Meet my new crush – no bake almond joy™ bars.
I’m cheating on pizza with chocolate (please, don’t tell anyone). And, not just any chocolate – these almond joy bars. I’ve made them six times this week, and even though they are addicting, I have shared them many times.
Follow along as I show you how to make gluten-free almond joy bars at home, and you can quickly adapt the recipe to be dairy-free/vegan.
The almonds, cocoa, and dates will form the crust. The crust mixture provides a sticky base that will easily harden in the freezer. And, it won’t crumble when you eat the bars. The almonds provide some protein, and the dates provide a lot of sweetness. I’ve used maple syrup to form a sticky crust, similar to the crust in the Peanut Butter And Jelly Cups. But, since these are bars and will be held with your hand instead of a cup, I found that dates work better in this recipe.
After you freeze the crust, you need to make the coconut filling. It’s sweet, creamy, and gooey. You can substitute the condensed milk for vegan condensed milk which would remove the dairy from the recipe. I finished these almond joy bars with flaked coconut, but you can use shredded or flaked.
The chocolate is made with cocoa powder, coconut oil, and maple syrup. You can adjust the level of maple syrup. But, I wouldn’t recommend exceeding four tablespoons. I recommend heating the coconut oil over low-medium heat in a pan. It will melt very quickly and will help make the sauce very smooth. These products are allergy friendly and accommodate many dietary restrictions and allergens.
This homemade almond joy recipe yields 25 mini bars that are gluten-free, crunchy, creamy, rich, chocolaty, chewy, gooey, nutty, oily, and sweet.
You can find more chocolate and dessert recipes by filtering those categories on the gluten-free recipes page.
1 ½ cups whole almonds
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 cup dates, packed, about 13-14 medium sized pitted dates
8-ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
2 cups powdered sugar
14-16 ounces unsweetened flaked coconut
50 whole almonds
¾ cup coconut oil
¾ cup cocoa powder
4 Tablespoons maple syrup
Process almonds and cocoa in a processor until a meal is formed and almonds are fine, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer meal to a bowl. Add dates to the processor and process until dates are fine and a ball is formed. Open the processor and separate the date ball into pieces using a fork. Add the meal to the processor and process meal and dates together, 1-2 minutes, and mixture is thoroughly combined and somewhat sticky. Line a 10″x10″ square baking pan with parchment paper so enough hangs off the edges to allow for easier transfer to a cutting board. Transfer mixture to the pan, spread mixture using hands to cover the bottom of the pan, and pack tightly to form the crust. The crust should feel somewhat sticky. Freeze the crust in the pan for 30 minutes. The crust should feel cold and hard.
Stir condensed milk, extract, and salt in a two-quart bowl using a wooden spoon. Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, stir to combine. Add flaked coconut, stir to combine, but don’t overmix or it will become too hard and difficult to manipulate. Transfer the coconut mixture to the pan and spread evenly.
Arrange the almonds in the pan, so two almonds fill each 2″x2″ square, until all 50 almonds are used.
Melt the coconut oil over medium heat in a small pan. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in cocoa powder until thoroughly combined and then whisk in maple syrup. Transfer chocolate to the pan and cover the almonds and coconut mixture. Transfer the pan to the refrigerator to chill, at least 30 minutes, until chocolate hardens.
Remove the pan and transfer the bars while holding the sides of the parchment paper, remove the parchment paper, and cut the bars into 2″x2″ squares.
Store the bars between parchment paper in a plastic container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze the bars for up to 1 month.
The crust recipe was inspired from Minimalist Baker.
If you have any gluten free almond joy bar recipes or vegan almond joy bar recipes, share your recipe with us.
And, if you have any tips on how to make almond joy bars, share those as well.
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