Dark Chocolate Coconut Bars (gluten, grain, dairy free, paleo)

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Chocolate Coconut Bars (gluten, grain, dairy free, paleo) // deliciousobsessions.com Follow Me on Pinterest

I’m very excited about sharing my second guest post today! Not only do I get to spend some time with all of you, but I also get to feature two of my all time favorite foods — dark chocolate and coconut — in these amazing dark chocolate coconut bars!

I have always been a big fan of chocolate, but even as a child I preferred dark chocolate to milk chocolate.

I love the deep, rich cocoa flavors that come through in dark chocolate. Reminiscent of a perfectly brewed cup of coffee and sometimes with a hint of nuttiness, my favorites are 85-90% cocoa and leave a slight bitter taste in your mouth.

Of course, I love dark chocolate as a treat on its own or in a dessert such as this one, but I also love using cocoa in savory dishes, taking advantage of the above mentioned characteristics.

Make sure you check out my recipes for Roasted Poblano and Pumpkin Chili and Smokey Cacao Nibs Encrusted Pork Chops for ideas on how to use cocoa in savory dishes.

And then there is coconut (which is magnified by the addition of chocolate in these dark chocolate coconut bars!). So good and so good for you! I could go on and on about the goodness of coconut – I mean seriously, I not only eat a ton of it, I use it on my hair and skin too! I’ll give you just a few of my favorite characteristics of coconut:

First, coconut oil is a great source of medium chain triglycerides or MCTs. The body processes MCTs differently than other fats. MCTs are absorbed in the small intestine and sent straight to the liver, bypassing the need for pancreatic enzymes or bile to digest them. The liver then converts MCTs into useable energy. This makes coconut a great choice for people that may have a little trouble in the digestive department.

Second, coconut oil is also high in lauric acid (found in large concentrations in human breast milk). Lauric acid is known for it’s anti-micobial, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial properties.

Lastly, coconut oil is a type of saturated fat that is stable at high heats, making it great for sautéing or pan frying.

If you want to know everything there is to know about coconut, please check out Jessica’s Coconut Oil page.

This dark chocolate coconut bars recipe makes use of three forms of coconut: coconut oil, coconut butter (also known as coconut cream concentrate), and finely shredded coconut. The coconut oil lends a silkiness to the bars, the coconut butter gives some creaminess, and the shredded coconut adds some nice texture.

Quick note about “coconut cream concentrate” and “coconut butter”, since I get asked this all the time.

Whenever I refer to those two terms in my recipes, it means the product that is super finely ground coconut meat, which has a consistency similar to a nut butter. It’s not referring to coconut milk or coconut cream (the liquid beverage-type products), and it’s not referring to those vegan “butters” that often use coconut oil in them.

You cannot substitute dairy butter for coconut butter, nor can you substitute coconut oil for coconut butter.

Please read this post where I discuss all the differences between coconut products in an effort to clear up the confusion that is circulating around the Web.

Where To Buy Ingredients for Dark Chocolate Coconut Bars

Vitacost (an affiliate partner), has really good prices on some of the ingredients in this recipe. If you sign up through this link, you’ll get a coupon for $10 off your first purchase from Vitacost, and when your order ships, I’ll get a $10 off coupon for referring you.

Amazon, of course, has everything you need for this recipe. Their prices are often very good, though I love to shop around and sometimes find that Vitacost and Thrive Market have better deals. If you like saving money, it’s good to shop around! 🙂

In addition, Tropical Traditions (another affiliate partner) carries the best coconut products and if you make a purchase from them through any of my links, you will receive a free copy of their Virgin Coconut Oil book, and I will receive a discount coupon for referring you.

Dark Chocolate Coconut Bars (gluten, grain, dairy free, paleo)
 
Prep time
Total time
 
I have linked to the products from my affiliate partners that I personally use and recommend. All funds earned go to help support the maintenance of this site and free content. Thank you! 🙂
Author:
Serves: 10
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Place ¾ cup of coconut oil and ¼ cup of coconut butter in a small saucepan and warm until melted.
  2. Remove from the heat and add the 2 teaspoons of vanilla, stirring well to combine.
  3. Add in the 2 cups of shredded coconut and mix well.
  4. Pour the coconut mixture into an 8x8 baking dish and spread it out evenly.
  5. Chill in the refrigerator until firm (this will take at least one hour).
  6. Once the coconut layer has completely chilled and hardened, it's time to make the chocolate layer.
  7. You will need to use a double boiler to melt the chocolate. To make a double boiler, find a glass bowl that will sit into your saucepan, but will not touch the bottom.
  8. Add about an inch of water to the bottom of the saucepan.
  9. Place the bowl into the saucepan, making sure that the water is not touching the bottom of the bowl.
  10. Put the chocolate and 2 tbsp. of coconut oil in the bowl.
  11. Turn the heat to medium and as the water in the saucepan simmers, the chocolate and coconut oil will slowly melt together.
  12. As soon as the chocolate and oil are melted together, remove the bowl from the heat. Do not get any water in your chocolate or it will seize up.
  13. Slowly pour the melted chocolate over the coconut layer and tilt the pan to evenly spread it out.
  14. Place it back in the fridge for a few hours before cutting it into bars with a sharp knife.
  15. Note: I think that coconut has a subtle sweetness and the chocolate layer will also lend some sweetness to these bars. I find that these bars are the perfect sweet treat, but if you prefer something a little sweeter, you could add a little honey or maple syrup to the coconut mixture before pouring into the baking dish.
  16. These treats are best kept in the refrigerator until served.
  17. Enjoy!!

