I used to be obsessed with magic cookie bars when I was a kid but you know what's crazy? I've probably had them fewer than ten times in my life. For somebody who pretty much lives for dessert, ten = dessert deprivation so now that I have a gluten free, dairy free version of these, I'll have to eat a ton of them to make up for lost time. It will be a lot of work but I'm fully committed. And just to make sure I don't over-eat, I'm giving up salad.
You'll never believe what ingredient I found at the store for this recipe - sweetened condensed COCONUT milk! I was going to make my own and while buying the ingredients for this recipe, I stumbled across it. This is much more convenient.
Of course, you can always make your own if you prefer. And if you can safely eat milk products, just use regular sweetened condensed milk. It will substitute 1:1 in this recipe and is probably much cheaper.
One ingredient usually found in magic cookie bars that I couldn't find in a dairy free version was butterscotch chips. Well, I found a few dairy free ones online but I couldn't be sure that they were gluten free too so I didn't risk it. I considered making my own butterscotch chips but I wasn't missing them that badly. To make up for it, I decided to replace the nuts with my 15 minute candied nuts and drizzle the finished dessert in sunbutter. Now I can't possibly say this dessert is lacking anything. Calories included.
If I could make this recipe again, I'd have more patience. Ok so I could and will make this recipe again... I just most likely won't photograph it again. I was dying to taste these and I was running out of daylight to take pictures so I cut them while they were still warm. Everything oozed over the crust (which you can no longer see) and they were super messy and hard to photograph. Once the bars are still just a little warm, you could stick them in the fridge or freezer to firm them up quicker. Yet, something about the warm gooey messy version makes them seem so much more indulgent so do what you want!
An easy version of magic cookie bars made gluten free and dairy free with optional candied nuts and sunbutter drizzle.
- 1 box gluten free Schär honeygrams (or 160g of another gluten free honey graham cracker)
- 4 tbsp dairy free butter substitute, melted (I used Earth Balance soy free buttery sticks)
- 1 can (11.25 oz) sweetened condensed coconut milk, or homemade
- 1 C shredded or flaked unsweetened coconut
- ½ C allergy-friendly chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate
- ½ C chopped nuts of choice or chopped candied nuts
- 1 Tbsp Sunbutter, optional
- Preheat oven to 350ºF and grease an 8x8 inch glass baking dish.
- Use a food processor to break the graham crackers down into fine crumbs. If you don't own a food processor, you can put the crackers in a sealed gallon freezer bag (squeeze the air out before sealing) and crush them with a rolling pin.
- Mix the crumbs with the melted butter substitute and press into an even layer on the bottom of the greased baking dish.
- Pour the sweetened condensed milk on top of the graham cracker layer then top with the coconut then nuts and chocolate chips. If you'd like to add butterscotch chips, reduce the amount of nuts and chocolate chips a bit and see the notes section below.
- Bake about 20 minutes or until the coconut begins to toast.
- If you're adding the sunbutter then while the magic cookie bars cool, warm the sunbutter in the microwave for a few seconds until runny (try 10 seconds at a time). Drizzle this over the bars.
- Allow bars to cool completely before cutting and serving them. Once they are no longer hot, you can put them in the fridge to re-solidify the chocolate quicker, if you like.
Optional: If you're really missing the butterscotch chips in this recipe, I found a recipe for gluten free, dairy free butterscotch chips that you can make at home!