Magic Cookie Bars have been my favorite, go-to dessert since I was a child. I was first introduced to them on a family vacation to Disney World, and thought they were the absolute best thing ever!
A chewy crust base topped with ooey gooey layers of sweetened condensed milk, chocolate and peanut butter chips, coconut flakes and chopped nuts…I simply could not get enough!
However, with just a quick overview of the main ingredients, you can probably already tell these are not exactly the epitome of health and clean eating. So..I decided to change that!
These Magic Cookie Bars are vegan, paleo, and filled with nutrient-dense ingredients so that you can enjoy them with zero regret!
If you’re ready to learn more, let’s get into the recipe!
Magic Cookie Bars
The average conventional Magic Cookie Bar recipe isn’t actually full of incredibly terrible ingredients. And by this, I mean the ingredient list is quite simple, and for the most part, avoids artificial additives and unnecessary fillers. So while it’s packed with dairy and refined-sugar, these ingredients are easily replaceable! That means that the cleaned up version can taste nearly identical to the unhealthy version. I LOVE recipes like this!
So with that in mind, here is a rundown of the swaps needed to clean this recipe up!
Swap This for That
Swap Graham Crackers for a Grain-Free Cookie Crust
The base of most Magic Cookie Bars are a graham cracker and butter mix that create a crust. You could easily create a healthy version by switching this out for gluten-free graham crackers and coconut oil if preferred. However…I like to take it a step further, and swap it out for a grain-free sugar cookie recipe!
Personally, I think it’s even more delicious this way, and it requires only a few ingredients! Grab some almond flour, coconut flour, gelatin eggs, and maple, and you’re well on your way to a delicious and CLEAN sugar cookie!
Swap Conventional Chocolate Chips for HU Chocolate Gems
Conventional chocolate chips include dairy, refined sugar, and often added ingredients like soy lecithin and “natural flavors”. All you really need for delicious chocolate chips are cacao, a healthy oil, and unrefined sweetener. That’s why we love HU Chocolate Gems!
HU Chocolate Gems have an ingredient list of only 3 items: Cacao, Cacao Butter, and Coconut Sugar. Finally, a company that’s truly clean, honest, and really gets it!
As a side note, any chocolate chips work great in this recipe! HU is simply the only brand I’m currently aware of with totally clean ingredients free of cane sugar.
Swap Butterscotch Chips for Natural Peanut Butter
To my knowledge thus far, there’s not a clean swap for butterscotch. But when I find one, I promise I’ll let you know! However, peanut butter pairs perfectly with the chocolate, and is a delicious swap that will make you forget butterscotch was even a part of the original recipe!
This recipe uses unsweetened, organic peanut butter, that we will use to create our own drizzle with.
Swap Sweetened Condensed Milk for Sweetened Condensed Coconut Cream
Sweetened condensed milk is simply sugar and milk, condensed down to a thick, creamy sauce. This is incredibly easy to mimic simply by mixing and reducing coconut cream, and maple syrup (or healthy sweetener of choice)! Same effect and sweet delicious flavor, without the dairy or refined sugar!
And that’s it! Basically everything else can stay the same.
These Magic Cookie Bars are a recipe you’ll want to make again and again. Pin the image above to save the recipe for later. Now let’s get into the instructions!Print
Magic Cookie Bars
These paleo and vegan Magic Cookie Bars are the perfect dessert that everyone can enjoy!
- 1 3/4 CupAlmond Flour
- 1/3 CupCoconut Flour
- 1/2 tspBaking Soda
- 1/4 tspHimalayan Pink Salt
- 1/4 CupCoconut Oil (softened)
- 1/3 CupMaple Syrup
- 1 tspVanilla Extract
- 1Flax Egg (ingredients below)
- 1 TbspFlaxseed Meal
- 2.5 Tbsp Water
Sweetened Condensed “Milk”
Magic Cookie Bar Layers (see notes for details)
- Begin by preheating your oven to 350º f. Line a 9×9 square cake pan with parchment paper.
- While oven is preheating, begin making sweetened condensed milk, as this takes the most time. Add all ingredients into a saucepan, and bring to a gentle boil. Immediately reduce to low heat, and allow to simmer, stirring every 5 minutes until mixture has thickened, and reduced to about half its original size (this takes mine 40-60 min.).
- Remove from heat, and let cool.
- While sweetened condensed milk is simmering, combine all dry ingredients for the cookie crust, and mix well.
- In a separate bowl, mix all wet ingredients, including the flax egg.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients, and mix until thoroughly combined.
- Press dough into cake pan, forming around 1/3 inch crust. Place in oven for 10-15 minutes, or until crust is beginning to reach a golden brown color. Remove from oven, and allow to cool most of the way. Keep the oven on.
- Mix peanut butter and 1 tbsp of maple syrup.
- Begin creating layers by drizzling sweetened condensed milk on cookie crust, and then layering chocolate chips, nuts, coconut shreds, and peanut butter mixture.
- Repeat this layering process (sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, nuts, coconut shreds, and peanut butter mixture) until you’ve reached desired thickness.
- Place back in the oven for 25-30 min., or until sides of the Magic Cookie Bars are beginning to brown. Remove from the oven, and allow to fully cool.
Magic Cookie Bar Layers
Many of the ingredients used during the layering phase of this recipe do not require exact amounts, since these are totally up to personal preference, and how thick you’d like your Magic Cookie Bar to turn out. Feel free to be creative, and modify the recipe to your liking.