moonlight and I want to collapse in a giggling heap of limbs on a Twister mat at 3am and I want to play Catch and Kiss in an empty school playground after walking precariously across the monkey bars with hands out for balance and I want to stand on the edge of a cliff dizzily carolling echoes into the abyss and I want I want I want I want I don’t know but I feel and it’s coming and I want I want I want.
For now, I will calm the whirling inside with these vegan no-bake chocolate peanut butter coconut squares. Enticingly sweet dates, rich peanut butter, dark cocoa, thrumming vanilla, white-bright coconut. Dairy-free, gluten-free, sweet but not cloying, chewy and soft and perfect and beckoning.
I can almost pretend that these are all I want.
And yet, and yet, can’t you smell the storm whispering through the air?
Vegan No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Coconut Squares
Makes 12 – 16
- 1 cup (packed) Medjool dates, pits removed
- 1 cup peanut butter (I used salted; add a pinch or two of salt if yours isn’t)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup desiccated coconut, plus more to sprinkle
1. Line a 20cm/8inch square tin with baking paper, extending the paper over the sides for easy removal later.
2. Place the dates, peanut butter, vanilla extract, and cocoa powder into a food processor, and process until everything is fully combined into a smooth dough/batter.
3. Add the 1/3 cup of coconut, and pulse until mixed through.
4. Tip the dough into the tin, and press down firmly until the mixture is smooth and evenly compressed. Sprinkle additional coconut on top, as much as your heart desires, and then place in the freezer for about half an hour. Cut into squares and serve, or store in the fridge or freezer for later.