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 (total $ raised is not yet available)!
I made what I call Coconutty Snack Bars which are vegan-friendly, gluten-free, and de-lic-ious. I tested the recipe out on my girlfriends the weekend before and got text messages the next day that they were addictive and “aaaahhhhmazzzing.” Score! I took care to use healthy but indulgent ingredients and avoided using any excess sugar. To me, this is the perfect snack. It’s filling and also satisfies cravings for sweets. The only thing I changed when I made them the second time was to make a thicker crust.
I’ll be making these again soon. I love them straight out of the cold refrigerator for a mid-day snack or dessert.
Coconutty Snack Bars
(makes 32 bars)
2 packages almond or hazelnut flour (about 32 oz.)
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