Magic-Cali Bars

Coconut, dark chocolate, caramel, peanut butter, pecans… You cannot go wrong with these bars! AND because there is no added sugar or flour, you can feel a little better about eating two or three.

I had the pleasure of meeting the beautiful Brandi Chang in February 2020 at a book signing of her new Family Style cookbook in Scottsdale. Flipping through the pages, I was blown away by the photographs. My eyeballs landed on these Magic-Cali Bars and it was love at first sight!

Looking for more healthy, tasty recipes? Right, here, baby.

One of the things I really pride myself on on this website is creating healthy, tasty recipes for you. I grew up in my dad’s bakeries and I know how to make all the decadent, buttery, sugary things. The challenge for me, as I’ve gotten older and wiser, has been to modify recipes to create something a little better for you.

In Brandi’s cookbook, she takes her mom’s recipes and modifies them to create a healthier version. My absolute favorite part of this book? She shares both versions of every recipe. Mama’s way, and the modified style. This recipe is an adaptation of her mom’s Magic Cookie Bars.

family recipe cookbook
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Magic-Cali Bars

Servings: ~15
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 30 min

Ingredients:

Crust:
1 c. gluten-free rolled oats
1 c. raw almonds
3 whole medjool dates, pitted
2 T. pure maple syrup
1/2 t. pure vanilla extract
3 T. coconut oil, melted
Pinch of sea salt

Date Caramel:
2 whole medjool dates, pitted
1 T. water
4 T. almond butter
2 T. coconut oil
4 T. pure maple syrup
2 t. pure vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt

Layers:
1/2 c. raw pecans, chopped
1/4 c. smooth peanut butter, melted
1 c. coconut flakes, blended into small pieces
3/4 c. dark chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Line an 8 x 8″ baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. Fort the crust: in a food processor, combine oats, almonds, dates, syrup, vanilla, coconut oil and salt. Pulse until smooth*. Pour into baking dish and press down firmly. Bake crust for 15 minutes, or until the edges are just slightly brown. Remove from oven and let cool.
  3. For the date caramel: While the crust is baking, blend dates, water, almond butter, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla and salt until smooth. Pour mixture onto the cooled crust and spread evenly.
  4. For the layers: Add pecans, then drizzle melted peanut butter. Sprinkle coconut and chocolate chips.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes, or until bubbling.
  6. Let cool before cutting into squares.

*Brandi’s recipe just combines the crust ingredients in a bowl. I wanted a smoother, less crunchy crust so I put it in the food processor. Either way creates a super tasty crust!

Whew! I cannot wait for you to try them! My 9 year old and husband loved these bars. I love giving them a dessert that tastes like it should be worse for you than it is. They don’t have to know. 😉

Tag me on IG @sunnyjennadanielle when you try them!

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Jenna Danielle