These are a delicious and healthy version of the well-loved candy bar! If you thought eating plant-based meant that you couldn't have a tasty almond joy treat, well - think again!
Almond Joy Bars [Vegan, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free]
For the bars:
- 2 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1⁄8 teaspoon sea salt
For the add-in:
- 1/2 cup almonds, 56 pieces
For the chocolate coating:
- 1 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
Prepare the bars:
- Prepare a 9 × 5 loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Add all ingredients for the bars to a food processor and process until everything is well combined.
- Transfer the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and spread it evenly on the bottom of the pan. Place an extra piece of parchment paper on top of the bar mixture and press it down very tight and compact.
- Add the almond add-ins to the top of the bars, placing them side-by-side until they completely cover the top of the bars in 4 rows with 14 almonds in each row. (When you cut the bars vertically into 7 slices, each bar should have 2 vertical rows of almonds on each one, or 8 almonds per bar.)
- Press the almonds down so they are slightly embedded into the bar mixture.
- Transfer the loaf pan to the freezer for approximately 60 minutes, or until the bars are firm.
Prepare the chocolate coating:
- After the bars have firmed in the freezer, add all ingredients for the chocolate coating to a small saucepan and melt on lowest heat, stirring until it is completely melted and smooth, taking care to not let it burn. Set aside.
- Prepare a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Remove the loaf pan from the freezer and cut into 7 full-size bars or 14 mini bars.
- Dip each bar into the chocolate coating until the bars are completely covered on all sides; use a fork to flip them over and to allow the excess chocolate to drip off.
- Place the bars onto the prepared cookie sheet and return to the freezer for approximately 30 minutes, or until the chocolate hardens.
- Store in an air-tight container in the freezer or refrigerator until ready to serve, because the bars will get soft if left out at room temperature.