3-Layer Almond Coconut Chocolate Bars

112 comments

veganchocolatebar 2155   3 Layer Almond Coconut Chocolate Bars

I may not have my costume picked out or a pumpkin carved yet (how the heck is it Oct 24th?), but the vegan candy options are a-go. That is, if they last until the weekend.

I’ve been working on these layer bars for a few weeks now. It took a bit of patience to get the thickness of the layers juuust right, but lo and behold I finally nailed something worth sharing.

Me likey. Me likey a lot.

veganchocolatebar 2149   3 Layer Almond Coconut Chocolate Bars

If you are looking for a fun and incredibly tasty Halloween treat (or really, a treat for any special occasion!), I hope you’ll give these a whirl. They just about made our dreams come true.

3layerveganchocolatebar   3 Layer Almond Coconut Chocolate Bars

3-Layer Almond Coconut Chocolate Bars

Vegan, gluten-free, soy-free

By

print icon   3 Layer Almond Coconut Chocolate Bars

These bars are bursting with three of my favourite flavours – almond, coconut, and chocolate! How could you go wrong? A soft and nutty toasted almond-oat crust forms the base. If you’ve made my Chilled Chocolate Pie, you can probably attest to how good this press-in crust is! The middle layer is made up of a no-bake almond butter “fudge” enhanced with rice crisp cereal for a wicked crispy texture. The bars are topped with a dark chocolate “macaroon” coating and garnished with big flakes of toasted coconut. I know.

Yield
18 small bars
Freeze time
1 hour
Prep Time
30 Minutes
Cook time
13 Minutes
Total Time
43 Minutes

Ingredients:

For the base:
  • 3/4 cup whole almonds
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free oat flour*
  • 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1 cup gluten-free rolled oat
For the middle layer:
  • 1 cup raw or roasted almond butter (or peanut butter)
  • 1/2 cup virgin coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener)
  • 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch fine grain sea salt
  • 1/2 cup rice crisp cereal
For the topping:
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips (use Enjoy Life brand for soy-free)
  • 1/2 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4-1/3 cup toasted unsweetened large coconut flakes (such as Let's Do...Organic brand)*

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line an 8-inch square pan with two pieces of parchment paper, one going each way.
  2. For the crust: Add the almonds into a food processor and process until a fine meal forms, just larger than sand. Now add the oat flour, oil, syrup, and salt and process until combined and sticky. Finally, add the cup of rolled oats and process until the oats are chopped and the dough comes together, but the oats still have a bit of texture to them. The dough should stick together when pressed between your fingers. Crumble the dough evenly in the prepared pan. Press the dough into the pan evenly, wetting fingers if necessary to prevent sticking. Smooth out the dough with a pastry roller and use your fingertips to press in the edges until even.  Poke a few holes with a fork to let air escape. Bake, uncovered, for around 13 minutes. Place pan on cooling rack for at least 10 minutes.
  3. For the middle layer: In a medium saucepan, stir the almond butter, oil, syrup, vanilla, and salt and heat over medium until the coconut oil is melted and the mixture is smooth. Whisk if necessary. Remove from heat. When the crust has cooled for 10 minutes or so, stir the rice crisp cereal into the almond butter mixture and pour this mixture on top of the crust. Smooth out and place in the freezer on a flat surface for 40-45 minutes, until the middle layer is completely solid. While the mixture freezes, toast the large coconut flakes (see note below). After the middle layer is frozen, remove from freezer and lift out the bar. Slice into 6 rows vertically and then slice 3 rows horizontally to make 18 small bars. Place bars in the freezer once again while you prepare the chocolate topping.
  4. For the chocolate topping: In a saucepan, melt the chocolate and coconut oil over low-medium heat. When half the chips have melted, remove from heat and stir until completely smooth. Stir in the shredded coconut. Remove bars from the freezer and spoon a small amount of chocolate on top of each bar. Immediately, sprinkle with toasted coconut flakes. Return the bars to the freezer until the chocolate is set. Serve immediately (bars will melt quickly, so I wouldn't suggest keeping them out too long). Store leftovers in the fridge or freezer.

