This Chocolate Coconut Magic Bar recipe is quite possibly the only good thing I got from going to church as a youngster. Sundays were free-for-all sugar fests that kept the kids coming. This vegan dessert in particular often inspired me to secretly infiltrate the church kitchen with ninja-like abilities so I could get to it first while the church service was still in session.
Magic Bars are also known as Seven Layer Bars because they often involve seven alternating layers of things like walnuts, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, butterscotch chips and shredded coconut that are bonded together with a liberal drizzling of condensed non-dairy milk. I opted to forego the peanut butter chips and butterscotch chips due to their near-impossible vegan availability and because they usually push the sweetness envelope a little too far. I then made up for their lack of flavors by opting for Golden Caramel Sauce or Easy Caramel Sauce instead of Condensed Non-Dairy Milk in the binding department. The result is a sticky gooey mess of a great thing.
1 cup Golden Caramel Sauce, Easy Caramel Sauce or Condensed Non-Dairy Milk.
9 graham crackers
5 Tablespoons unrefined coconut oil, melted
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon water
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cup walnuts
1 ¼ cup chocolate chips
½ cup shredded coconut
Preheat the oven to 325F (163C). Line an 8 x 8 inch baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.
Prepare the Easy Caramel Sauce or Condensed Non-Dairy Milk.
Break the graham crackers into 1 inch pieces, place in a food processor and pulse repeatedly until they're ground into a sand-like consistency. Add the crumbs to a large mixing bowl, add the melted coconut, water, salt and hand mix with a spoon until well combined.
Transfer the graham cracker crumb mixture to the baking dish and distribute evenly on the bottom. Use the bottom of a pint glass to press the graham cracker crumb mixture into the bottom of the dish so it's firmly packed.
Add a layer of the chopped walnuts to the baking dish and distribute evenly. Repeat with the chocolate chips, then the coconut. Carefully drizzle the caramel sauce or condensed non-dairy milk evenly over the top. Use a rubber spatula to distribute it if you need to spread it out a little. Bake for 35 minutes. Allow to cool completely before slicing into squares. Store in an air tight container at room temperature for up to one week.
Makes 16 Chocolate Coconut Magic Bars.