Let’s chat about these bars… Are they not just the cutest!? Yes, a dessert bar can be cute if you didn’t know! I’m not going to insult your intelligence by calling these “healthy” just because they’re vegan, gluten free AND paleo…. BUT…. they’re a LOT more healthier than your typical pecan pie ingredients! And here is why……..There’s not one ounce of corn syrup (which is a traditional ingredient used in pecan pies), they’re not made with refined flours or highly processed sugars and there is no dairy. I used Earth Balance which is a non-dairy vegan butter. If you’re not into that, by all means use butter. The crust is made out of coconut flour and I used organic cane sugar and maple syrup which helps to add to that caramel flavor you want when making pecan pie, bars, brownies… or whatever.
These bars are the perfect mixture of caramel, chocolatey goodness with lots of crunchy pecans, followed with a delicious shortbread type of crust that I do believe you’re going to just love! If you don’t want to add the chocolate, feel free to leave it off for a more traditional pecan pie flavor. I thought the dark chocolate kicked it up a notch! And because I used dark instead of milk chocolate, it’s not SO sweet that it makes your teeth hurt! These bars are Omar and Gaby approved and I’m hoping you’ll approve and LOVE them as well! <3
Dark Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars
Ingredients for the crust:
- 1 cup coconut flour
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 5 tbsp butter (dairy or non-dairy… I used Earth Balance), softened and cut into small pieces
Ingredients for the filling:
- 3/4 cup organic cane sugar (or coconut sugar)
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/3 cup melted butter (dairy or non-dairy)
- 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tbsp flaxseed meal
- 2 tsp tapioca flour
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 1/4 cup pecans, toasted and roughly chopped
- 2 – 3 handfuls of dark (or milk) chocolate chips, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 8×8 inch square pan with butter or non-stick spray and line the pan with parchment paper. This makes it easier to pull out.
- Combine all of the crust ingredients into a large bowl. You can start by using a whisk, but if you’re like me – it’s way easier to use your hand and let the warmth of your hand mold everything together to form the crust.
- Press the dough into the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool completely.
- For the filling: Combine the sugar, maple syrup, and butter in a small saucepan over medium to medium-low heat and whisk to combine. Bring to a low boil and let it simmer for 2 – 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool slightly.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the almond milk, flaxseed meal, tapioca, vanilla and salt. Add to the slightly cooled sugar mixture and whisk to combine.
- Stir in the pecans and pour the mixture over the crust. Sprinkle the chocolate all over the top and bake for 30 minutes.
- Let it cool for about 15 minutes, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours before cutting.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.