Last weekend I volunteered and donated food to the NYC Bake Sale for No Kid Hungry at the Brooklyn Flea Market. The bake sale was a huge success, completely selling out of all the baked goods donated by NYC food bloggers, and surpassing our fundraising goal.
I made Coconutty Snack Bars, a dessert/snack which are vegan-friendly, gluten-free, and incredibly satisfying. I also brought the bars to a potluck housewarming party and my friends were texting me the next day to say the bars were “addictive” and “aaaahhhhmazzzing.” Score!
I took care to use healthy but indulgent ingredients and avoided using any excess sugar so we all could feel good about gobbling them up. They’ll satisfy a sweet craving but they also keep you full for a long time (because who wants a snack that leaves you hungry?). I love eating these bars straight out of the refrigerator for a mid-day snack or dessert.
Coconutty Snack Bars
(makes 32 bars)
2 packages almond or hazelnut flour (about 32 oz. total)
3/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup + 3 tbsp. coconut milk
2 cups pitted dates (about 14 oz.)
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups cashews, chopped
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (about 3 oz.)
1 tbsp. ground flaxseed
3 tbsp. cocoa powder
Pinch of sea salt
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the almond or hazelnut flour with the coconut oil and stir well with a spoon. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Press the flour and oil mixture firmly into the sheet pan until it is as flat as possible.
Place the dates in a pot, add the water, cover with a lid, and bring up to a simmer over medium heat. Cook for about 20 minutes or so until the dates are soft and easily turn into a paste, stirring frequently. Break up the dates into pieces with a wooden spoon or spatula. Once you have a paste, turn off the heat and stir in the cocoa powder. (You want the date cocoa mixture to be pretty smooth, but it’s okay if it’s a little chunky.)
Carefully drop spoonfulls of the date cocoa mixture on top of the crust, and then gently spread it around until it covers the crust. Sprinkle a little sea salt on top of the chocolate. Then, sprinkle on the coconut flakes.
In a medium bowl, mix the ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of coconut milk and whisk together. Roughly chop the cashews and then stir them into the flaxseed coconut milk mixture (the cashews will get a bit sticky). Sprinkle the cashews onto the sheet pan. Sprinkle the 1/2 cup of coconut milk over all the ingredients in the sheet pan.
Bake the bars in the oven for 30-35 minutes. Take the pan out of the oven and allow it to cool down a bit. Chill the bars to set (either in the freezer for 2 hours or in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours).
Cut into long rectangles (7 cuts length-wise and 3 cuts width-wise) to end up with 32 bars.
Tip: You can leave out the step where you mix the ground flaxseed and coconut milk with the cashews (I didn’t do it the first time I made them), but I find that it really helps them stick to the top of the bars. Without it, the cashews tend to fall away pretty easily. I recommend that you do it.Pin It