I am not a huge fan of the word magic, so I often say wonder instead. An example, would be 1 asking me how a microwave cooks food and me replying, “It’s wonder!” Everything used for magic is wonder. These tricky, sticky, so awesome little bars are really called Lightened Up Magical Coconut Bars, but we are calling them Coconut Wonder Bars. Thanks to Oh She Glows, she has once again impressed me with at hit of sweet tooth goodness!
Coconut Wonder Bars
Inspired by: Oh She Glows
1 can light coconut milk*
2/3 cup coconut sugar*
2 cups vegan graham cracker crumbs*
6 tbsp (65g) coconut oil*
3 tbsp maple syrup
3/4 cup dairy-free chocolate chips (I used real chocolate chips and didn’t measure, I always go abit over board with chocolate)
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
3/4 cup pecans, chopped (I mixed it up with pecans and hazelnuts)
pinch of flaked sea salt, for garnish (optional)
How To Play:
1. Prepare condensed coconut milk: Preheat oven to 350F and line a 9-inch square pan with two pieces of parchment paper (one going each way). Add entire can of coconut milk into a medium-sized pot, and whisk in the coconut sugar. Increase heat to medium and bring to a low simmer. Watch closely as it can boil over very quickly! Simmer on low-medium heat for about 12-14 minutes, whisking occasionally, until the mixture thickens slightly. If film develops on the top as it condenses, just whisk it back into the mixture. Remove from heat to cool while you prepare the crust.
2. Prepare graham cracker crust: In a pot, soften coconut oil over low heat until mostly melted. Add to a mixing bowl along with graham cracker crumbs and maple syrup. Stir very well until thoroughly combined. Spoon graham mixture into prepared pan. Starting at the centre of the pan, press the graham cracker crumbs as firmly as you can, moving outward from the centre. The harder you press the crumbs into the pan, the better the bars will hold together.
3. Assemble: Pour warm condensed milk over the graham crust. Now, sprinkle on the chocolate chips, followed by the coconut, and finally the pecans, evenly over the condensed milk. Press the mixture down lightly with hands until the coconut milk soaks upward into each layer. Sprinkle with flaked sea salt (optional). I used Himalayan Pink Sea Salt…mmm!
4. Bake in the oven, uncovered, for 27-31 minutes at 350F, until the edges are golden. Remove pan from oven and place on cooling rack for about 30 minutes. Now, transfer the pan to your freezer for 2 hours (quick-set method). Or chill the bars in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight. When set, cut into squares (thaw at room temp first if removing from freezer). Bars can be wrapped up and left on the counter, or in the fridge or freezer.
Substitution notes: 1) You can use full-fat coconut milk instead of light. 2) Coconut sugar can be subbed for any granulated sugar (Sucanat, natural cane sugar, brown sugar, etc). 3) Two cups of graham cracker crumbs produced a fairly thick crust. You can probably reduce the amount to 1.5 cups if you want a thinner crust. 4) You can probably sub non-dairy butter for coconut oil.