Sometimes our failures and flops lead to better things. For example, I was making a vegan cool whip and my impatience left me with a sweet and soupy mixture reminiscent of condensed milk. I’ve always wanted to make some of those 7 layer magic bars and gooey butter bars that I’ve seen but I want them vegan, and gluten free and healthy! Just about everything those bars are not. Now I’ve got it! Not only are my magic brownie bars vegan and gluten free, they’re surprisingly healthy! [a chocolate chip now and then won’t kill ya. haha].
So if you’ve ruined a batch of vegan cool whip or are looking for a healthier version of all those deliciously layered bars, give this recipe a whirl!
Magic Brownie Bars
(Vegan, Gluten Free)
- batter from my favorite Fudge Brownies (omit coconut shreds)
- 1/2c (or more) shredded coconut
- 1/2c chocolate chips
- 1/2c chopped pecans
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- 2 t vanilla extract
- 30 drops liquid stevia (sub 3T favorite liquid sweetener)
The night before, set your can of full fat coconut milk (reduced fat won’t work; and these are healthy fats anyway!) in the refrigerator the night before.
Next day, preheat the oven to 350F and line or grease and 8×8 baking pan. Prepare one batch of my favorite fudge brownies (omit the coconut shreds) and pour batter into the 8×8 pan. Next sprinkle your coconut shreds over the brownie batter, followed by all the chocolate chips and chopped pecans you’d like.
Now pull your can of coconut milk from the refrigerator and be careful not to shake it around too much. Using a spoon, scoop out the thick fluffy topping and place it in a small mixing bowl. Begin to whip together the coconut fluff, vanilla extract and stevia. [If you stop here, you have a delightful vegan cool whip]. Begin to stir in a little of the remaining coconut water a tablespoon at a time until you have less of a whipped topping and more of a very thick soup consistency. Pour this mixture over the brownie, coconut, chocolate chip, pecan goodness and place in the oven to bake for 30-35 min.
I used aluminum to line the pan. Less mess!
When it’s finished baking, pull the bars from the oven and let them cool! I know, I am the queen of burning my mouth on things fresh from the oven, but if you don’t let these firm up you will be left with a pool of mushy goo… fair warning.
But when they’ve finally cooled and firmed, they are all kinds of delicious. The brownie batter doesn’t quite cook all the way giving it a fudge like consistency and they coconut concoction on top acts like condensed milk soaking extra sweetness into the chewy coco=nutty and chocolatey layers. Eat these. They’re awesome.
We enjoyed these while making gingerbread houses and also as pre-half-marathon fuel!
Other eats you might enjoy: