Magic cookie bars (paleo)

I’ve decided that I am going to publish AT LEAST one post a week for this whole year. It’s a do-able challenge, and hopefully in a few months I can go to two posts!

So today is Saturday, and I’ve ended up with way more time than expected because I realized about half an hour before I was about to leave to go to a Beyonce dance class (hey, don’t laugh, she’s a great dancer and I need to learn more dance! ;)), that actually that is TOMORROW, not today which for some reason I totally missed even though I had conversations about this with the friend I was going with. How does that even happen?! ^^

Well, luckily I can still go tomorrow, and the surprise free time allowed me practice taking delectable photos of THIS amazing treat on my phone. The nice Nikon is at my other place, and honestly these photos are just as good as the ones I seem to take on that (mainly because I still haven’t a clue at how to take amazing photos with a DSLR camera, but I’m going to learn goddammit!).

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What are those deliciously gooey, sticky, chocolatey, nutty looking bars you ask? Well, none other than Magic Cookie bars! (Not *that* kind of magic, I’m afraid. Sorry).

I’ve been meaning to make these for AGES. Then a few weeks ago while at the wonderful Infinity Foods store in Brighton, I discovered evaporated coconut milk! Just three ingredients ; coconut milk, coconut sugar and guar gum. Again, my brain tricked me because I kept thinking it was coconut condensed milk (which is the traditional ingredient in magic cookie bars), until yesterday when I made these, but luckily I discovered you can add a sugar substitute and make condensed milk out if it (as evaporated milk is simply milk with 60% water removed, and condensed milk is the same plus sugar).  It turned into a sort of cross between condensed milk and dulce de leche. Hooray!

So last night we had a few friends over to play board games (Taboo and Coup to be precise), so it was a perfect excuse to finally make these. Magic cookie bars are basically a cookie crust (graham crackers traditionally) topped with chocolate, pecans, coconut or whatever combination of wholesome things you want, drizzled with condensed milk then baked until it all melds into a crispy, gooey, crunchy, nutty, sticky, sweet mass. This version happens to be gluten/grain free, dairy free and refined   sugar-free!

I made the crust too thick because I was lazy and just patted it down straight into my Pyrex dish rather than rolling it out, so it was like a cakey biscuit/cookie but I quite liked it that way. Next time I’ll try making it half as thick, because I’m pretty sure the topping should be about as thick as the crust :D.

 

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INGREDIENTS
Cookie crust
1/4C coconut flour
1/4C tapioca flour
1/4C arrowroot starch
1/2tsp baking soda
1/4C coconut oil
1 egg
2T maple or rice syrup
2tsp cinnamon
Coconut condensed milk
1.5C coconut evaporated milk (or use normal coconut milk, but it will take longer to reduce/thicken)
1C sugar substitute finely ground (I used organic dextrose and erythritol)
Topping
1/4-1/2C each of chopped 85% dark chocolate and pecans (you can also use flaked or shredded coconut, or other nuts)

METHOD
1) For the crust, sift all the dry ingredients together, then in another bowl whisk the egg and syrup together until smooth
2) Add the flours to the egg/syrup mix.
3) Drizzle in the coconut oil and beat till smooth
4) Refrigerate dough for 10 mins, then press into a baking pan, ideally 1cm thick
5)Bake for 10-15 minutes at 175C/350F or until just beginning to brown
6) Meanwhile put coconut milk and sugar substitute in a pan, bring to the boil and simmer for 20-30 mins stirring occasionally, until a syrupy consistency. Let cool
7) When the crust is cool, scatter over the chocolate and nuts, then pour over the condensed milk evenly.
8) Bake for about 20 minutes in the oven, until the sides are bubbling.
9) These are gooey and melty (to be eaten with a fork) straight out of the oven, but for solid bars, let cool a few hours or put in the fridge to set.

 

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