Notes: 1) To make 1/2 cup oat flour, add 1/2 cup rolled oats into a high-speed blender and blend on high until a flour forms. 2) To toast the large coconut flakes, spread onto a baking sheet and toast at 350F for only 3-4 minutes, until golden and fragrant. After cooling, I crumbled the flakes up into smaller pieces for easier sprinkling. 3) For a fun twist, try making these bars using my homemade Nutella instead of almond butter!

veganchocolatebar 2160   3 Layer Almond Coconut Chocolate Bars

By the way, thank you for your comments in my last post! It’s comforting to know that many of you have been through the same thing and it all worked out in the end. Here’s to good luck house hunting vibes for all. :)

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{ 112 comments… read them below or add one }

Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat October 24, 2013

OMG…amazing! I could definitely go for some right now! ;-)

Reply

Anele @ Success Along the Weigh October 24, 2013

OH. MY. GOODNESS!

I’m making this asap then sending half of them to the Mr’s work so I don’t slam my face into the pan!

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janae @ bring joy October 24, 2013

First, how deliciously decandent!

Second, I have an honest to goodness question, Angela. How do you create all this stuff without wanting to eat the whole thing? I’ve been churning out a bunch of recipes lately & I really have to watch myself, because as “healthy” as my recipes are, I can make myself sick sampling, & eating too much in the process. Just wondered what you do….

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 24, 2013

hah yes it’s really hard to be around tasty treats! I found it especially challenging when I was creating the recipes for the book. Talk about food overload! I do a couple things that help – first, I try to space out my testing. So I try not to test 4 dessert recipes in a row and space out the treats with really healthy veggie packed recipes. With these bars, I spread out the testing over a few weeks. Another thing that helps is packaging the food up and bringing it to friends or family. The kiddos always love it. Of course, Eric doesn’t always love parting with his goodies though. ;)

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Melanie October 26, 2013

If I may add my two cents… Having kids completely solves this problem :) If you don’t, offer them to someone else’s kids. They’ll love you for it!

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janae @ bring joy October 26, 2013

Haha, that *partially* solves the problem. I do have kids (4, with a 5th on the way)–the taste testing, retasting, retesting, that’s the process that really adds up, calorie/stomach space wise.

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Kelly @ hidden fruits and veggies October 24, 2013

I’ve been looking for the perfect vegan/GF recipe for a halloween party — Found it! This looks crazy yummy.

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Erica { EricaDHouse.com } October 24, 2013

Looks delicious – as always! I also don’t have a costume picked out or any of my Halloween decor out. It just doesn’t feel like it this year!

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Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar October 24, 2013

I love alllll the layers! This looks fabulous!

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Traveling Cats October 24, 2013

Is it accepted to drool on your posts?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) October 24, 2013

I encourage it :)

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Adriana Perciballi October 24, 2013

Wow this sound fabulous!!! Can’t wait to try make these bars!! Thank you for your great recipes!

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Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor October 24, 2013

Woah, these look good! I’m pretty sure I could eat a whole batch myself. I think the chocolate toasted macaron topping is the best part :)

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Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate October 24, 2013

Forget the costume, you don’t need it. The only good part about Halloween are the treats!

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Train mean, eat clean - Lieke October 24, 2013

Oh gosh, looks like the best thing I’ve ever seen!!! Can i use olive oil in stead of coconut oil? Xoxo

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Christine @ Gotta Eat Green October 24, 2013

Oh my goodness these look incredible!! I was really expecting to see the middle layer have some dates in it, and I was pleasantly surprised to see it was date free! I love dates but often times they are used as a binder in bars like this, so it is nice to see something different!

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Amanda @ .running with spoons October 24, 2013

Oh.my.gosh… these look -amazing- Angela. And I’m with you on not having any idea how it’s already October 24th — I’m just not feeling it!

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Emily - It Comes Naturally Blog October 24, 2013

Another brilliant idea for my Halloween parties this weekend. Thanks Angela!

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Tara@PNWRunner October 24, 2013

Holy toledo. I must have these immediately. They look fantastic. Almonds, almond butter, chocolate—>Score! :) Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe. I cannot wait to make it for myself. Hopefully, they come out just as pretty as yours!

