April 25, 2014

A Sugar Free Version of My Favorite Coconut Granola Style Bar

Although my husband (and most of the human population) loves peanut butter and chocolate, I'm not one of those people.  So while I make Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars for him, I prefer a tender, chewy coconut bar.  I really love the taste of the Sunbelt Bakery Fudge Covered Coconut Bars, but I don't want all the sugar.  So this is my version, which is a great copycat recipe.

Although when I made this recipe in the past I used Splenda for the bars, today I'm planning on using Just Like Sugar.  Because Just Like Sugar isn't quite as sweet, I'll be adding about 10 drops of a liquid sweetener to it.  Play with your ingredients and find the products that you like best.

Coconut Vanilla Protein Bars
By An American Housewife

1 1/2 c vanilla whey powder
1/4 c coconut flour
1/2 c organic, sugar free, shredded coconut
1 T powdered or liquid vanilla
1/4 c butter, melted
1/2 c heavy cream
1/2 c Splenda or sweetener that you prefer
2 T water
1 1/2 c sugar free chocolate chips
1 T butter
1 t vanilla

In a bowl, place the whey powder, coconut flour, coconut, powdered vanilla if you are using.  Whisk or mix to blend.  Then add the liquid vanilla if you are using it, melted butter, cream and Splenda.  Add the first tablespoon of water.  Use your hands to mix, squish and knead until it starts to crumble then starts to form together to a dough.  If it's too dry after mixing for a whole minute, then add the other tablespoon of water.  Press into a lined 8X8" pan.  Chill in the refrigerator if you wish while you make the topping.  In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips and butter.  Stir smooth and add the vanilla.  Pour on top of the bars and let set until the topping hardens.  If you are antsy, place it in the refrigerator.  This makes about 10 bars, you can individually wrap like an Atkins or other protein or granola style bar if you wish.

Notes:  When I made this recipe up I tried 3 different toppings before I was happy with it.  The first, I thought I would just throw together a simple and basic Splenda, butter and unsweetened chocolate mixture and add vanilla.  Splenda doesn't melt though, and the result was too gritty.  I actually scraped it off my coconut vanilla bars (saving it to use in a frosting or candy later) and set out with another 2 squares of unsweetened chocolate to which I added a simple "not sugar" solution I made by heating Xylitol and water on the stove until boiling, then pouring it over the unsweetened chocolate, stirring until smooth and adding vanilla.  This I liked, but the third idea was the easiest and best; simply melt sugar free chocolate chips with a little butter and vanilla and spread!  They set up so quickly and so nice, and of course it tastes great.

Products I used in this recipe:
Coconut Secret Raw Coconut Flour, 16-Ounce
Nature's Best Isopure, Natural Vanilla, 3-Pounds Tub
Splenda No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated, 1.2-Pound Bag
NOW Foods - Coconut Organic Unsweetened - 10 oz.
Provident Pantry® MyChoiceTM Imitation Vanilla Powder
Hershey's 8 oz Bag of Sugar Free Chocolate Chips,*some Walmart stores carry these, but some do not.

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