Soak the dates in a bowl with hot water for 10 minutes to soften. I just used hot water from the tap, not boiling water. Once softened, drain. In the meantime, gather the other ingredients. Line an 8x8 or other square baking dish with parchment paper.
Combine the soaked dates, oats, almond butter, vanilla, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until the dates are chopped into small pieces and the batter is well-combined.
Transfer the batter to the lined baking dish and spread it out into an even layer.
Place the chopped dark chocolate into a microwave-safe bowl and add the 1 tablespoon almond butter. Microwave for 20 to 30 seconds, stir, and repeat until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
Pour the melted chocolate over the almond butter batter and spread it out. Sprinkle with sliced almonds and flaky sea salt if desired.
Place the bars in the fridge for about an hour until the chocolate has hardened. Slice into 16 squares and enjoy!
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