How can you not be satisfied with a dessert that incorporates gooey caramel, dark chocolate, nuts, and coconut flakes, married over a shortbread crust? The bonus with these irresistible Paleo and Vegan Seven Layer Magic Bars is that they’re, Paleo, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, vegan, egg-free, refined sugar-free, and clean-eating!

Seven-Layer Magic Bars [Vegan, Gluten-Free, Paleo, Grain-Free, Refined Sugar-Free]

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Serves

16

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Ingredients

Crust:

  • 1 1/4 cup blanched almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup organic unrefined, extra virgin coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/3-1/4 teaspoon sea salt, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Bars:

  • 3/4 + 2 tablespoons dark chocolate chips/chunks
  • 3/4 cup nuts of choice, roughly chopped (this recipe used ½ cup pecans and ¼ cup almonds)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 batch Paleo and Vegan Salted Caramel Sauce:
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk, room temperature and shaken*
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons monk fruit sweetener (can sub another granulated Paleo sweetener of choice)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon sea salt
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Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 9x9-inch baking pan with parchment paper or foil.
  2. Start by making the crust by adding all the ingredients in a high-speed food processor or blender and blend until crumbles form.
  3. Press the dough evenly in the baking pan. Using a fork, poke some holes halfway through, 1-2 inches apart, it to prevent puffing while baking.
  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden.
  5. While the crust is baking, start making the caramel. I promise it’s a super easy, nearly hands-off process and only takes 20 minutes! In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, add the coconut milk, maple syrup, and monk fruit sweetener and whisk together. Once it boils, turn it down to medium heat so it’s simmering. Whisk the caramel about every 3-5 minutes. Towards the last 5-10 minutes you’ll notice that the caramel will turn gold, dark-brown and become thicker, leaving little trails behind when whisking. After twenty minutes, take the skillet off the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract and sea salt. Then, pour it into a heat-safe bowl or jar to cool.
  6. Once the crust and caramel have cooled a bit, add 1/4 cup chocolate chunks/chips along the base of the warm crust, slightly pressing in. Then, sprinkle a majority of the nuts, coconut flakes, and chocolate chunks/chips over the top (reserving some for the top layer).
  7. Pour the caramel over the mixture and shake the pan, allowing the caramel to seep into the grooves.
  8. Lastly, add the remaining addition of dark chocolate chunks/chips, nuts, and coconut flakes.
  9. Bake on 350°F for 25-28 minutes. The edges will be browned, while the chocolate will be melty and the coconut flakes and nuts will be toasted.
  10. Let the bars cool at room temperature and then move the pan to the fridge for 1-2 hours until completely set. Then you can cut them into bars and enjoy!

Notes

*It is very important that you shake the can of coconut well so that the coconut cream and coconut water are mixed together before adding it to the skillet. If they don't mix together beforehand the caramel will most likely separate. If you shake the can and the solidified top and water below doesn't seem to merge together, add it to a small food processor or blender and mix well before. Store the caramel sauce in an airtight jar or container in the refrigerator for about 1-2 weeks or a room temperature for about 4 days. Store these bars in an airtight container on the counter for 4 days or in the fridge for about 1 week.

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