Healthy candy bars are hard to find, at least out here. It’s not like you can just wander into the grocery store and pick up a healthy candy bar near the checkout. This usually isn’t an issue for me since I’m not a big fan of chocolate or sweets, but sometimes I crave a treat packed with crunchy almonds coated in creamy chocolate.
As of today, this is my favorite paleo-friendly dessert recipe I’ve ever made. I know food bloggers say stuff like that all the time, but I’m totally serious when I tell you this is the best gluten-free, dairy-free dessert recipe I’ve created so far.
I’ve been making variations of this healthy candy bar recipe for years, but I usually turn it into fudge cups or brownie-sized squares. This is the first time I’ve transformed cacao powder and coconut oil into something with a texture and appearance similar to a candy bar.
Let’s chat about cacao powder for a minute. No, that’s not a typo. Cacao powder is made from raw, cold-pressed cacao beans. Cocoa powder is made from processed, roasted cacao.
I prefer the way cacao powder tastes, and I also like that it has more nutrients than cocoa powder. It’s packed with antioxidants and magnesium, and many folks consider it to be the purest form of chocolate. The heating process used to create cocoa powder destroys some of the nutrients found in cacao, so it’s best to choose cacoa powder over cocoa powder if you’re concerned about nutrition.
You don’t have to drive to some fancy-schmancy health food store to buy cacao powder. I buy mine at Target, and I think I’ve also seen it at Walmart. You can also find it on Amazon.com and Thrive. Thrive usually has some really good deals on cacao powder.
Okay, who’s ready to make some delicious chocolate almond bars with honey-glazed almonds?
Start by preparing the chocolate base. I’ve included a printable, Pinnable recipe below. Sorry, forgot to take a pic of the chocolate mixture, but I’ll try to get one up soon.
Make your honey-glazed almonds by simmering honey and slivered almonds until bubbly and thick, then adding pure vanilla extract. Whatever you do, do NOT walk away to break up a fight between your toddlers about who is the actual owner of a wrestling figurine nobody has played with in years. You will burn the almonds and have to remake them. Not that I…ummmm…experienced that or anything.
Pour your chocolate mixture into a casserole dish lined with wax paper, and swirl in some almond butter. Add some of the honey-glazed almonds. The mixture will look similar to brownie batter.
Freeze the mixture for 10 to 15 minutes and top with the remaining honey-glazed almonds. Sprinkle on some sea salt, and pop your paleo candy bars back in the freezer for another hour or two.
See how the wax paper is hanging over the edges of the casserole dish? That’s so you can lift the finished product out of the pan before you cut it. I don’t know why I bother doing this since my casserole dishes are all scratched up anyway.
Slice the mixture into rectangles if you want your paleo candy to look like traditional candy bars. This batch looks more like granola bars, but oh well. These healthy candy bars taste amazing regardless of how you cut them.
If you prefer, you can cut your chocolate almond candy bars into brownie-sized squares. That’s usually what I like to do because it makes me feel like I’m eating more than I actually am.
Check out the middle of these. The almond butter and slivered almonds create a toffee-like center. It’s delicious.
Let’s look at one last pic of this paleo candy bar recipe…because hey, why not?
Make sure to store these paleo chocolate bars in the freezer if you have enough self-control not to eat them all in 5 minutes. Because coconut oil is one of the main ingredients, these almond-topped candy bars melt quickly at room temperature.
Here’s my recipe for homemade chocolate almond candy bars. Hope you enjoy them as much as my family does!
What’s your favorite dessert recipe? Have you ever tried a paleo dessert before?