With the flavor and texture a cross of pecan pie and macaroons, these flourless coconut almond bars are a lot easier to make, but will disappear just as fast at your next gathering.
Find more delicious recipes like this on the Simple Cookie Recipes page.
Some might think it's odd that shortly after publishing my Real Food Recipes for Weight Loss ebook I would publish this flourless coconut almond bars dessert.
But if you've read that (or the story here) you'll know that I do eat sweets occasionally AND I believe not feeling deprived is one of the keys to my weight loss and maintenance.
That belief, and the fact that these bars are a pretty nutrient-dense food, makes them a good treat to my mind. They are packed with good things like coconut with fiber and vitamins, and anti-oxidant rich almonds with protein and good fats.
And the chocolate? Let's talk about dark chocolate.
Here's the thing about it: all you need is a bit to be satisfied, and in fact I find I can't eat as much of dark chocolate as I used to of milk chocolate.
We've never had regular desserts at our house, but a few years ago we started having a small piece of dark chocolate after our meals, which is actually really satisfying and does curb sweet cravings.
After awhile of this practice, both Brian and I found that our tastebuds have adjusted and milk chocolate doesn't taste like chocolate anymore, just blandly sweet. Um, which is probably a good thing!
Back to the bars - when my daughter ate one, she thought it was like pecan pie or a nut pie bar and it does remind me of that texture. I was reminded of a passover macaroon, the kind made with a bit of almond meal.
All this to say, these are a healthier dessert, but still a delicious one, so it checks all the boxes.
Flourless Coconut Almond Bars
When testing this recipe, I set out to eliminate the flour in an old recipe I found by substituting almond meal, not because I avoid flour or gluten, but because I wanted to increase the protein and nutrients in a typical bar cookie.
Little did I know it was also going to improve the flavor tenfold!
- coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
- almond meal
- ground flaxseed (optional)
- baking powder
- unsweetened coconut
- mini chocolate chips and regular chocolate chips
- coconut oil
To make these bars, you'll make an almond meal crust first and while that's baking, mix together the second layer.
Spread that onto the warm crust and pop it back into the oven for another 20 minutes or so before cooling.
The chocolate drizzle is totally up to you, but it's not only a delicious addition, it makes them look great, too, don't you think?
In my desire for a slightly healthier bar cookie, I also lessened the sugar. There's coconut or brown sugar in the shortbread-like crust layer and only honey in the coconut layer.
And while these changes make for a more vitamin and nutrient-packed product, they're still a dessert that should be eaten in moderation.
But of course I think that about everything, which is why I feel free to enjoy them every now and then - and I hope you do, too!
Flourless Coconut Almond Bars
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar or sucanat, or brown sugar
- 1/3 cup butter you can use coconut oil, but you'll need to keep them refrigerated
- 1 cup almond meal or almond flour
- 2 tablespoons ground flax
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons almond meal or flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/3 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup dark or semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 9-inch square pan with parchment (or foil - you'll need the overhang to remove the bars).
- Make the first layer by mixing the sugar and butter until creamy and then adding the almond meal and flax, stirring to combine well. Press into prepared pan and bake for 12 minutes until brown around the edges. Remove from oven.
- Meanwhile, prepare the second layer by beating the eggs in a medium bowl. Add all the remaining second layer ingredients, mixing well and pour onto the partially baked first layer.
- Bake for 20-23 minutes more, or until top is golden brown and center barely jiggles. Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into 24 bars.
- For the drizzle, melt the chocolate chips with the oil and use a spoon to drizzle over the bars evenly (you can do this before cutting or after cutting, it's up to you).
Other Healthy Bar Cookies To Try:
This recipe has been updated - it was originally published in June of 2014.