Chocolate Raspberry No-Bake Coconut Bars

Last week Sebastian and I went to Pittsburgh to visit his brother, and it was the best. First of all, we stepped off the plane into nearly 20 degree celsius weather, stripping off coats and scarves and turning our faces up to the sun. I really had no idea what Pittsburgh was going to be like, and it was both surprising and wonderful. Every morning we would wake and have coffee while chatting, sometimes doing a bit of work, reading a book, playing with Handsome (the best dog in the world). Each day was filled with exploration and SO MUCH FOOOOD. We ate everything, and I won't deny that, as a Canadian, I was super stoked to check out a bunch of grocery stores that carry products we don't have in Canada. I would share my fave food, but in truth everything was delicious. We had brunches, pirogies, pho, thai food, diner food, and several amazing home cooked meals. Also, it felt great to finally be 21 and able to drink legally in the states! Food has always been the way that I most relate to exploring a city, and coming home from that intensity can be a bit sad. 

Lately, I have found myself attracted to large, bright open spaces. Stone floors and huge windows are beauty in a city. While in Pittsburgh we visited The Mattress Factory, an artist-run centre and gallery space. This trip was one of my favourite adventures we went on (although to start categorizing favourites seems almost besides the point). The space itself was gorgeous, and the work captivating and engaging. I don't know how to explain everything we saw, but I really recommend that you check it out if you're ever in the area.

On one of our long, coffee filled mornings, we had a conversation about how bars are the best dessert. They're not inherently one thing, and so you can almost trick your mind into believing it is different than eating a cookie, or a slice of cake. They're also usually gooey (always a plus), easy to hold in one hand, hopefully leave melty chocolate over your fingers to lick off, and overall a satisfying few bite treat. Well after that, I knew I had to make some. These bars are everything I had hoped for. The gooey raspberry filling and the melting chocolatey goodness create the perfect mouth filling experience. The coconut flour crust adds its own sweet, crumbliness that complements the other flavours so well you would think they were always meant to be friends. I highly recommend making up a tray of these to bring to a party, or friend gathering, or to just stuff in your face all at once! They come together quickly, in under 30 minutes, and leave you with a satisfying and delicious treat :)

Ps. Since school started, I have been posting in this space less regularly than I would like. I am always dreaming up new recipe ideas but I've found it hard to work in the time between school and everything else to commit to a weekly posting schedule. This is me, here and now, telling you I am going to try! I really want to be more present here, so from now on I will try to get a post here every wednesday morning <3 

Chocolate Raspberry No-Bake Coconut Bars

Makes 9 - 16 square bars (depending on what size you cut them)

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Ingredients

Coconut Layer

  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 2 cups rolled oats (GF if necessary)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Raspberry Layer

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

Chocolate Layer

  • 200g good quality dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

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Notes

Set aside an 8x8 inch square baking pan.

In a food processor, combine the coconut flour and oats. Blend until a fine flour. Add in the rest of the ingredients for the coconut layer and pulse until fully combined. Tip the dough into the prepared baking pan and press firmly down into the pan, distributing evenly. Set aside. 

Combine the raspberries and maple syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until softened (about 2 minutes) and then begin mashing with the back of a fork. Make sure the raspberries are completely smushed (see above photo) and then remove from heat. Evenly layer the raspberries over the coconut layer in the pan and then place in the freezer to set.

While the raspberry layer is freezing, make the chocolate. Either using a double boiler or - like me- setting a heatproof bowl above a pot of boiling water, melt the chocolate and coconut oil together. Pour the chocolate over the raspberry layer, using a spatula to make it even, and place in the freezer. Freeze for at least 20 minutes (but I recommend 30) before cutting. Store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.