Welcome back to Cookie Monday! Enjoy this week’s installment:
These bars may not win any beauty pageants any time soon, but anything they lack in aesthetics is more than made up for with just one bite of these chocolate coconut cookie bars. On top of a chewy oat crust flavored with almond butter and chocolate sits a thick layer of what is akin to chocolate coconut fudge. These bars are rich and dense, but they are packed full of all-natural ingredients like nuts and whole grains and are suitable for vegans and gluten-free eaters alike.
The filling starts with a can of chilled coconut; just the thick cream at the top of the can is used. To make it easier to separate the cream from the coconut water, open the chilled can upside-down and pour off the water, then scrape the cream into the bowl of a mixer. Once whipped, it resembles whipped cream, and with a little vanilla and chocolate, the mixture is almost indistinguishable from chocolate mousse.
Once the filling is layered on top, the bars are chilled before getting sliced up and served to hungry guests. Next time you have a visitor with specific eating restrictions, give these bars a try—even those who normally like traditional desserts will love these bars.
Chocolate Coconut Bars
Makes about 20 bars
1 cup rolled oats
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted
3 tablespoons maple syrup
¼ cup creamy almond butter
1, 14 oz. can full-fat coconut milk, well chilled
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted.
- Grease an 8 x 8 inch square pan or a 9 inch pie plate, and preheat the oven to 350F.
- To make the crust: Place the oats in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely ground, about 30 seconds. Add the chocolate, maple syrup, and almond butter, and process to make a homogeneous mixture. Pour the crust in the bottom of the prepared pan and press firmly into an even layer. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and let cool completely while you make the filling.
- For the filling: Turn the can of coconut milk upside down and open it, then pour off the coconut water that separated from the cream. Place the chilled coconut cream in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, then whip on medium speed until soft peaks form, 1-2 minutes. Add the vanilla and chocolate and whip until well combined. Spread the filling on top of the crust in an even layer, then let chill in the fridge for at least one hour before slicing (keep the bars on the smaller side, as they are fairly rich) and serving. They can be tricky to slice, so use a sharp knife dipped in hot water to facilitate the process.