 

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About Marjorie Saveski

Marjorie is a blogger and a home cook with a passion for real food, health, and fitness. She is a graduate of Wayne State University and works as an Orthopedic Physical Therapist. Marjorie currently resides in Southeast Michigan with her husband, Alex. Her hobbies include skiing, crafting, and playing around in the kitchen and she hopes to share what she has learned through her real life experience and research with her readers.

Discussion

26 comments

  1. Looks yummy! Thanks for sharing.

    reply 

    Starla J
    Posted 04/28/14

  2. Thank you for this great post. I was attracted to read it because of the awesome looking coconut and chocolate bars because I love coconut candy! I didn’t know the reasons that coconut are so good for you. I’ve got to start using more of it..

    reply 

    Judee@glutenfreeA-Z
    Posted 04/29/14

    • Hi Judee – Glad you liked it! Marjorie did a great job. These bars look amazing! Enjoy! 🙂

      reply 

      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 04/29/14

  3. I just made these and there is definitely something wrong with the amount of coconut oil listed. Even when mixing it up I thought it was way too much, so I used just 1/3 cup and it still came out too greasy. And not just in texture, it tastes more of coconut oil than of the coconut. I think that maybe 1/4 cup would be more than adequate. I also used just 1 Tbsp for the chocolate topping that came out just fine. Plus, using a lot less coconut oil will dramatically reduce the amount of calories

    reply 

    Gabriel
    Posted 04/30/14

    • Hi Gabriel – I’m sorry they did not turn out as expected for you. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. None of us on this site are too concerned with calories. I don’t count calories, fat, etc. I just eat nutrient-dense food and don’t worry about it! I lost 40 pound eating 12 tablespoons of coconut oil and 3,000-3,500 calories per day. That was proof enough to me that calories do not matter — quality of food and listening to your body is what is important! Cheers! 🙂

      reply 

      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 05/04/14

  4. For sweetness you could also add Agave! A little goes a very long way and it has a low glycemic index.

    reply 

    Pam Neumann
    Posted 05/01/14

  5. Why is no. 6 blank? They look delicious. I love dark chocolate and coconut.

    reply 

    Ginny Lydigsen
    Posted 07/09/14

    • Hi Ginny – That was a glitch in the recipe formatting plug in I use. I think I have it fixed now! Hope you enjoy — they are incredible! 🙂

      reply 

      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 07/10/14

  6. I am making these right now and I think I just ate way too many bites of coconut butter and chocolate chunks to need any more for the week – YUMMY. I can’t wait for the final product (obviously)! My kids and I decided to put an almond or two on top of each bar for an Almond Joy bar. We also made our own coconut butter, which was fun. Thanks for this recipe! I love your blog 🙂

    reply 

    Shannon
    Posted 07/17/14

    • YUM! I hope you all enjoyed! Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment and also for the kind words! 🙂

      reply 

      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 07/20/14

  7. I just made these yesterday and they were fantastic! I only used 1/2 cup of coconut oil and added a bit of honey cause I’m having serious pregnancy cravings for sweets! They are great and the whole family loved them. I’m thinking I might try adding a bit of mint extract to the coconut for a Christmas treat :). Thanks for the recipe!

    reply 

    Amanda
    Posted 10/23/14

  8. Hello, these look amazing, is there a sub for coconut butter or the coconut concentrate? thanks

    reply 

    Kim
    Posted 10/26/14

    • Hi Kim – They are delicious! No, there is not a substitute for the coconut butter or coconut cream concentrate in this recipe. This is a very common question and I discuss it in the blog post above if you’d like to refer to that. Cheers!

      reply 

      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 10/26/14

  9. Looks good. Might try them adding some roasted almonds on top of the coconut.

    In the paragraph about how the body processes coconut oil, there is a typo-should be “than”, not “then”. 🙂

    reply 

    Tamra
    Posted 11/29/14

    • Hi Tamra! Nuts would be delicious! I have fixed that typo – thanks so much for catching that. I can’t believe I had missed it! 🙂

      reply 

      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 12/04/14

  10. Hi. Sounds delish! Where do you get coconut butter.or concentrated cream? Where in the store? Refrigerated section? Thanks, can’t wait to try!

    reply 

    cheryl Hawkins
    Posted 12/14/14

    • Hi Cheryl – Coconut butter (aka coconut cream concentrate) can be found at your local health food store in the nut butter section. If you can’t find it locally, I linked to the brand I use in the recipe above! Hope you enjoy!

      reply 

      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 12/14/14

  11. Where do you find the organic soy free dark chocolate in 85% or higher? The highest I see is 80% when clicking the link provided.

    reply 

    Janice
    Posted 01/24/15

    • Janice – It varies. Sometimes Vitacost has it (via the link in the recipe). You can sometimes find good soy-free dark chocolate at your health food stores too.

      reply 

      Jessica Espinoza
      Posted 01/24/15

  12. Thank you so much for sharing such a healthy delicious recipe with us 🙂

    reply 

    kristina
    Posted 02/22/15

  13. These look AMAZING !!! Coconut oil is so fantastic !!!! My husband LOVES chocolate and coconut..put them together and he will be in heaven…thank you !!! I look forward to making this

    reply 

    Anj
    Posted 11/03/15

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