Dark Chocolate Coconut Treats – Vegan, Gluten-free + Refined Sugar-Free

by tastyyummies

Dark Chocolate Coconut Treats - Vegan, Gluten-free + Refined Sugar-Free

I know I have already mentioned that we are going away at the end of this week for the SXSW Music Festival and Flatstock Rock Poster convention, and that I didn’t know how many recipes I would get up before we go. But I HAD to make time to share this recipe with you guys. I threw this together the other night when I was craving something a little sweet but I wanted something different. I made a small batch as I was almost out of coconut, but I knew I would be making them again VERY soon once I could get more coconut, so I could perfect the recipe and share it with all of you. I do hope to get one more recipe up before I go, then I have a group of lovely bloggers that will be guest posting while I am away. I can’t wait!

I had come across this lovely healthy “Mounds” candy bar inspired treat from Tessa the Domestic Diva and it inspired me to make my own version in the first place. I honestly had forgotten how much I used to love Mounds Bars until I saw her recipe on Kalinda’s weekly Vegetarian, Gluten-free Round Up on Wheat Free Meat Free. The combination of coconut and dark chocolate is perfection and it has always been a favorite of mine, I wish I had started making these sooner.

Dark Chocolate Coconut Treats - Vegan, Gluten-free + Refined Sugar-Free

Like Tessa’s version, I wanted to make a healthy homemade version that wasn’t too sweet and I really wanted to make it with a good quality dark chocolate. I used Dagoba’s Organic Unsweetened Chocolate, which is so delicious, their chocolates are some of my favorites, but you can use whatever your favorite is. And as I mention in the recipe below, if you’d rather just melt some dairy-free semi-sweet chocolate chips to make it even easier, you can do that, too. I just wanted to make these refined sugar free and lightly sweeten it myself. If you taste either the coconut filling or the chocolate topping and find you want it to be sweeter, just add a little more maple syrup or whatever sweetener you are using. You could also add an almond or two at the bottom or top to make it more like an “Almond Joy” instead of a “Mounds Bar”.

I used a regular sized muffin tin to create these little “bars” but you could really use whatever you want, a mini-muffin tin would be really fun, and you’d end up with even more treats. I almost bought one just for this recipe, but hubby told me I am cut off. In his words I “officially have too much kitchen stuff”. Hehe! If you have a candy mold, that would probably also work. This simple dessert treat is so easy to make, it’d be perfect dessert to make and share at a party if you know there will be a vegan or someone with food allergies and everyone else will enjoy it, too.

Even with these not being too crazy sweet, these are wonderfully rich and satisfying, I love that about dark chocolate. You may even want to cut one of these in half and share it and make them last even longer. In an effort to not eat all of these myself, plus with some gentle begging from one of my yoga teachers on Facebook after she saw a photo I put up, I plan to bring some of these to my yoga studio tomorrow morning. This is good, I fear if I keep these around I will eat them up in a day, they are so good.

Something I wanted to mention and almost forgot, I have avoided using maple syrup as a sweetener in recipes for a very long time, since I assumed the maple flavor would be so strong and would over power whatever I was making. I don’t know what gave me that idea, but sometimes the flavor of maple syrup on it’s own or maple flavored foods, can be a bit too much for me. Honestly it is really amazing what a great sweetener it is and you don’t get any of the maple flavor. I am not sure why, but you don’t. Maybe in larger quantities you might, but it is perfect in a recipe like this. Plus, maple syrup has many health benefits, including being known for it’s anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties and being rich in trace minerals manganese and zinc. Of course sugar is still sugar, natural or otherwise, so don’t go consuming syrup or honey or other refined-sugar alternatives in huge quantities, but know that things like honey, maple syrup or coconut nectar are wonderful alternatives and much smarter choices then refined-sugars and synthetic syrups.Thought the bit about the flavor was worth mentioning though, in the event that you, like me, have been avoiding it for that reason.

Dark Chocolate Coconut Treats - Vegan, Gluten-free + Refined Sugar-Free

 

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lexie March 7, 2012 at 11:37 pm

What a great idea … I think I will try this with my macaroon recipe. My kids will love these little cups :) xoLexie

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2 Alex@Spoonful of Sugar Free March 8, 2012 at 9:21 pm

ohmygosh….I would loooove this (sans syrup)!!! Looks super easy, too–bonus!

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3 tastyyummies March 9, 2012 at 8:39 pm

Thanks so much Alex. Out of curiosity, since you are the sugar-free queen, what would you recommend using instead of maple syrup to make these sugar-free? Stevia? I’d love to know and maybe try it that way, too. Thanks.

