Chocolate Chip Coconut Bars (Grain-free, Nut-Free, Delicious!)

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I recently discovered this recipe from Living Healthy With Chocolate and decided to give them a whirl. Why not, right?! I had all the ingredients in my pantry, so I proceeded with excitement. The recipe that I have posted here contains a few modifications, just because I wanted to add a little of my own creative ideas, but I can guarantee you that the original recipe is absolutely delicious too!! πŸ™‚ Make sure to check out the rest of the Living Healthy With Chocolate blog while you are at it; there are so many delightful treats featured. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1 cup+2 tablespoons unsweetened, shredded coconut
1 cup coconut butter, (measured when melted)
5 tablespoons coconut oil or grass-fed butter, melted (measured when melted) Unsalted Kerrygold is a great option for a grass-fed butter in this recipe.
pinch of sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup (Grade B preferred)
1/2 cup Enjoy Life dark chocolate chips

Directions:
Grease an 8×8 glass pan and line it with parchment paper. (I have found that greasing the pan first is an easier way to get the parchment paper to lay more flat.) Set the pan aside.

In a small saucepan, melt the coconut butter on the lowest setting. When melting coconut butter, stir frequently to avoid burning. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the coconut, coconut oil (or grass-fed butter), salt, vanilla, and maple syrup. Stir gently with a spatula. Pour in the melted coconut butter, and combine. Gently stir in the chocolate chips. Some will melt a little; that is okay! πŸ™‚ Your batter will look runny. Do not worry! It will solidify when you place it in the freezer or fridge.

Place the bars in the fridge until solidified and cooled. This will take approximately 20 minutes. You can always place them in the freezer if you are impatient like me, but remember that they will get rock hard pretty quickly! πŸ™‚

*Store the bars in an airtight container in the fridge. Enjoy often and without an ounce of guilt!

Optional add-ins: In addition to the ingredients listed, you can also add 2 tablespoons of a nut butter of your choice. Another great option is to add a scoop of the Dynamic Greens Espresso powder for an extra boost of nutrients! πŸ™‚ I actually did a batch where I added both the nut butter and the Dynamic Greens along with the rest of the recipe. Not only were they delightful, but they were kid-approved as well!!

*Note: These do not have the best taste when they have been sitting at room temperature for a while. They taste best chilled. πŸ™‚ (I did have to let mine sit out for a bit before giving a sample to my 3 year old son so as to make for easier chewing for a wee-little one. :))

Original recipe found here.

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Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins (Paleo Style:)

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These muffins are absolutely divine. πŸ™‚ Yummy, moist, and full of chocolate, this delicious recipe is not only easy to whip up, but they are full of nutritious ingredients! I originally found these muffins from Juli over at PaleoOMG, and then I tweaked it slightly. I am giving you the recipe with my modifications, but feel free to head on over to the PaloOMG blog to check out the original recipe. πŸ™‚

Ingredients:
1/3 cup organic pumpkin puree
1/3 cup maple syrup (Grade B preferred)
1/4 cup melted coconut oil or grass-fed butter if dairy is tolerated
3 eggs, whisked
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*ΒΌ cup coconut flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of ground cloves
Β½ teaspoon baking soda
Β½ teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1/3 cup Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the wet ingredients: pumpkin, maple syrup, coconut oil, eggs, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and mix together well. Add the chocolate chips and fold in with a spatula. Fill 8 muffin tins 2/3 of the way full, and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes. Watch to see that the muffins are not getting too dark on the tops. If this begins to happen, just simply cover the muffins loosely with foil for the remainder of the baking time. πŸ™‚ When done, remove the muffins and cool completely. Enjoy with a glass of homemade coconut milk! πŸ™‚

*Note about coconut flour: Coconut flour can be tricky at times. Sometimes your batter will look more wet than other times. That is okay! Do not add more coconut flour to your recipe. This will change the texture of the final product.

*Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links.

Ultimate Peanut Butter Cup and Caramel Cookie Bar

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This one is a hit. Seriously…My husband raved about them, and I am sure you will as well! Although not paleo, I have taken the original recipe from Hugs and Cookies and adapted it to make it gluten-free! Plus I switched out the Recess Peanut Butter Cups for a healthier version of the same thing. These bars will impress your “taste testers” and will “Wow” the socks off of any guests. πŸ™‚ Enjoy this excellent recipe. πŸ™‚

Ingredients:
2 Β½ cups Pamela’s Gluten-Free Artisan Flour
2 teaspoons non-aluminum baking powder
Β½ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar (I buy a great organic one at Trader Joe’s!)
1 cup light brown sugar (I also buy mine at Trader Joe’s.)
3 cage-free eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup creamy organic peanut butter
1 cup Enjoy-Life Chocolate Chips (They are on sale right now!)
10 full size Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups

11 ounces caramel sauce (I love that this brand does not contain any carrageenan **Please note that the label on this product does say “gluten-free” but that it was made in the same facility that processes soy and wheat.

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350, and grease a 9×13 pan with butter or coconut oil. Beat the sugars and butter until mixed well. Add the vanilla. Beat in eggs one at a time, making sure to beat well after each egg addition. Mix in peanut butter until smooth. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and stir gently with a spatula until combine. Add the Enjoy Life chips and stir gently. Press half cookie dough into pan and top with peanut butter cups.
If needed, warm the caramel sauce on low in a saucepan or double boiler until it will pour fairly easily. You do not want to burn your caramel! πŸ™‚ Pour caramel over peanut butter cups. Drop remaining dough over the top of your bars and spread gently with your hands. It worked well for me to drop the dough in various spots over the top as to make the spreading easier.
Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely and chill. Cut into bars, and enjoy! πŸ™‚

See more at: http://hugsandcookiesxoxo.com/2014/05/reeses-caramel-stuffed-cookie-bars.html#sthash.o5S6Uozg.dpuf

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