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

Apple Cinnamon Bars

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

Grind the almonds, coconut, and apples down to flour in a food processor. Add the 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 an 8x8" or 9x9" pan.

Coconut Vanilla Frosting

1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup almond, coconut milk, or water
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup melted coconut butter
1/4 cup melted coconut oil

Blend the cashews, almond milk, maple, 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 (12 hours) or freezer (at least 4 hours) until the frosting is set. Sprinkle with chopped dried apples and/or cinnamon.
Slice into bars. I've cut them into large bars and also little squares as you can see below which is fun.

Optional: Drizzle with my easy caramel sauce. See recipe HERE.

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

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