These chocolate paleo magic cookie bars have a sweet strawberry swirl and are so easy to make! They’re a healthy, gluten free remake of the classic recipe that everyone will love!
Magic, magic, MAGICCC!
I’ve got the magic in meeeeee!
Errrr, I actually have zero magic. But, you guys, these bars? ALL THE MAGIC.
F-I-V-E mega layers of dessert-deliciousness are about to scoot inside your mouth right now.
It all begins with a crispy-crunchy, CHOCOLATEY crust –> XTRA crunch factor from toasty-roasty hazelnuts –> ooey-gooey, riiiich dark chocolate that has a “melty factor” of OFF THE CHARTS –> sticky, sweet and thiiiiiiiick condensed coconut milk and the STRAWBERRY ON TOP?
Swirly strawberry sauce. Duh.
About to get super awkward on you: these magic bars are straight up SEXY.
Last year’s paleo magic cookie bars and pumpkin spice paleo magic cookie bars were mega amounts of fun and delicious when they danced around happily in your growly belly, but these bars? The combination of silky-smooth melted chocolate, deep, nutty hazelnuts and bursts of fresh strawberries make them feel SO ADULT RIGHT NOW.
In other news: Valentine’s Day is coming up and a day starting with gluten free pancakes with chocolate swirl, and ending with a tag-team of romance in the form of some vegan truffles with champagne and THESE strawberry chocolate magic bars are a RELIABLE plan for making this one full of RLY RLY good memories.
Not like those childhood Valentine’s days where you didn’t get a Finding Nemo card in your “secret admirer” box from your crush, and you basically determined that were going to be a cat lady forever and ever THE END.
That could have just been me though. Not that I’m dramatic or anything.
Did I ever tell you how I used to think I hated hazelnuts? Something inside my usually-nut-inclusivist-soul just WAS NOT A FAN.
Do you think it has something to do with the fact that both recipes A-L-S-O include a very large amount of chocolate?
Either way. Hazelnuts + Chocolate = things that make your heart go BOOM with an explosion of love, and your taste buds go YAAAAAASSSSS. Partially because they are trendy and everyone says YAAAS these days.
But mostly because I trust that you have good taste buds which means they like quadruple layers of CRUNCHY! CRISPY! TOASTY! OOEY GOOEY! FRESH! SWEET!
Like we figured in last week’s mason jar zucchini lasagna, layers make ERYTHANGGGGG better.
Other random discoveries of life: did you know that “chocolate chips” and “chocolate morsels” are DIFFERENT? Like, I bought dark chocolate morsels, thinking they were chips, and when I dumped them into my mouth…errr onto the bars…they were HYOGE.
Like 20x (“Taylor speak” for 2x) the size of normal chocolate chips. CLEARLY we have all been doing chocolate chip everything wrong FOREVER. Why have we been settling for small pieces of chocolate when we could be satisfying our inner souls with mega HUNKS of morsels?!
Just a random life finding that you should know, because you should also accidentally buy morsels and make your magic-bar-including life X-TRA heavy on the chocolate factor.
Even if you decide to be basic and go for the chips, I will still love you.
I have your Valentine’s Day goals completely defined for you in one, simple word:
Extra “s” for emphasis.
For step-by-step instruction of this recipe, watch my video tutorial below:
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Chocolate Paleo Magic Cookie Bars with Strawberry
Time does not include chilling overnight, which is necessary
- 2/3 Cup Hazelnuts,
- 1 Can Full-fat Coconut Milk ( Do NOT use low fat) (14 oz)
- 3/4 Cup Honey, Divided (agave for vegan version)
- 2 Cups Strawberries, roughly chopped (260g)
- 2 Tbsp Water
- 1/3 Cup Coconut oil at room temperature (should be the consistency of softened butter)
- 3/4 Cup Coconut flour , Sifted (66g) *
- 2 Tbsp Cocoa powder
- Pinch of salt
- 2/3 Cup Dark chocolate morsels
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spread the hazelnuts onto a small pan and bake until browned and toasty smelling, about 8-11 minutes, finely chop them and set aside.
In a LARGE, high-sided pot (the coconut milk rises up a lot when heated,) set over high heat, whisk together the can of coconut milk and 1/2 cup of Honey (or agave), reserving the remaining honey for later. Bring the mixture to a boil and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Then, turn the heat down to medium and and simmer for 16-20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sauce reduced by about half, and you end up with 1 cup of super thick liquid. This really varies based on the size of the pot you use. I recommend checking it after 16 minutes, and if you have more than 1 cup, cook it a few more minutes until you have that amount.
Once you've turned the sauce down to medium heat, place the strawberries, 1 Tbsp of the honey and the water in a medium pot set over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until all the water evaporates and you can mash the strawberries. You want the sauce to be really thick - this takes 10-20 minutes depending on the size of your pot. Set aside
While the sauce reduces, it's time to make the crust:
Line an 8x8 inch pan with parchment paper, leaving a little bit of an overhang up the sides of the pan, to use as a handle later. Spray the sides generously with coconut oil spray (this also helps stick the parchment to the sides and bottom of the pan.)
In a large bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat the remaining 3 Tbsp of honey with the coconut oil until smooth and creamy. Stir in the flour, cocoa powder and pinch of salt until a wet dough forms.
Press the dough evenly into the bottom of the pan. This will be a little bit tough, just be patient with it. I found it easiest to use the palms of my hands, and rinse them off every so often, until the dough was pressed in. Do not bake the crust until the sauce is done reducing, as you want to time it so the sauce can thicken a little more while the crust bakes.
Once the sauce has done reducing, and you have 1 cup of liquid, set aside to cool. Then, bake the crust just until the sides darken slightly, about 8 mins. When your crust comes out of the oven, it will have risen a little bit. Use a small spoon to pack it down, making sure to not leave cracks in the crust.
As soon as the crust comes out of the often, sprinkle the chopped nuts on top, and lightly press them into the crust. Then, sprinkle on the chocolate morsels evenly.
Pour the coconut sauce EVENLY over the top of the surface, making sure to really get it into the edges of the bars (but not between the parchment paper and sides of the pan!) Then, gently shake the pan around until the coconut milk mixture begins to sink between the layers.
Spoon the strawberry sauce over top and use a sharp knife to swirl around, being careful not to cut into the crust.
Place into the oven and bake until the sides are lightly golden brown, about 27-28 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature. Then, cover with tinfoil and refrigerate overnight. **
The next day, lift the bars out of the pan and run a very sharp knife around the edge of the pan, slice into bars and DEVOUR!
* The coconut flour I usually use needed 3/4 cup, but I also tried it with a different brand and 66g was only 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp. So, PLEASE weigh your flour first before trying to make the crust.
** You NEED to let these sit overnight to make sure the coconut milk really has a chance to chill and thicken.
FOR THIS RECIPE, I RECOMMEND:
Weight Watchers Points Per Serving: SmartPoints: 11 Points+: 6. Old Points: 5
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