Are you drooling? You should be. These Coconut Chocolate Nut Bars are kind of a big deal. They are creamy, sweetened just right, and topped with decadent chocolate. They are kind of a mix between a brownie, ice cream sandwich and a Nanaimo bar. How can you turn your nose up at that combo?
is dark chocolate vegan?
A lot of dark chocolate isn’t vegan because of the additives in it. A lot of the time, there is dairy still added in dark chocolate. So if your chocolate being vegan is important to you because of your beliefs, or because of allergies make sure you check the ingredients. The ingredient list should be minimal and include ingredients that you have heard of before. Some chocolate bars are made to be vegan and they will be labelled with a vegan symbol. But otherwise, to find out if your dark chocolate is vegan, take a little peek at the ingredient list. Obviously is any milk product is in that list, it’s a no-go. Here is a list of some vegan dark chocolate bars to help guide you.
The name choice for these gluten free bars was a big dilemma for me. Initially, I was thinking of calling them Vegan Nanaimo Bars. Adam LOVED them but said they weren’t exactly like a Nanaimo bar. I think he actually said, “These don’t taste like Nanaimo bars. The bottom is like a cookie, the middle like ice cream and the top like a brownie.” So, not super helpful. But as always I appreciate the feedback from the one and only Picky Husband! I ended with Coconut Chocolate Nut Bars cause that is exactly what they are! Even though Adam wasn’t much help in the name department, he WAS a big fan of these bars and was a huge help in eating them.
These are a frozen dessert, so they need to be stored in the freezer when you aren’t munching on them. But the best way to eat these coconut chocolate nut bars is to let them sit on the counter for 10 minutes until the middle layer is soft and extra creamy. And then when you take a bite it’s so many things at once. The gluten free bars are creamy, chewy, sweet, and mind-blowing. You will just have to close your eyes, savour every last flavour, and think of nothing else in the world at that moment.
here are some reasons why I love these chocolate nut bars, so listen up!
- If I didn’t get you at “brownie, ice cream sandwich and vegan Nanaimo bar all mixed in one,” then I don’t know what else to say. OMG, these chocolate nut bars are heaven.
- I love coconut, and there is a lot of coconut in these yummy squares. If you are a coconut fan, you’ll love these. Coconut adds a decadent and velvety texture that allows dairy free desserts to have a similar creaminess to their non-dairy free counterparts.
- These wannabee vegan Nanaimo bars are actually very easy to make. The hard part is the freezer/waiting time. But you can make these ahead of an event because they just sit in the freezer, covered, and then take them out a few minutes before you serve them, and voila!
- I have quite a few of these in my freezer (from testing them) and look forward to having one every day (self-control, am I right?!). This feels like a pretty good indicator that these gluten free bars are the real deal, and I’m in love.
If I haven’t convinced you that these chocolate nut bars are pure magic, I just don’t know what to say. These gluten free bars are pure bites of goodness. The base is naturally sweetened with dates, and the rest of the ingredients are clean and simple. The filling is creamy central, especially when you let these bars sit out for 10 minutes before diving in. Treat yourself to these bars, you won’t regret it.
vegan chocolate coconut bars
- 1 1/2 cups medjool dates (pits removed)
- 1/4 cup pecans
- 1/3 cup shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- pinch sea salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup raw cashews (soaked in HOT/boiled water for 30 minutes- or room temperature water overnight)
- 1 cup coconut cream (thick cream from 2 cans of full fat coconut milk. I use Thai Kitchen Brand. Reserve 2 tbsp of the coconut cream for the the topping)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3/4 cup chocolate chips
- 2 tbsp coconut cream (Reserved from the cans above)
- Soak the cashews either overnight in warm water or for 30 minutes before using hot, boiled water. Set aside, until you are ready to prepare the filling.
- Begin by adding the dates for the base ingredients into a food processor. Process until the dates form a ball. Then add the rest of the base ingredients. The mixture should stick together quite nicely. Add the base to an 8×8 square pan. Press down firmly and evenly. Set in the freezer for 10 minutes, while you prepare the filling.
- Prepare the filling. Drain the water from the cashew bowl. Add the cashews, coconut cream (set aside 2 tbsp for the chocolate topping), maple syrup and vanilla to a high-speed blender. Blend until smooth and there are no chunks remaining. Remove the base from the freezer and pour the filling mixture over top, using a spatula to spread it evenly. Place back in the freezer for 40- 60 minutes, or until it has become more solid than liquidy.
- Wait until the base and filling have been in the freezer for almost the full hour and then begin to prepare the chocolate topping. Add the 2 tablespoons of coconut cream, that were set aside, to a small saucepan over low heat. Once the coconut cream has begun to melt, add the chocolate chips. Continually stir the mixture to make sure it doesn’t burn. If you like your chocolate topping a little on the sweeter side you can add some maple syrup at this point, but I find once everything is combined the bars are the perfect sweetness as is. Once the mixture is smooth, remove from the stove top, and take the bars out of the freezer. Evenly coat, and pour the chocolate over the filling of the bars. Place back in the freezer for 1-2 hours, or until set.
- Remove the Bars from the freezer. I would suggest cutting the bars into squares or whatever shape you want and then putting them in a sealed container and placing them back in the freezer for storage.
- Before enjoying a bar, remove from the freezer and let it sit on the countertop for 5-10 minutes so the inside filling gets soft and creamy! Enjoy!