This past weekend for my family reunion, I made two recipes that were Paleo friendly. When people found out they were yummy & healthy, they are shocked. Now, let me fill you in, back in college I was far from a good cook or baker - ask my husband! I would burn pancakes, meat, and even forget food was in the oven until the smoke alarms were going off! I broke dishes, and threw a lot of food away because it was to awful to even try!
I have come A LONG way since then & I give all the credit to PERSISTENCE! I also believe that because I loved food, I was determined to get better for, lets face it, EVERYONE. Fast forward to today, I am a baking and cooking machine! I ABSOLUTELY love new recipes, love Paleo, and love going to the grocery store and farmers market to try new vegetable recipes. I've learn so much about food, from how to cook it properly to what tastes better; raw or cooked.
Years ago, it used to be people where TERRIFIED to try any dish I made, to people now RACING to a plate I just laid out. I'm so excited to share with you these special Samoa Bars that myself, and many others are IN LOVE WITH!
⅓ cup coconut oil, solid
2/3 cup coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
For the caramel coconut filling
½ cup creamy almond butter
⅓ cup pure maple syrup
⅓ cup coconut butter (coconut oil can be subbed)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted
¾ cup 72% dark chocolate, chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line an 8x8” square pan with parchment paper and grease with coconut oil.
2. Combine coconut flour and salt in a bowl. Add the maple syrup and coconut oil and stir until fully combined and a large dough ball forms, making sure to press out any clumps of coconut oil. I used my hands at the end to bring the dough fully together - you want it to be completely smooth. You can also mix it in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
3. Press the dough into the prepared pan. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges. Let cool completely.
For the filling
1. Combine the almond butter, maple syrup, coconut butter or oil, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and heat until all of the ingredients are melted and thoroughly combined. Alternatively, you can heat the ingredients in the microwave for 45 seconds, or until melted and smooth. Add the toasted coconut and stir in. Pour over the crust and let cool in the refrigerator until set. Cut in 16 squares.
2. Melt ½ cup of the dark chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave, and stir until smooth. Dip the bottom of each bar into the dark chocolate, scrape off the excess chocolate on the side of the bowl, and place on a parchment lined baking sheet to set.
3. Melt the remaining ¼ cup dark chocolate in the microwave and transfer to a small piping bag or zip lock bag with the corner snipped off. Drizzle the chocolate over the bars.
4. Store leftovers in the refrigerator or freezer - they’re delicious frozen!