Recipe: Haven Cafe’s Coconut Almond Vegan Bars
If you’re in the Berkshires and need to meet with someone, in a place where you can get a nice pastry and coffee or a local/organic/homemade meal in a convivial (and wired) setting, where do you go? Very likely, it’ll be one of the two Haven Café and Bakery locations (Lenox and Great Barrington, Mass.), which are favorites on just about everyone’s list.
At Haven, we believe our baked goods are partially delicious because they are made with all organic ingredients. No corn syrup here! We love developing recipes for those who are following special dietary programs, because we believe that even though you may be restricting ingredients you should never be restricting taste. Above and beyond our ingredients, “Taste the Love” is part of everything we create. And so these vegan bars were born — a deliciously decadent vegan treat that non-vegans will love, too. Our bakery case even has a gluten-free version. This recipe is courtesy of our new executive chef, Matt Schweitzer.
Coconut Almond Vegan Bars
Makes 32 Bars
For the crust:
12-1/2 oz. organic or all purpose flour
8 oz. coconut oil
7 oz. almond paste
5-3/4 oz. organic sugar
3-1/2 oz. whole almonds, toasted
1 tbs. xanthum gum
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350. Combine all ingredients and 1 tsp. salt in a food processor. Pulse until ingredients come together. Do not over-process.
Spread or roll out evenly on a large baking sheet, filling the sheet completely. Bake for 15 minutes, until crust is lightly browned but not cracked or dry. Place pan on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
For the filling:
2 cups organic coconut milk
16 oz. dark chocolate, finely chopped
2-1/2 cups flaked coconut, toasted
Put chocolate into a medium heat-safe bowl. Bring coconut milk to a boil over medium heat. Pour coconut milk over chocolate and let set one minute. Whisk until all the chocolate is melted. Spread evenly over crust, using an offset spatula. Sprinkle toasted coconut evenly on top of the chocolate. Allow to cool. Cut into 2” x 3” bars. Serve immediately or store covered in a cool, dry place.