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Giovanna October 24, 2013

Making them tonite!!!

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat October 24, 2013

Ooh these are beautiful Ange! I especially love your last shot. As for Halloween, I don’t have a costume yet either and like you, the month has flown by and I have no idea how it’s the 24th already. Maybe I should just bring these into work and that’ll be considered acceptable in absence of a costume? ;)

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Shundara@SavyNaturalista October 24, 2013

I decided to use my pumpkin instead of carve it! Oh gosh this looks delicious! Caramel and a crispy crunch! I love it!

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Dana @ Conscious Kitchen Blog October 24, 2013

I’m seriously drooling over these bars! I want one right now. I don’t think there’d be any left for trick or treaters at my house!

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Kath October 24, 2013

These have my name written all over them! I absolutely love the first picture too. Great job Angela

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Abby @ The Frosted Vegan October 24, 2013

Um yesss I will take 10 of these ok?? I know what I am bringing on my trip this weekend and NOT sharing! : )

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Lauren (@PoweredbyPB) October 24, 2013

These look absolutely amazing!

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Averie @ Averie Cooks October 24, 2013

Oh Angela the layers on these…the texture, the chocolate, the nuttiness, crispiness. I am a huge sucker for layered bars with tons of texture and elements going on and usually I trash mine up pretty good with some gas station candy, i.e. Butterfingers and Reese’s Cups LOL – and am so impressed that yours is healthy, vegan, GF, and looks amazing! Pinned!

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dishing up the dirt October 24, 2013

I am not a huge costume person. However, I love desserts like this. Beautiful, healthy, and delicious!

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Alex @ Kenzie Life October 24, 2013

Oh heck yes! I am SO excited about these because I’ve been wanting to make a recipe similar to this (like those amazing “magic” bars) but I’ve been too lazy (ok, busy) so thanks for doing all the work ;) I can’t wait to try them!

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Anna @ Fitness à la Anna October 24, 2013

Oh my goodness, these look particularly delectable…I can’t wait to test them out!! I will def have to recruit my roomies to help me eat them, otherwise I may eat them all to myself hehe

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Katie October 24, 2013

These look so delicious! I love that your desserts have top-notch ingredients (i.e. coconut oil, maple syrup).

The question someone else asked– about recipe testing and not eating it all :) — got me thinking. What’s the most you’ve toyed with/tested a recipe before it came out just how you wanted? I get frustrated after about 3 attempts (not super patient, LOL).

Thanks, Angela!

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Brittany @ The Fit Phoenician October 24, 2013

Oh my, these look amazeballs!! Get in my kitchen :)

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Katie October 24, 2013

These look delicious! One of your previous recipes called for crispy rice cereal as well. What vegan brand do you use?

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Shelby October 24, 2013

This is mouthwatering! I might be making a trip to the grocery store today so I can make these. :)

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Mary Pascall October 24, 2013

Hate to be a buzz kill…recipe looks amazing, but would like to use something other than coconut oil. A little shredded coconut embellishment is fine with me, but there is a cup and 1/4 of coconut oil in this recipe and coconut oil has more saturated fat than meat. I don’t use it. Is it essential or could something else be used in it’s place.

I frequent your site and use your recipes all the time and love them. You’ve been a great deal of help along my journey to a plant based lifestyle after colon cancer. This recipe looks too good to miss, but I find coconut oil to be one of those niggling little questions for me.

Best regards,
Mary

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Jill October 24, 2013

I see 1/4 cup in the base, 1/2 cup in the middle layer, and 1/2 tablespoon in the topping. That’s 3/4 cup plus 1/2 tablespoon. Were you count the 1/2 tablespoon in the topping as 1/2 cup?

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Mary Pascall October 24, 2013

I sincerely apologize, I did miscalculate the coconut oil. I would like to know though, if the coconut oil actually is necessary and if there might be an alternative in your opinion or would it ruin the recipe. The rest of the ingredients are all favorites of mine.

