This post is from contributing writer Jamie Larrison.
When I was little, one of my favorite things about the Autumn season was the day after Halloween.
Not Halloween; we didn’t celebrate that holiday. But every year on the day after the big day, we would hit up the Walmart candy clearance sales. My favorites were the mini chocolate bar mixed bags, especially the Almond Joy candy. It wasn’t until 8 years and 5 cavities later I found out that they’re composed of 47% sugar!
Does this mean that health is a diet devoid of all sweets then? No, it just means smarter, real food choices. Like these absolutely amazing Almond Joy Cookie Bars!
Remaking a Favorite Candy Bar: The New, Homemade Almond Joy
Because these are made with coconut oil I find it best to keep them in the fridge, otherwise you’ll have a cookie bar puddle. If your house is generally cool, then they’ll just be a little softer. Some brands of almond meal are finer than others. I like using the coarser Bob’s Red Mill brand, but any will do. You can also pop over to Thrive Market and get 15% off your first order AND a 30-day free trial – maybe it’s hard to find almond meal locally for you, like my mom in a rural community. She’s always looking for new places to find ingredients.
There is only one major flaw I’ve found with this recipe… We eat these up so fast, you may want to double the batch!Print
Gluten-free and refined sugar free ‘Almond Joy’ cookie bars!
- Melt the butter in a saucepan. Remove from heat and stir in the almond meal and maple syrup until well combined. Using the back side of a spatula, or clean fingers, spread the mixture evenly into an 8×8 pan. Transfer to the freezer to harden for 5 minutes.
- Once the crust is more solid, combine all of the filling ingredients, except for chocolate chips in a saucepan. Heat on medium low heat while stirring until combined, about 15- 30 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips just until combined. These will melt some, but you don’t have to stir until they’re all melted, just incorporated.
- Evenly spread the filling on top of the crust using the back of a rubber spatula. Transfer to the freezer to harden, about 10-15 minutes. Once these are semi-firm they can be cut into bite sized squares. Store in the fridge.
Dark or milk chocolate chips can be used.
Dairy allergy? Give the Enjoy Life brand a try – free of most common allergens, including soy. Also swap out the butter in the crust for coconut oil – virgin will give it that bit of coconut sweetness that’s just perfect.
Trouble Getting Healthy Food on the Table Every Day?
Enter Real Plans
Real Plans is an online meal planning software & app that is probably smarter than I am.
It works with all food restrictions to help families find the perfect meal, generate a shopping list, scale it up if needed, and you’re totally in control. Use your own fav recipes, skip a suggestion and tell Real Plans all the foods you don’t like/can’t eat, and it will still do half the work of meal planning (or more) for you.
Real Plans takes the stress out of meal planning and puts the nourishing food BACK on your table. There’s a plan for every diet type, including GAPS, Paleo, AIP, Whole30, vegetarian and more!
Have you taken a favorite food item and remade it with REAL ingredients? Share below!
Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post to Amazon, Thrive Market and Tropical Traditions from which I will earn some commission if you make a purchase. See my full disclosure statement here.