With little Sprout on the way, my sweet tooth is raging stronger than ever. Who am I kidding? All my “teeth” are pretty strong. I’m eating everything like a trucker! But still, sweets taste better than ever right now. This has caused an onslaught of baking around our house.
I’ve tried to be semi-well-behaved, not eating batter with raw eggs and reducing refined sugar where I can. That’s how these Chocolate Coconut Layer Bars came into being. I took a look in the cabinet, pulled out a few things that sounded like they’d go well together, and got experimenting. Three batches later, I think it’s safe to say our family is into the results.
Now then, how shall I describe this delicious little bar cookie? Perhaps a Hello Dolly would be its closest cousin? Think crunchy crust on the bottom, creamy, caramel tasting middle and cake-y top–everything a layer bar should be.
I’m not going to call this dessert “healthy,” because I’m rarely a fan of sweets that fall into that category. But I did replace butter with heart healthy coconut, most of the flour with oats, and a good bit of sugar with dates. Can we settle on “healthier?”
Chocolate Coconut Layer Bars
1 cup oats
1 cup unsweetened coconut shreds
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons coconut oil
Place the oats and the coconut in a Vitamix or food processor. Grind until you’ve almost got a flour. Add in the brown sugar and coconut oil, and pulse a few times. You should have a yummy crumble.
Press firmly into a greased 8 x 8 metal pan, and bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
12 large mejool dates, pitted
2 tablespoons almond butter
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup dark chocolate chips
No need to clean out the Vitamix/food processor! Add the dates, and process at a high speed until crumbly. Add the almond butter, coconut milk and salt to make a creamy, delicious carmel goo. Pour this over your crust then sprinkle the chocolate chips on top.
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup coconut oil at room temperature
1/4 cup full fat coconut milk
1/4 cup organic sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a larger bowl, combine the sugar, egg, coconut oil and vanilla. Beat with a mixer until fluffy. Add the flour in 3 additions, until just combined. Pour over the chocolate chips.
Bake at 350 for 22-25 minutes, until golden. Allow to cool, then place in the fridge before cutting. We store ours in the fridge, freezing about half so we don’t eat the entire batch…Because it’s entirely possible and it wouldn’t be pretty. Enjoy!
In other news, we have a winner for The Cooking Light Lighten Up, America! cookbook giveaway. #3 was Polynesian delight:
Loco moco…hamburger and an over easy egg placed on rice and smothered with gravy. So ono-licious (delicious), as we say here in Hawaii.
I am ridiculously excited to mail this package to Hawaii! Congratulations, Teri! I think anything “smothered in gravy” is a winner.