You know what's cool about these? They are actually really good for you. Of course, eat in moderation, but they are low in sugar and high in incredibly healthy fats. Given that they are dessert, it's pretty incredible what sorts of goods they actually contain.

Almond Joy Bars [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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Ingredients

Chocolate base:
  •  1 cup almonds, soaked
  • 4 medjool dates, soaked
  • 2 T cacao
  • pinch salt
  • 1/8 t vanilla
Coconut Center:
  • 1 whole coconut meat
  • 2 T coconut butter, melted
  • 2 T maple syrup (not raw)
  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened coconut shreds (raw, if you can find it)
Chocolate Ganache:
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup  coconut oil
  • 3 T maple syrup (not raw)
  • 1/4 t vanilla
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Preparation

Chocolate Base:
  1. Soak the almonds and the dates for at least 30 minutes. Then peel and pit the dates and put them in a food processor. Add everything else and process until the dough is sticky. Do not over process or it will be too mushy.
Coconut Center:
  1. Scrape the meat out of a coconut and put in the food processor. Process until completely smooth and a butter is almost formed (5-7 minutes). Scrape down the sides as you go. Add the coconut butter and maple syrup and process until smooth and incorporated.
  2. Dump contents into a bowl and add the coconut shreds. Mix with a spoon until incorporated.
Chocolate Ganache:
  1. First, make sure everything you are using is completely dry. Any amount of water will cause the chocolate to seize. Also, make sure everything is room temperature. If anything is cold it will cause the chocolate to harden a bit and may make it difficult to create a smooth sauce.
  2.  Place everything in a small bowl and, using a fork, mix everything until well incorporated.
Assembly:
  1. Press the crust dough into a small/medium baking dish lined with plastic wrap. Press until evenly distributed.
  2. Spread the coconut layer over the crust until smooth and even (leave space at the top for the chocolate layer)
  3. Using a fork, gently drag the tongs across the top of the coconut layer to create lines. This will allow the ganache to take hold of the coconut and not separate when you cut into squares.
  4. Pour the chocolate sauce over the top and smooth out. Add whole almonds for garnish, if you'd like.
  5. Place in the fridge for a few hours to set.
  6. When you are ready, take it out and then gently pull up on the plastic wrap to pull it out of the dish. Cut into squares and enjoy!
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