Paleo Hello Dollies Cookie Bars are a healthier take on a classic favorite cookie bar without sacrificing flavor!
For most of us, holiday time means baking, and we usually have a few specific cookie recipes that get made several times each season. Surprisingly, I don't do a ton of holiday baking, but my mom’s favorites to make on rotation (when she has the time for holiday baking!) are frosted and decorated Christmas Cutouts, Butterballs (also called Russian Tea Cakes, Mexican Wedding Cakes, and Snowball Cookies), and Schnecken (which are similar to Rugelach, but are made with sour cream instead of cream cheese). And then every year around Christmas Eve she makes a big pan of Hello Dollies (also known as Magic Cookie Bars and Seven-Layer Cookie Bars).
In our house growing up, people would go crazy for my mom’s Hello Dollies and she’d usually end up making another batch (or two) in the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. But honestly, I never could quite get 100% on board with them; I love all the flavors going on (with nuts, chocolate, and coconut, what’s not to love?), but they were always way too sweet for me. As in, just three bites would hit me hard with a sugar coma.
I realized that there was absolutely no reason to abstain from this classic favorite; they don’t have to be sickeningly sweet in order to be delicious! As it turns out, this was actually a pretty easy recipe to paleo-fy, and in the process, convert to a much less sweet treat. Because sweetened condensed milk is a classic ingredient in regular Hello Dollies, my vegan sweetened condensed coconut milk immediately came to mind to use here, and I decided to keep the whole recipe vegan.
I made these bars on a Sunday afternoon when I had a chicken roasting in the oven at a different temperature than what I needed to bake these at, so I used my pretty Wolf Gourmet Countertop Oven to make them. It’s so convenient to have another great option to use for baking, especially around the holidays when the oven is usually monopolized for hours by things like roasts! (Scroll down below the recipe for info on how to enter my giveaway and win this oven.)
These bars ended up being the perfect healthier version of Hello Dollies and were a hit with everyone who tried them. Add them to your holiday baking repertoire!
- 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
- 4 tablespoons hot water
- 1½ cups (168 g) hazelnut flour
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1 cup (175 g) chopped dark chocolate (see Note)
- 1 cup (112 g) chopped walnuts or pecans
- ¾ cup (60 g) unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 cup vegan sweetened condensed coconut milk
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt, for the top
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line an 8 by 8-inch baking dish with 2 pieces of parchment paper so it hangs over all 4 sides.
- For the crust, whisk together the flaxseed meal and hot water in a medium bowl and let sit 3 minutes.
- Add the hazelnut flour, arrowroot starch, cinnamon, and salt to a large bowl and whisk to combine. Cut in the vanilla, coconut oil, and flaxseed mixture with a fork or pastry cutter. Press the mixture into the bottom and about ¾ to 1-inch up the sides of the prepared pan. Bake the crust 10 minutes.
- Toss together the dark chocolate, walnuts, and flaked coconut in a large bowl and spread it out in the par-baked crust. Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the top.
- Bake until bubbling in the center, about 25 to 30 minutes; remove from the oven and sprinkle the sea salt on top.
- Let the cookie bars cool completely (I let them sit overnight) before slicing.
: : GIVEAWAY : :
If you’ve been wanting a beautiful high-performance countertop oven, you’ll be as excited about this giveaway as I am! Huge thank you to Wolf Gourmet because they’re giving away one countertop oven to one lucky winner.
This countertop oven over on Sur la Table is currently priced as a special offer at $549.95 with a suggested price of $700, and I can say firsthand how well it bakes. It can also be used for things like roasting, broiling, toasting, and proofing!
To participate in this giveaway, just leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite kind of cookie.
For extra entries, you can do any of the following (please leave a separate comment for each so they can be counted as additional entries):
- Tell me about your funniest holiday food story.
- Like An Edible Mosaic on Facebook.
- Like Sub-Zero and Wolf on Facebook.
- Share this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest using the hashtag #WolfGourmet and @AnEdibleMosaic.
You do not need to have a blog to enter this giveaway. To enter, you must be at least 18 years old. For shipping purposes, this giveaway is only open to U.S. residents and we are not able to ship to P.O. boxes. This giveaway ends on December 15, 2016 at 11:59 PM EST. Once the giveaway ends, the winner will be randomly chosen and notified via email. The winner will have three business days to respond with his or her mailing information, otherwise a new winner will be randomly chosen. Good luck to all!
Disclosure: Wolf Gourmet provided me with a countertop oven for review, and they are providing the countertop oven for this giveaway; as always, opinions stated are my own.