Dark Chocolate Coconut Squares
Free of gluten and of refined sugar, these Dark Chocolate Coconut Squares are filled with nothing but wholesome ingredients. But they taste so good, no one will ever believe it. But really… who needs to know, right?
So I was watching hockey with my boyfriend the other night and we got a sudden craving for a little something sweet… He went to the kitchen and returned with a bag of dates and a bar of 85% dark chocolate.
We started eating the two of them together and I immediately fell in love!
I just knew right then and there that I’d have to make something out of this heavenly union. At first, I was shooting for simple dark chocolate coated dates, but then my vision evolved and eventually transformed into the crazy decadent but surprisingly healthy Dark Chocolate Coconut Squares that you see before you.
You’re looking at a super thick layer of creamy, rich, smooth and silky dark chocolate filling that feels just like the most decadent of truffles, trapped between two layers of crunchy, slightly sweet and crumbly oats and coconut crust.
Can you say yum? And yes please?
Seriously guys, there’s absolutely nothing not to like about these squares. They are no bake, and therefore extremely easy to prepare, given that you have access to a high speed blender or good food processor. They are also free of gluten and refined sugar, and can very easily be made vegan by replacing the honey with maple syrup.
But the best part really is that these delicious treats, as decadent as they may be, are truly made with nothing but wholesome ingredients; all things that’ll do your body good.
Now that don’t mean that you can go ahead and eat the whole pan in one sitting — besides, they are so incredibly rich, I don’t think you’d even be tempted to do that — but that certainly means that you can go ahead and indulge without feeling guilty in the least!
Make the top and bottom layers
The first thing you’re gonna want to do is grease and line a 9″ x 13″ baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a bit of an overhang on both long sides for easy removal of the finished bars later.
Once that’s done, grab a medium saucepan and in it, combine the coconut oil, honey (or maple syrup) and vanilla and then bring this to a slow simmer over medium heat.
To the pan, add the rolled oats, shredded coconut and salt…
Stir really well and continue cooking for 2 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly so the mixture doesn’t attach to the bottom of the pan, then stir in vanilla and kill the heat.
Set that aside for now while we get busy working on that yummy filling!
Make the dark chocolate coconut filling
Grab another saucepan and this time, combine the finely chopped unsweetened chocolate, full fat coconut milk and honey (or maple syrup) and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the chocolate is completely melted.
It’s important here that you chop that chocolate really super finely, as it will help speed up the process, allowing it to melt quickly and evenly. Also too, be sure to use the lowest possible heat to ensure that your chocolate doesn’t burn! Stir, stir, stir and stir some more, never stop stirring until all that chocolate is melted.
As you can see in the picture, the mixture will be somewhat thick and may also tend to separate; don’t worry, that’s completely fine.
Once the chocolate is completely melted, place the pitted dates in the bowl of your high speed blender or food processor.
I recommend using a high speed blender for a smoother, silkier consistency, but if you didn’t have one, don’t fret; a good food processor will totally do the trick!
Now pile that warm chocolate mixture right on top of the dates…
… and process on high, pressing down with the tamper or stopping to scrape the bowl from time to time, until the dates are reduced to a puree and blend with the chocolate to form a smooth, creamy chocolate mixture.
It will happen I promise. It may take a little bit of convincing, but it will happen!
Assemble your bars
Alright, now grab the pan your prepared earlier and to it, add a little more than half of the oat mixture, then spread it evenly all the way to the edge with a large spoon or rubber spatula.
Press this crust down firmly with a flat object such as a flat bottomed drinking glass, or a rubber spatula.
Now transfer all of the delightful silky chocolate/date mixture over this bottom crust…
…and then spread it as evenly as you can with an offset spatula.
Top with the remaining oat mixture, dropping it delicately by the spoonful.
If your heart feels like it, sprinkle the top with a few tablespoons of shredded coconut, then send your bars to the refrigerator until completely set, at least 4 hours.
Yeah… I know… that’s an awful long time! Patience, patience. It’ll soon be over!
Once your bars are completely set, cut into 48 squares and… INDULGE!
I say now, you should totally go out and make some friends!
Your finished bars will keep in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, for up to a week.
Dark Chocolate Coconut Squares
Top and bottom layers
Dark Chocolate Coconut Filling
- 2-3 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
- Grease and line a 9″ x 13″ baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a bit of an overhang on both long sides for easy removal of the finished bars; set aside.
To make the top and bottom layers
- In a medium saucepan, combine the coconut oil and honey (or maple syrup) and bring to a slow simmer over medium heat.
- Add the rolled oats, shredded coconut and salt, mix well and continue cooking for 2 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly, then stir in vanilla and kill the heat.
To make the dark chocolate coconut filling
- In another saucepan, combine the unsweetened chocolate, coconut milk and honey (or maple syrup) and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the chocolate is completely melted. The mixture will be somewhat thick and may tend to separate; don't worry, that's completely normal.
- Once the chocolate is completely melted, place the dates in the bowl of your high speed blender or food processor and top them with this warm chocolate mixture.
- Process on high, pressing down with the tamper or stopping to scrape the bowl from time to time, until the dates are reduced to a puree and blend with the chocolate to form a smooth, creamy chocolate mixture.
- Pour a little more than half of the oat mixture into the prepared pan, spread evenly and press it down firmly with a flat object or rubber spatula.
- Transfer the chocolate/date mixture over this bottom crust and then spread it evenly with an offset spatula
- Top with the remaining oat mixture, dropping it delicately by the spoonful.
- Sprinkle with a few tablespoons of shredded coconut, if desired, then send your bars to the refrigerator until completely set, at least 4 hours.
- Cut into bars and indulge.
- Keep the finished bars in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, for up to a week.