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Gluten-Free Magic Cookie Bars with Coconut

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Level: Easy

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Description

These easy, vegan and paleo Magic Cookie Bars are a healthy spin on a classic treat that tastes like an almond joy!

Ingredients

  • 1 can (13 1/2 Oz. Size) Full-fat Coconut Milk, Do Not Use Low Fat
  • 11 Tablespoons Honey, Divided (agave For 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 Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • Pinch Of Salt
  • ½ cups Dairy-free Dark Chocolate Chips
  • 2 Tablespoons Melted Almond Butter, Divided

Preparation

In a large pot set over high heat, whisk coconut milk and 1/2 cup (or 8 tablespoons) honey or agave, reserving the remaining honey for later. Bring mixture to a boil and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Turn heat down to medium and and simmer for 16–20 minutes, stirring frequently, until sauce is reduced to 1 cup (see note).

While sauce boils, place almonds and coconut flakes on separate small pans and bake at 350ºF until toasted. This takes about 4–5 minutes for the coconut and about 10–12 minutes for the almonds. Once toasted, finely chop the almonds and set aside.

While sauce continues to cook, line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper, spraying the sides generously with coconut oil spray. It helps to spray the bottom of the pan before putting in the parchment paper, to secure it.

In a large bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat remaining 3 tablespoons honey or agave with the coconut oil until smooth and creamy. Stir in flour, cocoa powder and a pinch of salt until a wet dough forms.

Press dough evenly into the bottom of the pan. This will be a little bit tough, just be patient with it. I found it easiest to use the palms of my hands, rinsing them off every so often, until the dough was pressed in. Do not bake the crust until the coconut milk mixture is done reducing.

Once the coconut milk mixture has reduced, transfer to a measuring cup and set aside to cool and thicken a little more while the crust bakes.

Now, bake the crust at 350ºF for 7–8 minutes, until edges are lightly golden brown. Your crust will probably rise in a few areas. Once it’s out of the oven, use a small spoon to quickly press it all back down, making sure to not leave any cracks in the crust.

As soon as the crust comes out of the often, sprinkle the chopped nuts on top, and lightly press them into the crust. Then sprinkle on the chocolate chips evenly, followed by the coconut flakes.

Pour the coconut milk mixture evenly over the top of the surface. Gently shake the pan around until the coconut milk mixture begins to sink between the layers. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the melted almond butter.

Place into the oven and bake until the sides are lightly golden brown, about 27–28 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature. Drizzle with remaining almond butter, cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, run a very sharp knife around the edge of the pan. Slice into bars and devour.

Notes:
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 tablespoon. So please weigh your flour first before trying to make the crust.
2. It’s very important to have the final amount of coconut milk mixture be 1 cup. So I recommend checking it around 16 minutes. If you have more than that, pour it back into the pan and simmer a few minutes longer.
3. You absolutely need to let these sit overnight to make sure the coconut milk really has a chance to chill and thicken.

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