Apple Cinnamon Bars with Vanilla Coconut Frosting

Last week I was inspired to make a sweet treat featuring apples and cinnamon. You see, I had a big bag of dried apples from the Okanagan in BC (which ironically is very close to where I am visiting my mom right now). I envisioned a dense bar with a creamy luscious frosting... and that's exactly what I created.

Even though they look decadent, I think they're great as an afternoon energy boost or post workout snack. With the protein from the nuts, health fat from the nuts and coconut, and carbs from the dried fruit, these are truly filling and satisfying.

You can dress them down, as I did above with just a sprinkling of chopped dried apples. Or dress them up by adding a dusting of cinnamon...

And make them entertaining worthy by drizzling coconut nectar or maple syrup over the top.

Apple Cinnamon Bars with Coconut Vanilla Frosting

You can half this recipe and use an 8x8" pan for a thin layer of bars.

Apple Cinnamon Bars

2 1/2 cups almonds
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup finely chopped, packed dried apples
2/3 cup pitted packed dates, chopped
2 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2-4 teaspoons water, as needed

Grind the almonds down to flour in a food processor.
Add the coconut, apples, dates, and cinnamon. Grind until completely broken down.
Add the vanilla and water, starting with 1 teaspoon water. Process again. The mixture must hold together easily. Moist but not too wet.
Press the dough firmly into the bottom of a 9" pan.

Coconut Vanilla Frosting

1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup almond milk or water
3 tablespoons coconut nectar
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 drops vanilla medicine flower essence, optional but boosts vanilla taste a lot
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon melted coconut butter
5 tablespoons melted coconut oil

Blend the cashews, almond milk, coconut nectar, and vanilla in a high speed blender until completely smooth.
Add the coconut oil and butter. Blend to incorporate.
Pour the liquid mixture over the bars.
Chill in the fridge or freezer until the frosting is set.
Sprinkle with chopped dried apples and/or cinnamon.
Slice into bars.

For another apple cinnamon recipe, check out the Raw Apple Cinnamon Crepes recipe that I posted last Fall.

Part of Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Allergy Free Wednesdays, Wellness Weekend

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