Happy holidays everyone! Let’s talk cookie bars. These sweet squares have all of my favorites wrapped into a decadence that you don’t have to feel too guilty about. Chocolate, pecans, coconut, marshmallows…yum. They can be made gluten free, dairy free, and can adapt to any number or types of toppings. Totally a special winter break breakfast, snack, party, and dessert friendly treat.
Sometimes I cut them into brownie size squares and other times, into smaller bites which can go a long way as rich as this treat is.
These are some of the ingredients I used including my favorite brand of chocolate chips.
A mixture of light coconut milk plus coconut or brown sugar holds everything it all together and helps the filling set as well as provide a caramel flavor.
You can use a ready made graham cracker crust or make my easy gluten free oat and almond based crust.
These are the marshmallows I use for those of you looking for a gelatin free version. I’m not super thrilled that they contain carrageenan and soy but I use them twice a year or so.
This is a very easy recipe to make but does require some time for baking and then refrigeration.
The shredded coconut and marshmallows get all toasty on top and beneath is creamy chocolate and nice bite with the pecans.
I tested a graham cracker crust as well in order to make an even quicker version of this recipe.
This festive indulgence was a hit amongst family and friends all weekend long!
Layered Ginger Mint Joy Bars
Makes one 9×13 pan or two 8×8 pans or two 9 inch pies or 1 of each
Crust Ingredients: This is enough for one 8×8 or one 9 inch crust. Double for 9×13 pan.
1 cup almond meal
1 cup oat flour (blend about the same amount of rolled oats to make this)
1/8 tsp salt
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tbsp coconut oil in solid form (refrigerate for 10 minutes if needed)
1/4 cup ice cold water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all of the above ingredients in a small mixing bowl with a fork until mixture is moistened but crumbly.
Press down into a 8×8 dish or pie dish.
Bake for 20 minutes until lightly brown. It may feel a little soft initially but it will crisp up as it cools and you are going to bake it again with the filling.
Filling Ingredients: This is enough for two 8×8, two 9 inch, 1 of each or one 9×13 pan.
One 14 oz. can light coconut milk
1 tsp peppermint extract
1/2 cup coconut palm or brown sugar
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup chopped pecans
2/3 cup shredded coconut
10 marshmallows, torn into pieces.
1/2 tsp ground ginger
Filling & Compiling Directions:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat coconut milk and sugar in a small pan over medium heat for approximately 10 minutes stirring occasionally until melted and incorporated. Set aside, mix in peppermint extract and ground ginger. Let cool for 10 minutes.
- Pour coconut milk into crust. I poured half into the square dish and the other half into the ready made graham cracker crust.
- Using all of the chocolate chips, pecans, and coconut or dividing if you are make two smaller sets like I did, sprinkle in layers. I like the chocolate against the crust so I put the chips in first, then the nuts, coconut, and bits of marshmallow.
- Bake for 35 minutes. Let cool for 15-20 minutes and then refrigerate for 4 to 24 hours. Store in fridge.