Frozen Vegan Coconut Chocolate Almond Bars

June 14, 2016

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: Coconut. Chocolate. Almonds. VEGAN. You heard right, these ultra-indulgent frozen bars—inspired by classic Almond Joy candy bars—are dairy-free. And the secret to the rich, silky filling is… tofu!

The base of these bars (the crust and the filling) can be made a couple days in advance and kept frozen. When you want to serve it, just whip up some coconut whipped cream and top it with the toasted almonds and coconut shavings.

The filling is adapted from Minimalist Baker’s recipe for Vegan Chocolate Silk Pie, as is the inspiration and technique for the coconut whipped cream.
Asha Loupy

Food52 Review: WHO: Asha Loupy an Oakland-based food blogger. You might remember her last contest win—Savory Potato & Onion Knishes!
WHAT: A chocolatey vegan (!) frozen dessert with a tofu secret.
HOW: Press an almondy-coconutty-graham cracker crust into a sheet pan, then smooth a thick layer of chocolate- and coconut cream-spiked silken tofu over it. Freeze, top with whipped coconut cream and toasted coconut flakes, and snack on fat, cold wedges.
WHY WE LOVE IT: You wouldn't know these bars are vegan, and yet! The crust is sweet and nutty, the tofu indiscernible but still lending richness, and the coconut cream a sort of vegan icing on the cake (or ice cream bars, as it were). It's also quick to assemble and could easily be made well in advance.
The Editors

Makes: one 9-x-13-inch pan of bars

Ingredients

Crust and Filling:

  • 1/2 cup raw almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 4 1/2 ounces graham crackers, roughly broken (4 1/2 ounces is about 1 sleeve)
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 8 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 12 ounces silken tofu, drained and patted dry
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (dairy-free), roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream, or full-fat coconut milk

Toppings

  • 1 14-ounce can coconut cream, chilled overnight
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1/2 cup sweetened or unsweetened shaved dried coconut (I like Dang Coconut Chips), toasted
In This Recipe

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a quarter sheet pan (9x13 inches) with parchment paper.
  2. Place almonds and coconut in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a couple times until they resemble coarse sand. Add the broken graham crackers, sugar, and salt, and continue to pulse until the crackers, almonds and coconut are crushed into fine crumbs.
  3. Transfer almond, coconut, and graham cracker crumbs into a medium bowl. Pour the melted coconut oil over the mixture and stir until the crumbs are evenly coated.
  4. Pour graham cracker crust mixture onto the prepared sheet pan and press into an even layer on the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.
  5. While the crust is cooling, make the filling: Melt the chocolate in a double boiler (you can also do this in the microwave in 30-second increments). Add the melted chocolate, tofu, and coconut cream to a blender and blend until smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes, scraping down the sides as necessary. If you are having trouble getting the mixture going, you can add a tablespoon of water to help it blend.
  6. Pour the chocolate tofu mixture over the cooled graham cracker crust and spread evenly. Place in the freezer for at least 2 hours.
  7. Remove the frozen coconut chocolate almond bars from the freezer about 10 minutes before you want to serve them. While they are sitting, make the coconut whipped cream: Scoop out the chilled solid coconut cream (leave any liquid behind) and place in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, whip on high for 30 seconds. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and continue to whip until the mixture is light and airy, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  8. Spread coconut whipped cream evenly over the top of the bars and garnish with toasted almonds and coconut shavings. It is easiest to slice with a warm, dry knife (dip your knife in hot water and then wipe off with a towel). Enjoy!

More Great Recipes:
Ice Cream/Frozen Desserts|Pie|Chocolate|Coconut|Milk/Cream|Tofu|Almond|Sheet Pan|Fourth of July|Memorial Day|Summer|Vegan

Reviews (14) Questions (0)

14 Reviews

Brian C. July 15, 2016
Congrats Asha on taking runner-up in the tofu contest! I know when I tested/made this recipe I loved it! My family (non-vegans/vetegarians) loved it too!
 
Author Comment
Asha L. July 15, 2016
Thanks Brian! I am so happy to hear that you and your family liked them. It was definitely fun dreaming up this recipe. Cheers!
 
Susanna July 7, 2016
This looks delicious! Can't wait to try these bars soon. <br />I'm loving that coconut is used in so many recipes these days!
 
Author Comment
Asha L. July 7, 2016
I hope you like them! It was fun - and delicious - coming up with this recipe!
 
Xstickllama July 4, 2016
Awesome healthier way to enjoy more chocolate. I left out the extra sugar and I used the firm tofu I already had, it was still very thick and creamy. However, the crust only needed 4 minutes in the oven. I love this! Thank you.
 
Author Comment
Asha L. July 6, 2016
I am so happy to hear it worked out for you and that you were able to use firm tofu for it (I'll have to give that a try when I make them this weekend!).
 
Brian C. June 22, 2016
Asha -<br />How would you suggest storing any remaining uncut bars? I assume covered in the freezer? Do you know how well it keeps?<br /><br />Thanks,<br />Brian
 
Author Comment
Asha L. June 22, 2016
Hi Brian, <br />You can store them uncut and covered/wrapped in the freezer. Or I've also cut up the bars and frozen them in an airtight container. Ivr found they do take a little more time to defrost if you do this, I'd say take them out about 20 - 30 minutes before you want to seeveryone them.<br /><br />As far as, for how long they keep, I'd say a week or two. But I still need to test how long they keep in the freezer (because I keep eating them within a week of making them!). I will update you when I make another batch this weekend!
 
Brian C. June 22, 2016
Thanks Asha! Do you go ahead and put the final almonds/coconut on the whole thing (even if some will be returning to the freezer) - or wait and just put them on when you serve them?
 
Author Comment
Asha L. June 22, 2016
If I am planning on consuming them myself, I'll just freeze the bars, toppings and all. But if I'm going to serve them to friends, I'll freeze the unfrosted bars and top them à la minute. Hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions!
 
Brian C. June 21, 2016
So sorry I couldn't test this one. It takes some lead time to prepare (overnight at least), and by the time I became aware that I was a tester it was too late. So sorry! But I did test another recipe and my notes will be sent soon. :)
 
Brian C. June 21, 2016
I just saw that test submissions have been bounced back to Wed at 6pm EDT. Count me in. I can make that happen.<br />
 
Author Comment
Asha L. June 21, 2016
Hi Brian, so happy you signed up to test my recipe! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. <br /><br />My tips for cutting down the inactive cooking time/shortcuts: <br />1) Put the coconut cream in the freezer for 45 minutes to an hour to get it cold instead of chilling it in the fridge overnight.<br />2) Chill the bars for an hour in the freezer until they are just set and a touch frosty. <br /><br />Happy testing! I appreciate it!
 
Brian C. June 21, 2016
Thanks Asha. It sounds great! :)