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Coconut Magic Bars

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I use to make those delicious treats, Magic Bars, which are usually made with condensed milk and lots of refined sugar. I found myself thinking of how much I enjoyed them, and happily stumbled upon Chef Amber Shea’s Hello Dolly Bars. If you don’t know who Amber is you should- she is a wonderful person and chef! She released her first recipe book, Practically Raw, which is divine and her second recipe book, Practically Raw Desserts will be coming out in the spring. You should seriously go check her out here, but not before you see the Coconut Magic Bars.

Now back to the recipe. I made her Hello Dolly bars and they were really good. I am sure this would not be a problem for most, but I personally found them sweet. Had I eaten them 4 years ago, I would have not noticed or cared. I thought of different ways to tone down the sweetness. What I came up with was to use date paste instead of honey for the coconut topping. This just left the coconut topping darker then if you used honey or agave or maple syrup.

I also tried macadamia nuts in place of the cashews. I prefer the cashews for the crust, but J.P much prefers the macadamia nuts. I found the macadamia nut crust was too soft making it harder to cut and serve. And, I also like the taste of cashews better. To each their own.

Which crust will you choose?

Nut Crust

  • 3 cups of macadamia flour or cashew flour
  • 1/4 cup of liquid sweetener (honey, agave, coconut nectar, agave, or maple syrup)
  • 1 Tbsp of coconut oil

Coconut Topping

  • 2 cups of shredded coconut
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips, or make your own  make your own with this chocolate bark recipe.
  • 1 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 14 dates soaked in 1/2 cup of water
  • 4 Tbsp of liquid sweetener (honey, agave, coconut nectar, agave, or maple syrup)
  • 1 tsp of vanilla flavor or more. I always use more.
  1. If you decide to use macadamia nuts for the flour, I would suggest putting them in the freezer to harden. This will make it easier to make the flour.
  2. One you have ground up your nut of choice, add it to a mixing bowl with the other 2 ingredients and combine well. I used my hands for this, but you don’t have to.
  3. Place the nut crust in a 9×9 dish, and press down to make a crust.
  4. Place in the fridge to harden while you make the coconut topping.
  5. Pit the dates, place them in a dish and cover with 1/2 cup of water. Let sit while the dates soften.
  6. In a mixing bowl, add the shredded coconut, chocolate chips and chopped walnuts/pecans. Mix together.
  7. Once the dates have soften, place them in a food processor or blender with the water. Blend.
  8. Pour the date paste over the coconut mixture, add the vanilla flavor and liquid sweetener.
  9. Stir the mixture until everything is coated with the date paste.
  10. Press the coconut mixture evenly over the nut crust.
  11. Now you have 3 options- place in the fridge to harden, place in the dehydrator to warm it up, or bake it in the stove. I did the fridge option. It was just easier.

Now please take the time to go and visit all of Amber’s scrumptious recipes.

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20 Responses to Coconut Magic Bars

  1. Lois December 22, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

    This sounds delicious. I just checked out Amber’s site what amazing recipes thanks for introducing me to Amber and her site.

  2. Becky December 22, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

    Huge fan of coconut!! Everyone should be! Thanks for sharing at Foodtastic Friday!

  3. Ella @ Lifeologia December 25, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

    Dear Stephanie,
    Just wanted to stop by and wish you Merry Christmas to you and your family!
    ♥ Ella

  4. Dawn @ December 26, 2012 at 8:54 pm #

    These look AMAZING and I was surprised to read the recipe as they look pretty easy to make with fewer ingredients than I expected. Making these with the cashew option (I LOVE cashews)!

  5. Cindy (Vegetarian Mamma) December 28, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

    These look SO yummy! Loved the belly pics from the other day :)
    Sorry this is coming late, I have been set back by illness and a painful tooth :(

    Each week I am amazed by the wonderful loyal bloggers that return each week to link up their yummy food and information! I am so happy that each week we have a few new bloggers that join our group!

    Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :)
    I hope to see you again next week!

    This week’s link up is live, come on over and join the fun, if you haven’t already.

    Cindy from

  6. Lily October 30, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

    This looks amazing! I can’t wait to try it, just wondering if almond flour would be an okay substitution for the macadamia flour or cashew flour? Thanks for sharing =)

  7. Jennie B December 5, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

    Is there any substitute for the dates?

    • Good Girl Gone Green December 5, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

      Jennifer, yes you could use more honey to get it all to bind together. It will be much sweeter with all honey instead of dates and honey. You could start with 1/2 cup and see how that works, and add more if needed. I am going to be making this week again and will be trying just honey. Hope this helps, Jennifer! :)

    • Good Girl Gone Green December 5, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

      Or you could use raisins, it will just have a different taste! :)

  8. Katelyn December 6, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

    I am surprised you still use agave. There are many studies out now that state agave is detrimental to a healthy, functioning liver and impacts your gut. It does not matter if it is organic or not, it is how it is processed. Raw honey is a better choice.

    • Good Girl Gone Green December 6, 2013 at 1:18 pm #

      I don’t use agave.. Never have. I mention it as an option if that is what people feel they would like to use.

  9. Mara G December 7, 2013 at 7:25 am #

    This a looks so good. It may be my device, but it’s hard to read with the green background and green print.

  10. Scott Vander Weit December 8, 2013 at 8:12 am #

    If we bake them, what temp and for how long should they bey backed. We ate them after being in the fridge, and would like to try them after being baked to see how they taste.

  11. Julie December 16, 2013 at 1:16 am #

    Can almonds be used in place of macadamia or cashews for the crust? Just trying not to spend a lot of money and use what’s already on hand. :)


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I'm Stephanie, the Good Girl Gone Green, and I'm excited to share my own experiences with learning to live a greener, healthier life!

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