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Chocolate Coconut PB&J Bars

These plant-based Chocolate Coconut PB&J Bars have four layers of goodness with classic flavors and a variety of pleasant textures. This may sound like a kid-dish, but the flavors are tuned to mature taste buds and the bars are not especially sweet. They’re simple to make and don’t require any baking. Just mix each layer, assemble, put in the freezer for half an hour, and they’re ready to enjoy!
Prep Time30 mins
Freeze time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 20

Ingredients

  • 2 bars dark chocolate at least 55% cacao and a total of about 180 grams
  • 3/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup separated
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 3/4 cup coconut cream unsweetened
  • 3/4 cup fruit jam

Instructions

  • Prepare a medium-sized square cake pan (about 8x8 inches), a mixing bowl, a cutting board, and a small bowl for microwaving the chocolate.
  • Combine the peanut butter, flaxseed, and half of the maple syrup in the mixing bowl. Mix well until it forms a clay-like dough. Knead by hand on the cutting board until the consistency is even. Transfer the peanut butter dough to the cake pan and press it into the bottom to form a layer of even thickness. Place the cutting board on top of the pan and carefully turn them both upside down, to transfer the peanut butter layer back onto the cutting board.
  • Wipe the mixing bowl clean if any residue is left in it.
  • Combine the coconut flour, coconut cream, and the remainder of the maple syrup in the mixing bowl. Stir well until consistency is uniform.
  • Use a spatula, spoon, or scraper to carefully spread the coconut mixture evenly on top of the peanut butter layer. Don’t press too hard, or you may distort the peanut butter layer. You want both of these layers to be the same shape as the cake pan.
  • Break apart the chocolate bars into squares, and place half a bar’s worth of squares in the small bowl. Microwave on high for 45 seconds. Check on the chocolate and give it a stir. If it doesn’t melt within a few seconds of stirring, microwave for 15 more seconds, check, and stir again. Repeat until the chocolate is just melted. Pour the chocolate into the cake pan, using a silicone scraper to transfer as much as possible.
  • Repeat this process with the rest of the chocolate to form an even layer of chocolate in the bottom of the pan.
  • Use two spatulas (and the help of another person, if able) to transfer the combined peanut butter and coconut layers onto the chocolate layer. It may also help to use a sheet of parchment as a transfer aid. Be careful not to put too much pressure on the melted chocolate, as it might cause the layer to be uneven in the end. The added layers should fit snugly into the cake pan.
  • Carefully spread the jam evenly on top of the coconut layer.
  • Place cake pan in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. At this point you can cut and serve the bars or continue to store them until you plan to serve.

Notes

I recommend a less sweet jam to get the best flavor contrast. I used red currant and it was great. Citrus marmalade should also be very tasty.
For best results, use a peanut butter with no added sugar or salt and a dark chocolate with a cacao percentage of at least 55%.
It is important to use unsweetened coconut cream, not coconut milk. Coconut milk won’t produce the intended consistency. DO NOT use Coco Lopez either - it is loaded with sugar and will yield very different results.
The bars will stay together just fine for a few hours at room temperature, but they will soften. Keep them chilled in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to serve them.
If storing for more than a day or two, cover the bars with plastic wrap or foil to prevent them from absorbing unwanted flavors from your freezer.