With dates and almond butter, these chocolate coconut almond bars are a lightened up version of Almond Joy bars with a layer of chocolate in the middle.
1 tablespoon coconut oil plus more for brushing pan
1–3/4 cups almonds, roughly chopped
2 cups roughly chopped dates
1/4 cup almond butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
1/4 cup toasted unsweetened coconut flakes
1 teaspoon flaky sea salt
Grease a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan with coconut oil and line with parchment paper leaving a 2-inch over hang on the long sides.
Chop 1-1/2 cups almonds, dates, almond butter, vanilla extract and salt in a food processor until the mixture becomes almost like a chunky paste that holds together. On a parchment-lined sheet pan, pat it into an 8-inch square. Chill in the refrigerator until firm, about 20 minutes.
In a small bowl, melt the chocolate and 1 tablespoon coconut oil in the microwave in 30-second blasts, stirring after each time.
Slice the chilled square of the nut-date mixture in half and place in the bottom of the prepared loaf pan. Spread half the chocolate on top and sprinkle with half the coconut flakes. Chill in the refrigerator until the chocolate starts to set, about 15 minutes.
Place the other half of the nut-date mixture in the pan and spread the top with the rest of the chocolate. Sprinkle with the remaining almonds, coconut flakes and flaky sea salt.
Chill the in the refrigerator until firm, about 2 hours. When ready to serve, let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Lift the bar out of the pan by the parchment paper and then slice.