Paleo Magic Cookie Bars

The bake sale staple gets a health-conscious upgrade in this recipe from Jessica of the blog Real Food with Jessica. She makes a shortbread from almond and coconut flours and layers on pecans, shredded coconut, and chocolate chips, all held together with a sweet sauce. The bars are paleo-friendly, gluten-free, naturally sweetened, and support a better future for the people behind the Fair Trade Certified ingredients. To learn more about how this recipe and its ingredients are making a positive impact, check out our article about how fair trade offers family farmers protection against the shady side of the coconut business.

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Ingredients

For the shortbread

For the toppings

For the homemade sweetened condensed milk

Preparation Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8x8-inch or 9x9-inch pan with parchment paper. Set aside. 
  2. In a medium bowl, combine shortbread ingredients. Mix well until no dry spots remain and ingredients are evenly combined. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan in an even layer. Bake for 15-17 minutes, until the edges are lightly brown. 
  3. While the crust bakes, combine coconut milk, honey, and ⅛ tsp salt in a saucepan over medium heat and whisk until boiling. Reduce to low and simmer until thickened, about 25-45 minutes. The resulting condensed milk should measure about 1¼ cup. 
  4. Mix topping ingredients in a bowl. Remove the crust from the oven and add toppings. Pour sweetened condensed milk slowly over the crust and toppings, making sure all the toppings are covered. 
  5. Bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool before cutting.