Magic Bars

Absolutely magical! From the gluten-free coconut crust, to the homemade coconut condensed milk, and shredded coconut topping, these magic bars are pure coconut heaven 🙏 When I embarked on this recipe, I envisioned a gluten-free & dairy-free cookie/bar with less sugar and more whole ingredients. Magic bars are typically loaded with sickly-sweet condensed milk and plenty of sugary chocolate atop a buttery graham cracker crust.

I adapted a coconut and almond flour crust from PowerHungry®, an amazing site with plenty of gluten-free & veg-friendly recipes created by Camilla V Saulsbury. I liked the crust so much that I might actually use it in other recipes! Once the crust was par-baked, I topped it with homemade condensed milk that I made by boiling reduced fat coconut milk with maple syrup. It took me a few tries to get this perfected but it seemed like 30 mins of boiling was a sweet spot. My first batch separated into coconut oil and solids when I left it on the stove too long! You can also bypass this step and use a canned vegan condensed milk to speed up the recipe, but I have yet to find a canned version that doesn’t contain cane sugar. If you go that route, note that canned coconut cream is not what you need, but rather actual condensed coconut milk.

Then I evenly layered dark chocolate (my FAVORITE Hu Kitchen gems) and vegan “milk” chocolate over the condensed milk. Since I have a histamine sensitivity, I opted for pecans as my chopped nut of choice but walnuts will also work. The shredded coconut acts as a crust topping and seals in the deliciousness! These cookie bars are packed with “healthier” fats and provide a perfect blend of salty and sweet! Will you add the Magic Bars to your holiday cookie list?

Magic Bars
Total time: 1 hour; yields 9 bars
• coconut and almond flour crust (recipe below)
• 3/4 cup (6 oz) condensed coconut milk (homemade recipe below)
• 1/3 cup vegan milk chocolate
• 1/3 cup dark chocolate
• 1/3 cup crushed gluten-free pretzels
• 1/3 cup chopped pecans
• 1/2 cup unsweetened medium shredded coconut
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1. Heat oven to 350º F and start making the condensed milk (recipe below)
2. While the condensed milk is slow boiling, make crust
3. Once crust is par-baked and condensed milk cooled, begin layering ingredients
4. Pour 1/2 cup condensed milk over crust
5. Evenly distribute chocolate, pretzels, and pecans over condensed milk
6. Spread coconut over chocolate, pretzels, and pecans
7. Drizzle the remaining 1/4 condensed milk over coconut
8. Bake 17–20 mins, rotating halfway
9. Let cool fully, cut into 9 (or 12) squares and serve

Store in refrigerator up to five days (if they last that long!)

Coconut and Almond Flour Crust
(adapted from PowerHungry®)
30 mins; yields 1 crust
• 4 tsp ground flaxseed + 1/3 cup water
• 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
• 1/2 cup coconut flour
• 1/2 cup blanched almond flour
• 1/8 tsp salt
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1. Heat oven to 350º F
2. Mix flax and water, set aside 15 mins
2. Melt 1/4 cup coconut oil, set aside to slightly cool
3. Combine flours and salt
4. Once cooled and flax mixture has gelled, add both to flour mixture
5. Knead dough with hands
6. Press dough into a parchment-lined 8 x 8 inch baking pan
7. Poke dough with fork several times to allow steam to escape
9. Bake 10 minutes

Condensed Coconut Milk
30 mins; yields 3/4 cup
• 1 can (13.5 fl oz) reduced fat/lite coconut milk
• 1/4 cup maple syrup

1. Pour coconut milk into pot and bring to a boil without lid (this takes around 3 – 5 mins)
2. Once boiling, turn down heat to a low simmer and add syrup, stir (do not cover pot)
3. Slow boil for 25 – 30 mins, stirring frequently until milk has thickened
4. Remove from heat, let cool before using

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