Dessert · Paleo · Party dish

Magic Cookie Bars (Paleo & Vegan)

Teacher Appreciation Week is next week! If you are like me, you are normally scrambling Sunday night trying to come up with the best gift for those rockstars that deal with teach our kids all day/year long. BUT NOT THIS YEAR! I am planning ahead and so are you!

My kids scored three really great teachers this year, so I wanted to give them something that shows how much I appreciate their hard work, and especially their patience.  And I must not forget the kid’s bus driver; that woman is a saint.  So Paleo treats is my go-to this year – these magic cookie bars will be a win for everyone.

I’ve been making these bars for years and always receive raving reviews.  Most people can’t believe they are Paleo, and beg me to make more.   If you can, sneak yourself a few and tuck them away in your freezer for “safe keeping.”

*Note, these Magic Cookie Bars are a labor of love.  They take awhile to make, but I PROMISE, they will be worth it!

IMG_4569

Prep Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 12-16

Recipe adapted from: Simply Living Healthy

INGREDIENTS

Crust:

  • 1 ½ cups blanched almond flour
  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut nectar, honey or maple syrup
  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted

Filling:

INSTRUCTIONS

  • In a saucepan over medium heat bring coconut milk, sweetener and vanilla to a low boil, reduce heat and simmer for approximately 45 minutes- 1 hour, stirring frequently until it’s reduced by half.
  • While the coconut mixture is cooking, prepare the crust.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×12 glass dish with parchment paper so that it hangs over the sides for easy removal.
  • Combine all ingredients for the crust in a large bowl and press firmly into the prepared pan. Bake for 12–15 minutes until golden brown.  Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.
  • You’ll know the coconut milk mixture is done when it becomes thicker, you should have about 1 ½ cups once reduced. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
  • Pour 1/2 of the condensed coconut milk over the crust and spread to the edges. Layer half of the shredded coconut, half of the chocolate chips and half of the pecans on top of the coconut milk and lightly press down on the toppings.
  • Add a second layer with the remaining shredded coconut, chocolate chips and pecans.
  • Pour remaining half of condensed coconut milk over the top of the layers.
  • Top with flaked coconut.
  • Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for one hour on a cooling rack.
  • Next, place the pan in the refrigerator and cool for 2 hours (or in a pinch cool in the freezer for 1 hour).
  • Gently lift the parchment out of the pan and place bars on a cutting board or other flat surface.
  • Using a large knife cut into 16 squares.
  • Store in the refrigerator or freezer.IMG_4586
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