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Greta Laundy October 25, 2013

Hi Angela,
These look aaammaaazinnng!
I’m with Mary though…I would like to use something else in place of the coconut oil as I’m concerned about how it effects cholesterol (I have family high cholesterol and need to be very careful of saturated fat).
Do you have something else you suggest?
Love your site Angela too – I came across it a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve got you bookmarked for easy reference!
Have a great Thanksgiving!

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Coral Bouret December 7, 2013

I have made this recipe twice now, once with maple syrup and the second time around with agave, both with coconut oil (which is a staple in my kitchen)…

I would like to pitch in and join the “saturated fat-cholesterol-concern-with-coconut oil” thread. I also have a family history of high cholesterol, and have learned from a very early age to differentiate between LDL (a.k.a BAD cholesterol) and HDL (a.k.a. GOOD cholesterol), and learned that not all fats are created equal. Let me repeat and emphasize, NOT ALL FATS ARE CREATED EQUAL. That is true for cholesterol and saturated fats as well.

Bottom line, we NEED cholesterol for brain function, maintaining a strong immune system and all around good health, we just need higher levels of and lower levels of LDL. How? Cholesterol is only made by animals (read: plants don’t make cholesterol) so if you eliminate meat, eggs and dairy products from your diet, your bad cholesterol will decrease almost immediately. How to increase HDL? We need to ingest “good” fats, like the ones found in vegetable sources, including “good” saturated fats found in avocados, olive oil, and yes, COCONUT OIL!

About replacing it with olive oil for cooking/baking, I would advise against it, as something happens to olive oil when it is heated which is basically NOT GOOD. Coconut oil is not our enemy, it is actually quite beneficial, even with all its saturated fat… Its bad reputation has been “debunked” ;) AND, as opposed to olive oil, coconut oil is perfectly safe when heated at high temperatures.

PS: There are some great articles out there about the “demonization” of saturated fats, and the HUGE difference between saturated fats found in animal vs. plant sources.

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Anna October 25, 2013

Maybe try canola oil? There’s no other oil that I know of that solidifies at cold temperatures like coconut oil

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CareyBerry October 26, 2013

I’m with Anna… try canola oil and see how it works. Worst case scenario? The recipe doesn’t firm up and you have to eat it with a spoon. :-) I prefer using canola and olive oils as well because high cholesterol runs in my family too.

If anyone tries the recipe with other oils, please post results. I think this would be a lovely dessert to bring to my in laws for Thanksgiving.

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Alli October 24, 2013

Oh wow, I should not be reading this post right before lunch. I am starving and now totally craving these bars. They look amazing and will definitely by my next yummy recipe to try.

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Chelsea @ BigBitesLittleBudget October 24, 2013

I keep telling myself that I have plenty of time to get the pumpkin carving and Halloween festivities in, but it is coming up quick! These bars look amazing though, I might just have to make these as part of the “festivities”!

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Lindsay @ The Live-In Kitchen October 24, 2013

I wish I could make these right now! What a great alternative treat to all the crappy candy of the holiday.

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Naomi October 24, 2013

HOLY COW. Making. These. Tonight.

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Catherine @ Chocolate & Vegetables October 24, 2013

Mmmm, I was just craving a seven-layer bar yesterday afternoon. These look like a good alternative!

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Alana October 24, 2013

Since it’s Thanksgiving, I’m always looking for blogs that will give me plenty of ideas. My friend just told me about “Cooking With Mr. C.” on Facebook (also a blog). I just “Liked” his page. He dedicates November for all Thanksgiving ideas. I was hoping I may find some things on your blog this season too. Alana

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Caitlin October 24, 2013

Oh wow, these look sooo good!! And what a great flavour combo. :)

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Amelia October 24, 2013

I’m making these first thing tomorrow. Get in my belly insane!
You know, if you and Eric ever need to unload some treats, I’m more than happy to give you my address. Or you can come visit us in Charleston, Sc. :)

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Sarah S. October 24, 2013

Are you magic? In all seriousness. You blow my mind.
Every single recipe of yours I have ever tried always goes onto my favorites list. Every. single. recipe. And I’ve tried a loooooot of your recipes. You are incredible!
I will be waiting at the bookstore/my computer at midnight for your cookbook.

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