I don't know why I think of coconut when I think of Spring.  Maybe it's a teaser for the warmth of summer or the joy of a tropical beach?  I saw these coconut almond bars on a great Austin-based lifestyles blog I follow, Camille Styles.  You should check the site out when you get a free moment.  I had been searching for a play off of traditional macaroons to satiate my coconut craving, and with my recent success with the salted caramel peanut nougat bars in March, I've kind of been on a bar kick - not the alcoholic kind, the sugary and yummy kind!  I liked these bars because they are refrigerated, so you can keep them around longer or easily freeze for an upcoming event.  Also, for the gluten conscious, this recipe calls for almond flour, so eat away without worries!  Of course, it's definitely not sugar free!

GF Chocolate Coconut Almond Bars

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups almond flour or meal
  • 1 ½ cups finely shredded coconut
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cups unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup whole raw almonds
  • 1 (14 ounce can) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 ½ cups flaked coconut
  • 1 ½ cups dark chocolate chips
  • fleur de sel, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit
2. Line a 13x9 inch pan with foil and generously coat with cooking spray
3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine almond flour, finely shredded coconut, granulated sugar, salt, and cinnamon
4. Pour melted butter into the bowl and mix until the butter is completely incorporated with the dry ingredients
5. Place the contents of the bowl into the 13x9 pan and press into the bottom
6. On the next layer, sprinkle whole almonds (I actually lightly chopped them in a food processor, but that was my preference) and flaked coconut
7. Pour the can of sweetened condensed milk over the top (I found that the condensed milk was a little thick, and wished I had poured it into a microwave safe measuring cup to warm it up a bit before pouring - consider doing this!)
8. Top with the chocolate chips and fleur de sel
9. Bake 20-25 minutes until lightly browned
10. Cool in the pan, cut into squares or bars, and refrigerate before serving


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