This post is in partnership by American Pecans.
This recipe is going to change the holiday baking game for you!! I love magic bars (sometimes called 7 layer bars) so much, and I thought they were impossible to make without sweetened condensed milk. That is until I realized you can make your own sweetened condensed milk that happens to be paleo with just coconut milk and maple syrup! All it takes is combining the two and letting it simmer for awhile to reduce it into an incredible sweet and creamy syrup. The base of this bar is a soft gingerbread cookie layer that is topped with a mix of coconut, chocolate chips and pecans then smothered in that sweetened condensed coconut milk. When you think about baking with pecans this season do you only think about pecan pie?? Well fear not, pecans are so versatile and make this bar complete!
They may be part of a dessert, but pecans are a nutrition powerhouse*, providing protein and fiber to fill you up, essential minerals like manganese and copper and lots of great phytonutrients.
*Note: According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as pecans, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease. One serving of pecans (28g) has 18g unsaturated fat and only 2g saturated fat.
I am teaming up with American Pecans again this month to share the wonders of the incredible pecan. The real question is, when you read that did you say PUH-KAHN or PEE-CAN?! No matter how you say it, the important thing is that you eat them. Once I made the maple sage pecans from my Holiday Charcuterie Board, I kept the extras and now chop them up for salads, knowing I am getting all of the good nutrients I need with the flavor I love. I have found that pecans go really well with hearty and earthy flavors, so putting them on top of this gingerbread is just perfect! The gingerbread spices, the sweet chocolate chips and coconut with nutty and delicious pecans… honestly it’s out of this world! I tested and retested this recipe to be perfect and it really really is. I store these in the fridge because I like the cookie part to be a bit chewy and the topping stays together really well when chilled.
Each bite keeps you coming back for more – you have been warned!
My friends at American Pecans sent me some whole shelled pecans and I just loved seeing them in their whole state. I can’t wait to crack the with a nut cracker and show Ruthie how the whole thing works!
LOOK AT THAT STACK! Pure holiday magic.
Pin the image below to save this Paleo Gingerbread Pecan Magic Bars recipe for later!
Paleo Gingerbread Pecan Magic Bars
- 2 cups almond flour
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup melted coconut oil (at room temp)
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 2 tbsp molasses
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ginger
- ½ tsp cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk:
- 1 can coconut milk
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¾ cup chocolate chips
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- ⅓ cup chopped pecans
Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk:
- In a small saucepan combine coconut milk and maple syrup. Whisk them together on high until it boils, then reduce to a simmer and let cook and thicken for 40-60 minutes.
- Pour it into a glass jar and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour to cool down.
- Once cool it should be the consistency almost of molasses – thick and smooth! If it isn’t, put it back on the heat to thicken it again.
- Preheat oven to 350 and line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper.
- Combine crust ingredients and press into the bottom of the pan.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Add chocolate chips, coconut and pecans. Pour the coconut sweetened condensed milk evenly on top.
- Place the bars back in the oven for 10 minutes.
- Store in the refrigerator!