Following a paleo lifestyle, and still need some magic in your life? Then these paleo magic cookie bars are just
what you’re looking for.
This past holiday season, I really wanted to provide a special dessert at our family gatherings that was grain-free and dairy-free, and no one would suspect was void of processed ingredients.
This was a tall order since the cakes
and homemade magic shell
concoctions I typically make don’t have the same appeal to my non-real foodie counterparts.
So, of course—I took my challenge to the Pinterest database, and ended up stumbling upon magic cookie bars, also known as seven layer bars. I could immediately tell magic cookie bars could easily be made grain-free and dairy-free, without sacrificing taste.
After experimenting with creating a “condensed” milk from coconut milk, and using the perfect amount of cashew meal for the crust—I do have to say, this magic cookie bar recipe totally knocks it out the park. In fact, they were such a hit with friends and family, it was kind of a drag because there wasn’t any leftover for us to hoard to ourselves post-holiday. Oh, the perils of success.
If you’ve never tried making a condensed milk with coconut milk before, don’t be intimidated. It truly couldn’t be easier as long as you follow the instructions, and consistently stir. Also, if you have a different nut meal on hand, you can easily substitute them into the recipe. The combination below is what I’ve found works best in terms of texture and flavor.
And lastly, I highly recommend getting unsweetened coconut flakes
as opposed to shredded coconut for the magic cookie bars. These can easily be found at your nearest organic grocery store.
The larger coconut flakes give the magic cookie bars a much crunchier and thicker texture, which is what makes them taste so incredibly delightful and indulgent.
These sweet and decadent paleo magic cookie bars are tiny squares of heaven the whole family will love.
Coconut Milk Caramel
For the coconut milk caramel:
- In a heavy saucepan, heat the coconut milk, honey, and vanilla on medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once caramel mixture starts to boil, reduce heat to a simmer.
- Stir mixture every 3-4 minutes until it reduces by 1/3 to 1/2 (about 25 minutes.) If sugar sticks to sides, stir to combine again.
- Once coconut milk caramel has thickened, remove from heat, stirring just before pouring over bars.
For the crust:
- While the caramel is simmering, mix the almond flour, cashew flour, salt and cinnamon until well combined.
- Heat honey and coconut oil in a separate bowl until liquid, and stir.
- Add liquid mixture to the dry mixture until it forms a crumbly dough.
- With a spatula or your hands, press the mixture down evenly, covering the bottom of a parchment-lined 8×8 baking dish.
- Bake at 350 F for 10 minutes. Allow crust to cool for 2-3 minutes before topping with ingredients.
For the Magic Cookie Bars:
- Sprinkle ¼ cup chocolate chips evenly over crust, pressing the chips into the crust.
- Sprinkling the remaining chocolate chips, pecans, almonds and coconut flakes evenly over crust, saving 2 tbsp coconut flakes for garnish.
- Pour coconut milk caramel over everything, and garnish with remaining coconut flakes.
- Bake 350 Fahrenheit for 25 minutes. Let bars cool, and chill in fridge for 1 hour before eating. Store in fridge (if any are leftover!)
If you don’t have cashew flour, simply use almond flour.
Have any questions about this paleo magic cookie bar recipe? Ask away in the comments below!