I don’t know what has compelled me to share almost exclusively dessert recipes with you all over the last few months. The way I blog, you might think I consider chocolate to be a food group (maybe I do), albeit one that is very important to a well-rounded paleo diet.
Well you know what? Maybe I don’t eat chocolate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but I DO eat chocolate in some form almost every day. And the way I am able to indulge like this without sending my fat-burning metabolism into a total sugar spin-cycle crash, is by keeping a few dessert recipes in my arsenal which are lower in sugar and high in fat.
These brownie bars definitely fit the bill! I cut way back on the sugar from one of my favorite brownie recipes, and the result is a totally rich, totally dark chocolate base that serves as a lovely vehicle for the nutty, coconutty, chocolatey, sunflower seed buttery goodness that is piled up on top.
Make these now! Share them with everyone you know! Or don’t… I won’t judge.
7 Layer Brownie Bars
These dense, chewy, gooey bars from childhood get a major upgrade from a traditional graham cracker crust to a straight-up brownie. They are grain-free, dairy-free, and even relatively low in sugar (½ cup for the entire 13x9 sheet pan). Meet your decadent chocolate future.
1 can coconut cream
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 tablespoons agave nectar
¼ cup cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter
½ cup coconut sugar
1 ¼ cups unsweetened chocolate pieces
½ cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup hazelnuts, chopped
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup coconut flakes
2 tablespoons sunflower seed (or other nut/seed) butter
1 teaspoon coconut oil
Start by making the sweetened condensed coconut milk. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the can of coconut cream, vanilla, and agave nectar. Bring to a low boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer for 45 minutes.
In the meantime, prepare the brownies. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prep a 13x9 pan by greasing the bottom with coconut oil or grass-fed butter. In a small bowl, combine cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a double boiler, melt butter, coconut sugar, and chocolate together. Stir until smooth and remove from heat. In a liquid measuring cup, measure out the ½ cup water. Add 4 eggs and vanilla and beat liquids together with a whisk. Slowly pour liquids in melted chocolate mixture, whisking as you go. Add dry ingredients and semisweet chocolate chips, whisking just until combined.
Pour brownie batter into prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven. Sprinkle coconut flakes evenly over partially baked brownies, followed by hazelnuts, and finally semisweet chocolate chips. Drizzle sweetened condensed coconut cream evenly overtop. Return the entire thing to the oven for 25 more minutes. The edges should be slightly caramelized and a knife stuck into the center will come out (relatively) clean. Place sunflower seed butter and coconut oil into a coffee mug and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir until combined and drizzle overtop of bars. Refrigerate for 1 hour (or as long as you can stand it) before slicing and serving.