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
Test Kitchen Notes
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
one 9-x-13-inch pan of bars
Crust and Filling:
raw almonds, roughly chopped
unsweetened shredded coconut
4 1/2 ounces
graham crackers, roughly broken (4 1/2 ounces is about 1 sleeve)
coconut oil, melted
silken tofu, drained and patted dry
1 1/2 cups
semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (dairy-free), roughly chopped
coconut cream, or full-fat coconut milk
14-ounce can coconut cream, chilled overnight
sliced almonds, toasted
sweetened or unsweetened shaved dried coconut (I like Dang Coconut Chips), toasted
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a quarter sheet pan (9x13 inches) with parchment paper.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pour the chocolate tofu mixture over the cooled graham cracker crust and spread evenly. Place in the freezer for at least 2 hours.
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.
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!