While deciding what to make a few weeks back for Mother’s Day I was debating between these bars and the Raspberry Mocha Nanaimo Bars I posted. I knew the flavors I wanted but was having a hard time deciding which one to make and post. I went with the other as it was creamier and more of a dessert and included mocha. These are also great as a dessert but seemed to be more of a candy or bar, like an Almond Joe Bar. When Heather of Better With Veggies announced that Xocolatl (Aztec word for Chocolate) for one of the May MMAZ, Meatless Monday A-Z, ingredients I was going to make something else but then remembered these bars and it was the perfect excuse I needed to make them!
These Raspberry Joy Bars bars have a chocolate fudgy base layer, creamy raspberry layer thickened with chia seeds, a rich coconut butter coconut layer, topped with rich chocolate ganache drizzle! Quick and easy you make each layer in a food processor or Vitamix (or high-speed blender) layering down each and placing it in the freezer to set while making the next layer. They are a perfect dessert to make ahead of time and store in the freezer (just be sure to cut them shortly after making). Rich and delicious they are vegan and gluten-free making them great for any guests that may be coming over, if you don’t eat them all yourself first!
Raspberry Joy Bars
Makes 9×13 pan, 24 bars or desired size
Chocolate Bar Base
2 c raw walnuts
2 c raw pecans
1/2 c cacao powder (used Navitas Naturals)
1/2 c pitted dates
1/2 c finely shredded unsweetened coconut
1/4 c cacao nibs, regular or sweetened (used Navitas Naturals Cacao Nibs)
1/4 c vegan chocolate chips, optional
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp vanilla, optional
1/3 c raw agave
1/4 c coconut oil, melted
2 c frozen raspberries, thawed
1 TBSP raw agave, or 1-2 pitted dates
2 TBSP chia seeds
Vanilla Coconut topping
4-6 c finely shredded unsweetened coconut, divided (used Let’s Do Organic Finely Shredded Organic Coconut)
2 TBSP raw agave
2-3″ vanilla bean
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/3 c raw agave
1/3 c coconut oil, melted
2/3 c raw cacao powder (Navitas Naturals Cacao Powder)
2 tsp vanilla
pinch of sea salt
In a food processor pulse nuts until a coarse crumble. Add cacao, dates, coconut, cacao nibs, chocolate chips, and seat salt and pulse until well combined. Add in vanilla, agave, and coconut oil and process until well combine and mixture starts to come together, scraping as needed. Transfer the mixture to a parchment lined pan (letting parchment paper overhang so you can pull the bars out later), spread, and press into an even layer. Place in the freezer to chill while making the raspberry layer.
In a Vitamix, high-speed blender, or food processor blend thawed raspberries, agave/dates, and chia seeds until smooth. Remove bars from the freezer and smooth over the chocolate base. Return bars to the freezer. Let the raspberry layer set for about 20 minutes.
In a Vitamix, or food processor, blend 4 cups of until very smooth and shiny to make coconut butter. In the mean time cut vanilla bean and scrape seeds into a bowl and mix with agave. Pour coconut butter in with the agave mixture and stir in 1-2 cups of shredded coconut, reserving 1/4 of a cup if desired for sprinkling over top. Remove bars from the freezer and sprinkle coconut mixture over the raspberry layer as it will be crumbly and press flat. Sprinkle with reserved coconut if desired and return bars to the freezer.
In a medium bowl whisk together agave, coconut oil, vanilla, and sea salt. Once the oil and agave are combine whisk in cacao powder until smooth. Remove bars from the freezer and drizzle over top. Return to the freezer for about 20 minutes to set before cutting. Lift bars from pan using the parchment paper. Place on a cutting board and cut with a sharp knife. If bars are left in the freezer too long and the coconut gets hard you can let thaw slightly but if left out too long the raspberry and fudge layers thaw out quicker than the coconut layer. For clean lines it is easiest to cut before bars get too hard, or you can use a serrated knife to cut through coconut layer. Store cut bars in the freezer until ready to enjoy, best enjoyed frozen or slightly thawed or they can get soft sitting out (but are still delicious, just eat with a fork). Enjoy!
See what other delicious creations were made with Xocolatl!