If you want a quick, easy dessert that reminds you of no-bake cookies, then this updated, grown-up version is for you. This recipe goes together in less than 30 minutes.
After cooling, they are easy to cut into small, bite-sized nuggets of unbelievable goodness.
It was a blustery, winter, Saturday evening when I decided that I wanted something a little sweet. As I scanned the shelves for items to use for a dessert, I realized that I had oats, cocoa, and about 1/4 cup of leftover dark chocolate chips.
I was reminded of no-bake cookies. However, I decided to forgo the traditional peanut butter element and, instead, incorporate the rich flavor of a good cup of coffee.
I grabbed my sixteen year old sous chef son and we set to work to create something both delicate and delectable.
I have to admit, the end result was even more flavorful (and addictive) than I had even suspected that it would be. The combination of coffee and chocolate is just right. You can taste each flavor equally.
Although I do not use any fancy version of cocoa, I do indulge in good coffee. In this case, I used Verena Street Mississippi Grogg. The smooth butterscotch, caramel flavor profile was perfect with the rich, dark cocoa.
The only thing I would change in the recipe as I originally created it is the optional addition of 1/4 cup of dried fruit. Cranberries or tart cherries would help balance the sweet elements in this dessert.
The oats add crunch and help to hold everything together. Using maple syrup will increase the cost of the recipe, but does give you a natural alternative to using brown sugar.
My only caution is to be prepared. Your family will eat them in thirty minutes flat, leaving you with the need to make another batch.
Two hours after creating this dessert, I posted photos on social media and had readers begging me for the recipe.
So, I promised to upload more photos and detailed instructions as quickly as possible.
These dessert bars are:
- 3/4 cup brown sugar – 1 cup if you like it sweet (or 1/2 cup pure maple syrup)
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup almond milk (I used almond/coconut)
- 1/4 cup coffee beans (I used Verena Street Mississippi Grogg)
- 3 cups old fashioned oats
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (I recommend the Enjoy Life brand)
Optional: (You may use both, but be sure you are only adding 1/2 cup total add-ins).
You may use whatever brand or flavor of coffee that you would like. I used Verena Street Mississippi Grogg. Place coffee beans into a coffee mill and process into a very fine powder. The consistency should resemble flour when you get done.
Using a food processor, chop 1 cup of the oats into smaller pieces. You don’t want flour. It should look like instant oatmeal when you are done. Set aside for later use. ( Note: I like to use my 1-cup processor/chopper for small jobs. Clean up is easy. This one is PBA free with a glass bowl, which won’t absorb flavors and smells.)
Place sugar (or maple syrup), powdered coffee, cocoa powder, coconut oil, and almond milk in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat, stirring frequently, while gently boiling for three minutes.
Remove from heat. Quickly stir in chopped oats and the remaining whole, old-fashioned oats. Stir in raisins or coconut if you wish. (I added coconut only).
Quickly press the mixture into a 8 X 8 non-stick baking pan. I had to wet my hand just a little with water in order to press it firmly into the pan without my hands sticking to the mixture.
Finally, while the mixture is still warm, top with a sprinkle on 1/4 cup of dark chocolate chips if you wish.
Let cool completely, cutting into 1.5-2 inch bars.
A note on pans
I like silicone pans since they rarely requires additional oil. I used a heart-shaped silicone pan, because I am thinking of making this for Valentine’s Day and wanted to practice using the pan. It turned out perfectly!
Did you make it?
If you make this recipe, I’d love it if you would post a photo on social media and tag me and post your review here on the website. I’m @underthemedian on IG.