A few weeks ago when I started my last semester of grad school, I had a little pang of sadness that my time in academia-land was coming to a close. But staying up past 1:00am this week to finish an assignment erased that sadness! *Poof*, gone. Now I’m seriously counting down the days (hours) until graduation comes and I can hang that $53,000 piece of Johns Hopkins University paper up on my wall. (Ughh… that’s a Lexus, a down payment on a house, or enough money to go to Sur La Table and BUY.ALL.THE.THINGS!!)
Graduation is coming, but until then I’m still trying to squeeze in as much baking and blogging as my schedule allows. These Paleo Chocolate Coconut Bars are something I whipped up a few weeks ago, but I’m just now getting a chance to share them with you (they’re worth the wait, trust me).
These bars start with a delicious, buttery, shortbread crust that’s made with almond flour. It’s got just the right texture and consistency, soft but still slightly chewy. Next comes a tasty layer of sweet coconut filling. It’s made with plain organic coconut flakes but gets a nice dose of sweetness with the help of a little maple syrup and coconut sugar. If you’re a fan of coconut candy, then you’ll love the filling in these bars. Then, everything gets coated in a layer of rich chocolate.
Cookie crust, coconut, and chocolate? What’s not to love?!
I have to warn you though, these Paleo Chocolate Coconut Bars are addicting! They should probably come with some sort of a disclaimer along the lines of “The baker of these bars is not responsible for your sudden loss of willpower and subsequently stuffing your face full until the last crumb is gone.” There, I’ve warned you!
So forgive me for letting nearly a week pass without posting a new recipe. I’m doing my best to balance grad school, both kids, a consulting project, maintaining some sense of order in my house, and finding time to cook, bake, and blog! And to top it off, lacrosse practice starts next week so my overloaded schedule is about to be stretched even thinner!
Paleo Chocolate Coconut Bars
Author: Christin @ Blue Crab Martini
Recipe type: Dessert
Paleo Chocolate Coconut Bars are a delicious, gluten free, healthy dessert that your whole family will love!
For the Shortbread Crust:
- 2 cups almond flour
- ¼ cup coconut flour (all purpose gluten free flour works too if Paleo isn’t a concern)
- 8 TBS organic salted butter, cold, cut into TB¼ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp unflavored gelatin
- 1 TBS coconut sugar
- 2 TBS organic maple syrup
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the Coconut Filling:
- 1½ cups unsweetened organic coconut flakes
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- ¾ cup organic maple syrup
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp sea salt
For the Chocolate:
- 10 oz chocolate
- Sprinkle of sea salt, for garnish
To Make the Shortbread Crust:
- Preheat your oven to 350*.
- Combine all ingredients into a food processor. Pulse in short intervals until everything is well combined and a “dough” is formed.
- Then, line an 8×8 or 9×9 pan with parchment paper.
- Gently press the shortbread dough onto the parchment lined pan, being sure to form an even layer.
Pop it into the oven to bake for 10-12 minutes at 350* (should be lightly golden brown). This gives the crust alittle firmer texture that will better withstand the coconut and chocolate toppings. Set aside and let cool.
To Make the Coconut Filling:
- Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add more maple syrup if the filling looks too dry, but be sure not to over-saturate it.
- Once the shortbread crust has cooled, spoon the coconut filling onto the shortbread. Spread it around into an even layer, cover with foil, and bake for 10 minutes at 350*. Once baked, remove from the oven and let cool completely.
To Make the Chocolate Topping:
- Melt the chocolate using a double boiler (or in a microwave).
- Pour the melted chocolate onto the coconut and shortbread. Sprinkle with a light garnish of sea salt.
- Cover with foil, and let it chill in the fridge overnight. This will give the chocolate enough time to set firmly and will allow for easy cutting.
To ensure easy cutting, remove the bars from the fridge about 15-20 minutes prior to serving.