It didn’t take me too long, post-Whole30, to decide to make a grain free treat. I’ve been working on this recipe for a while and I am pretty happy with this version. Gluten free, grain free, and dairy free if you stick with a dairy-free chocolate chip for the topping. Note that I am no longer avoiding dairy, personally–it does not cause problems for my system so long as I stick with cultured varieties. The base is made with almond flour and cocoa, the center layer is a coconut butter and egg blend, and the topping is straight-up melted chocolate. They cut into neat squares so they are highly packable for picnics or lunches.
If you don’t want to use two different sweeteners for these you could substitute a couple of tablespoons of honey for the coconut sugar I call for in the base. It will still work well, just press it down with damp hands when you are making the bottom layer. I have made the filling with the seeds scraped out of a vanilla bean instead of the vanilla extract, and it makes the flavor even better, though it takes these out of the realm of an everyday treat in terms of cost.
- Cookie Base:
- 2 cups almond flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 large egg
- Coconut Butter Filling:
- 1 cup coconut butter, warmed (also called coconut cream concentrate)
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 5 large eggs
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a small mixing bowl, stir together the almond flour, cocoa, coconut sugar, and salt. Stir in the vanilla, coconut oil, and egg until you have a crumbly mix. Press this evenly into the bottom of an 8 x 8 inch baking pan.
- In a medium mixing bowl, warm the coconut butter and the honey to liquid. Don't let the mixture get hot or you will scramble the eggs. Stir in the vanilla, then whisk in the eggs. Pour this over the cookie base, smoothing it out to the edges.
- Bake the bars for 40-50 minutes, or until the center looks set when you jiggle the pan. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top. Let the residual heat melt the chocolate for about five minutes, then use a knife or a spatula to spread the chocolate into an even layer.
- Let the bars cool completely before cutting them into squares.
5 eggs makes it sound like the center would be custard-like, but that is not how they bake up. The end result is very much the texture of cake, which is a result of the coconut butter. These are closer to the “normal” sweet range than most of my desserts, but they still are not as sweet as a standard American dessert so they are a nice compromise if you are feeding people who are accustomed to high-sugar desserts along with those who prefer something less cloying.
I made these because we were planning on going on a mountain picnic during our week off, but we are instead dealing with a blanket of SNOW (hoping, hoping the covers will protect the early garden plants). So, we ate these inside and looked at pictures of spring flowers. Not quite the same.
Thanks for reading,