These easy, vegan, paleo magic cookie bars are a healthy take on a classic treat that tastes like almond joy!
- 1 box (13 1/2 oz. size) Whole coconut milk, do not use low fat
- 11 tablespoons Honey, divided (agave for the vegan version)
- ⅔ cups Almonds (87g)
- ½ cups Unsweetened coconut flakes
- ⅓ cups Coconut oil, at room temperature (consistency of softened butter)
- ¾ cups Coconut flour, sifted (66g, see note)
- 2 tablespoons Cocoa powder without sugar
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cups Dairy Free Dark Chocolate Chips
- 2 tablespoons Almond butter, melted, divided
In a large saucepan over high heat, whisk together the coconut milk and 1/2 cup (or 8 tablespoons) honey or agave, reserving the remaining honey for later. Bring the mixture to a boil and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 16-20 minutes, stirring frequently, until sauce is reduced to 1 cup (see note).
While the sauce is boiling, place the almonds and coconut flakes in separate small pans and bake at 350°F until toasted. It takes about 4-5 minutes for coconut and about 10-12 minutes for almonds. Once toasted, finely chop the almonds and set aside.
While the sauce continues to cook, line an 8×8-inch pan with parchment paper, liberally spraying the sides with coconut oil spray. It is useful to spray the bottom of the mold before putting the parchment paper in, to fix it.
In a large bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat the remaining 3 tablespoons of honey or agave with the coconut oil until smooth and creamy. Stir in the flour, cocoa powder and a pinch of salt until a moist dough forms.
Press the dough evenly into the bottom of the pan. It will be a bit difficult, just be patient with it. I found it easier to use the palms of my hands, rinsing them occasionally, until the paste is pressed out. Do not bake the crust until the coconut milk mixture has finished reducing.
Once the coconut milk mixture has reduced, transfer to a measuring cup and allow to cool and thicken a bit more while the crust cooks.
Now bake the crust at 350ºF for 7-8 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned. Your scab will likely expand in a few areas. Once out of the oven, use a small spoon to quickly press everything down, being careful not to leave any cracks in the crust.
As soon as the crust comes out of the often, sprinkle the chopped walnuts on top and press them lightly into the crust. Next, sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly, then the coconut flakes.
Pour the coconut milk mixture evenly over the top of the surface. Gently shake the pan until the coconut milk mixture begins to flow between the layers. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of melted almond butter.
Place in the oven and bake until the sides are lightly browned, about 27 to 28 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature. Drizzle with remaining almond butter, cover and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, run a sharp knife around the edge of the mold. Cut into bars and devour.
1. The coconut flour I usually use needed 3/4 cup, but I also tried it with a different brand and 66g was only 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp. So please weigh your flour first before trying to make the crust.
2. It is very important that the final amount of coconut milk mixture is 1 cup. So I recommend checking it around 16 minutes. If you have more, pour it into the pan and simmer for a few more minutes.
3. You definitely need to let them sit overnight to make sure the coconut milk really has a chance to cool and thicken.