Now this recipe does not look particularly appealing I must admit- nor is it the traditional way that paneforte is made. Real paneforte is an Italian Christmas dessert meaning "strong bread"due to all the spices used and the dense heavy consistency. This recipe is similar in that regard but much less sugary.
~2 packed cups medjool dates
1 cup boiling water
zest of 1 orange (~2 TBSP)
1/2 TSP cinnamon
1/2 TSP nutmeg
4 TBSP cacao powder
~2 cups of chopped, roasted nuts (1 cup almonds, 1/2 walnuts, 1/2 hazelnuts)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Chop some nuts of your choice (I would highly recommend almonds and hazelnuts) I did not have hazelnuts for this batch and used pistachios instead (which worked well too). Bake the nuts until fragrant and browned.
Grate the rind of the orange. Pre-heat the oven to 300°F. Boil some water. Take the pits out of your dates. Put them in a shallow bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Let them sit for a few minutes to soften. If they are already very soft and ripe you can skip this step. Squish the dates into a paste & combine with the rest of the ingredients
Once everything is well combined, line parchment paper with coconut oil (or any other oil) and spread the mixture on top into a very thin layer. This will take a while to cook so the thinner the layer, the faster it will be.
Bake at 300°F until cooked/hardened (~40 min). You will want to flip it half-way through to ensure it does not burn. Once ready, remove from the oven & let it cool. You can store this for a few days/ take when you are on the go for a high energy snack!