No-Bake, Paleo “Almond Joy” Bars

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After hunting for paleo no-bake bars, I came across these coconut bars from a blog called Chocolate Covered Katie. I’ve used her base recipe and made a few batches of to cover the bottom of the oddly sized pan I had on hand. I have to add, that the measurements below are not precise. I don’t have time to have my own test kitchen and I was just baking these on a whim for bookclub. I took the original coconut bar recipe and made it four times, so I a disclaimer that I haven’t actually processed 4 cups of coconut and 1/2 cup coconut oil. Stay tuned for updates though.

Recipe:

4 cups unsweetened shredded coconut (If you’re not completely paleo, you can just use sweetened coconut and skip the agave)
3/4 cup agave or pure maple syrup (add more to taste)
1/2 cup (8 tbsp)  coconut oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt

I bag or 12 oz. dark, dairy and soy-free chocolate (Ghiradelli or Lindt 72%+ usually are safe)
1 tbsp coconut oil

1/2 cup sliced almonds

In a double boiler (I actually used a small saucepan inside a large water-filled saucepan,) place chunk of coconut oil and “grease” pan before adding chocolate in the top pan and allow water to heat but not boil. Stir occasionally to melt bits on top.

While the chocolate melts, blend all ingredients in a food processor until it forms a paste and press into the bottom of a parchment-lined pan, keeping the coconut mix about a 1/4- inch thick.

Preheat oven to 400F and spread sliced almonds on a baking sheet. This process is painfully slow until it’s too late and the almonds are burnt; keep an eye on them, it only takes 2-3min to toast to golden-brown.

When chocolate is completely melted, pour over the pressed coconut and spread evenly with a spatula. Lick extra chocolate from pan and spatula.

Sprinkle the toasted almonds over the chocolate. My mom even suggested adding a sprinkle of sea salt, if that’s your thing.

Refrigerate for an hour or more before cutting and serving. Note that chocolate may crack when you cut it and some pieces won’t be perfect. They still will taste perfect.

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