These bars are crunchy, crispy, and packed full of magical flavors and nutrients. They combine silky-smooth melted chocolate, deep, nutty hazelnuts and bursts of fresh strawberries make them absolutely delicious. Plus, they are good for you so they're a total culinary victory.

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Chocolate Paleo Magic Cookie Bars With Strawberry [Vegan, Paleo, Gluten-Free]

Serves

16

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup hazelnuts,
  • 1 14-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup agave, divided
  • 2 cups strawberries, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour, Sifted
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2/3 cup vegan chocolate chips
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Preparation

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  2. Spread the hazelnuts onto a small pan and bake until browned and toasty smelling, about 8-11 minutes, finely chop them and set aside.
  3. In a large, high-sided pot set over high heat, whisk together the can of coconut milk and 1/2 cup of agave, reserving the remaining agave for later.
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  5. Then, turn the heat down to medium and simmer it for 16-20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sauce is reduced by about half, and you end up with 1 cup of super thick liquid. This really varies based on the size of the pot you use.
  6. Once you've turned the sauce down to medium heat, place the strawberries, 1 tablespoon of the agave and the water in a medium pot set over medium heat.
  7. Cook this, stirring occasionally, until all the water evaporates and you can mash the strawberries. You want the sauce to be really thick - this takes 10-20 minutes depending on the size of your pot.
  8. Set it aside
  9. While the sauce reduces, it's time to make the crust by lining an 8x8-inch pan with parchment paper, leaving a little bit of an overhang up the sides of the pan to use as a handle later.
  10. Spray the sides generously with coconut oil spray.
  11. In a large bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat the remaining 3 tablespoons of agave with the coconut oil until smooth and creamy.
  12. Stir in the flour, cocoa powder, and pinch of salt until a wet dough forms.
  13. Press the dough evenly into the bottom of the pan. This will be a little bit tough, just be patient with it.
  14. Do not bake the crust until the sauce is done reducing, as you want to time it so the sauce can thicken a little more while the crust bakes.
  15. Once the sauce is done reducing, and you'll have 1 cup of liquid, set aside to cool.
  16. Then, bake the crust just until the sides darken slightly, about 8 mins. When your crust comes out of the oven, it will have risen a little bit. Use a small spoon to pack it down, making sure to not leave cracks in the crust.
  17. As soon as the crust comes out of the often, sprinkle the chopped nuts on top, and lightly press them into the crust.
  18. Then, sprinkle on the chocolate morsels evenly.
  19. Pour the coconut sauce evenly over the top of the surface, making sure to really get it into the edges of the bars (but not between the parchment paper and sides of the pan!) Then, gently shake the pan around until the coconut milk mixture begins to sink between the layers.
  20. Spoon the strawberry sauce over top and use a sharp knife to it swirl around, being careful not to cut into the crust.
  21. Place it into the oven and bake until the sides are lightly golden brown, about 27-28 minutes.
  22. Remove them from the oven and cool to room temperature.
  23. Cover them with tin foil and refrigerate them overnight before you cut them into bars.
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