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4 Michelle @ The Willing Cook March 11, 2012 at 4:51 pm

Seriously??? Something this easy and delicious was just around the corner! My husband would die over these. Thank you so much for linking them up this past week at Allergy-Free Wednesdays. We hope to see you back again this week.
~AFW Hostesses

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5 Cara March 12, 2012 at 12:57 am

These look divine!!! Holy cow, Beth. I want to shove 5 of these in my mouth :)

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6 Jeanene March 14, 2012 at 3:19 pm

These look fabulous! I think I better make mine small for over eating reasons! lol
Thanks for sharing! You rock!

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7 Lou March 19, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Oh my golly gosh…. I think I have a blog crush on you ;)

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8 Meredith MacDonald April 16, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Howdy! I just made these today, finally after months of having the recipe bookmarked! They are absolutely to die for. I used organic 85% dark chocolate + 1 tbsp coconut oil for the topping. My husband even loved them which is a good sign since he cringes at many of my “healthy” recipes ;)

Yes, these are high in calories (calculated mine at 285 per cup) but they are made with the healthiest fat possible (that actually promotes weight loss, yay coconut!) and are free of refined sugar and any junk ingredients. This is a winning recipe and I thank you for posting it!

Cheers :)

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9 Meredith MacDonald April 16, 2012 at 6:46 pm

I guess I should have said what FELT like months, since you only posted this is March ;) haha!!! Oops ;)

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10 tastyyummies April 18, 2012 at 11:23 am

So glad you guys liked them. And yes, I agree they are a bit high in calories due to the fat from the coconut oil and the coconut flakes, but they are definitely healthy fats and as long as you don’t eat 30 of these in a sitting, you should be good. I ended up buying a mini-muffin pan this past week so I could make them smaller from now on, since the full sized muffin tins are just way too big for me.

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11 Rose May 24, 2012 at 9:52 pm

Hi,
I’ve been eying these up for a while. Made them for a group the other night and words out around town already with people asking about them. Yum they were so good. Will be passing your blog around.

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12 Cheryl August 4, 2012 at 10:31 pm

I have died and gone to heaven. Good Lord, these are amazing!!! Thank you! Love your blog!

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13 almndjoy18 August 5, 2012 at 6:25 pm

Great recipe! These REALLY DO taste like the candybar! My family is eating them messily as we speak! I used a bag of Enjoy chocolate chips I had in the pantry, but have made my own sweetened chocolate in the past as well. I found your recipe on Pinterest and look forward to trying out some more of your recipes!

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14 Lauren August 8, 2012 at 9:18 pm

I was hoping these would turn out alright and they actually turned out A-freaking-MAZING. Awesome ratio of coconut to dark chocolate. So yummy!

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15 Jenna September 12, 2012 at 8:44 am

I made these last night and they were great. Mine wouldn’t pop out of the muffin tin though (it’s a non-stick tin). I pretty much had destroy one to get it out. Any tips?

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16 Rose September 24, 2012 at 12:11 pm

I made these yesterday and they are delicious! I used the Enjoy Life chocolate chips since I was out of dark chocolate. My husband has some in his lunch today :)

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17 tastyyummies September 24, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Hi Rose, so so glad to hear you enjoyed these. I think I am due to make another batch soon. I am obsessed!

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18 Elena Vo October 20, 2012 at 5:49 pm

I am definitely pinning this one!

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19 Diane March 15, 2013 at 4:56 pm

I used cocoa instead of the cooking bar and added 3 strawberries to the filling ….YUMMY … thanks for the recipe :)

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20 Elissa June 6, 2013 at 12:08 am

Hi Diane,

May I ask how you used the cocoa? I’ve been wondering how I might replace the chocolate chips/bar part with cocoa somehow. I have some cacao butter, and thought maybe I could make my own chocolate somehow that would remain hard enough at room temperature, but I’m not sure…

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21 Vanessa May 8, 2013 at 9:46 am

Hi, I just made these and they taste great but I they totally stuck to the muffin tin. I tried getting them out with a knife but half of the coconut sticks to the chocolate and the other half stays in the tin. Any idea what I’m doing wrong? Cheers!

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22 Donna September 12, 2013 at 10:41 am

I’ve made these a couple of times, and I use the cupcake papers so they come out of the tin easily and then there’s something to hold so you don’t get chocolate all over your hands. Making them again tonight with carob chips. :-)

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23 Alexandra December 17, 2013 at 2:35 pm

These are AMAZING. I made them into bars as I do not have a cupcake pan, and they turned out great. they were gone in no time, and are my go to dessert to bring to a get together. I leave them in the freezer till the last possible moment, and they go so fast I usually don’t have to put them away in the fridge:)

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24 shelley February 10, 2014 at 9:29 pm

This is the best recipe thank you so much. I love it! The chocolate topping is even good chilled on its own with some roasted nuts! Yum. What an indulgent treat.

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