My husband had these for dinner so I really don’t know if I can honestly call them a dessert, so I’ll leave that to readers’ discretion.
The bars are inspired by the Magic Bars from Sweet Freedom Bakery in Philadelphia. They make all kinds of organic vegan goodies that also happen to be 100% free of gluten, nut, soy, dairy, egg, corn, peanut, and refined sugar. So not totally Paleo, obviously, but I love supporting small businesses like this that support clean eating (even when you need a treat!). Hell, if you’re fine with some rice, bean, and sorghum flours *occasionally* I’d encourage you to check them out.
While I was in Iraq, I had a box of the Magic Bars sent to me…I think a 12 bars might have lasted 12 hours. I wish I was kidding. And I feel like a total asshole saying this but after I came home I kinda forgot about them. I mean, my kitchen was filled with Bacon Brownies and Chocolate Pies, so can you blame me?? Anyway, while we were moving a couple of weeks ago I was going through some boxes and a business card fell out. So I was like, “Holy Crap! I need to make me some [Paleo] Magic Bars!!”
And so, these were born. I opted for a no-bake version since I’m impatient like that (and my oven was occupied with chicken and sweet potatoes to bring with me to my competition). You can use any variety of raw nuts you’d like for the crust–definitely choose the ones that suit your taste and you can be creative since I’m pretty sure any nut tastes good with chocolate. Go for earthy almonds, buttery cashews, rich macadamias, rich walnuts and pecans. For mine, I used a cup each of raw almonds, cashews, macadamias, and walnuts….but the possibilities are endless. Endless I tell you!
4 c Raw, Unsalted Nuts of choice
3 T Melted Ghee or Coconut Oil
1/2 c Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
1/3 c Maple Syrup
1/2 t Salt
1 t Vanilla
1 t Cinnamon
3 c Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips (or other high quality dark chocolate)
3 T Ghee or Coconut Oil
Slivered Almonds and Shredded Coconut, for garnish
In batches, grind the nuts in a food processor until you have a fine meal. Be careful not to grind them into nut butter, though!
Remove ground nuts to a large mixing bowl and add the remaining ingredients for the crust. Mix well to combine.
Melt the chocolate in the microwave with the butter or coconut oil.
Line an 8×8 inch dish with foil or parchment paper and grease lightly. Press half of the crust mixture into the bottom of the dish. Pour half of the chocolate on top and spread to the edges. Refrigerate until the chocolate is mostly hardened. Then remove from the refrigerator and spread on the second layer of crust, then top with the remaining chocolate (you might have to re-heat the chocolate in the microwave if it has hardened). Sprinkle on slivered almonds and coconut. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours, or until completely firm. Cut into squares and make a meal out of them