I’m gearing us up for summer with these Coconut Oatmeal Chocolate Bars – easy to make and no oven required. This is a no-bake dessert that is perfect for those hot summer days when you don’t want to heat up the house.
Despite what the calendar may say, summer has started, it’s marked by the last day of school. We are four days in and the house is already showing signs of summer fatigue: The tables and shelves are dusty from the front door never being closed. The daily dish pile looks like a Jenga tower—because, why do kids get a new glass every time they get a drink? Am I the only one that uses the same one the whole day—water, orange juice, Coke—its one glass that’s rinsed out between drinks. But the most crazy thing, my daily to-do list is already reaching OUT OF CONTROL status.
It’s only day four of the 11-week school break. What the hella?
But things are about to get better with the most loathsome chore on my to-do list: laundry. My little guy, who just turned 10, is going to learn how to do his own laundry this summer. Whoo-hoo!
To celebrate, I’m going to have these bars ready for him after his first successful load. We are starting this weekend, so if anyone has tips for how to get your kids to happily do their own laundry, let me know in the comment section.
A few recipe notes:
- For this recipe, make sure to drain all the oil on top of the almond butter. Do not mix it in. You want the almond butter to be as thick as possible.
- You don’t have to use toasted coconut, but it does add more flavor to the bars. Instructions for how to make toasted coconut is at the bottom at the end of the recipe.
- 3/4 cup butter
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup brown rice syrup
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 21/2 cups rolled oats
- 2/3 cup toasted sweetened coconut**
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup almond butter (make sure to drain all the oil on top - do not mix it in)
- 1 Cup chopped pecan
- Preparation: Line an 8x8 pan with a parchment sling. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar and brown rice syrup. Heat over low-heat, until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract and salt.
- Add the oats and coconut. Cook, stirring constantly, for 4 to 5 minutes. Evenly divide mixture in half and set aside.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate chips and almond butter (make sure that the almond butter the oil on top of the almond butter is drained and not stirred in). Heat on high in 30-second bursts, stirring in between each burst, until mixture is melted and fully combined.
- To assemble: Press one half oat mixture into bottom of prepared pan. Pour chocolate mixture over oats, press pecans into chocolate layer, then top with remaining oats.
- Refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours, or until set. Time will vary according to refrigerator setting and how full refrigerator is.
**To toast the coconut: Spread coconut onto a baking a sheet and bake at 375 F until golden, about five minutes. Make sure to stir half way through to toast the coconut evenly. This can be completed up to five days in advance and kept in a tightly sealed container once cooled.