Seven Layer Bars a.k.a Magic Cookie Bars, are my absolute favorite holiday treats. The combination of rich chocolate chips, toasted coconut, and the sticky sweetness of condensed milk all coalesce into an incredibly addictive bar cookie. My take on Seven (Six?) Layer Bars is sugar-free, gluten-free, and low carb. It’s a good thing they freeze well ’cause the batch I made today was just too tempting, sitting around on the counter top lookin’ all delicious and gooey!
You’ll need to make a homemade sugar-free caramel sauce to replace that Eagle Brand Condensed Milk that holds these bars together. With a touch of real honey, the sauce is smooth, creamy, and perfect for any dessert that calls for a drizzle of caramel. It doesn’t keep well, so you should prepare and use it immediately. Fortunately, it takes minutes to make.
These homemade sugar-free chocolate chips are now a staple that I always make to have on hand. They do not melt at room temperature, and perform very well in cookies and cakes. You might have to run out and get the shortening and the powdered milk, but those ingredients should be available at most major grocery stores. I have found the powdered milk at Whole Foods and a local health food store here in Florida.
On to cookie making!
Organic powdered skim milk
Non-hydrogenated palm oil shortening
Chopping Ghirardelli 86% cacao chocolate
Making chocolate chunks
Sugar-free chocolate chunks!
Making caramel sauce with erythritol
Chopped walnuts and chocolate chunks on top of a “graham” crust
- 1 crust (see below)
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 to 1 cup sugar-free chocolate chips (see below)
- 1/2 cup plus 1/6 cup unsweetened coconut
- 2 tablespoons organic unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1/2 cup ground pecans
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons erythritol
- 1/4 teaspoon pure stevia extract
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 egg white, beaten
- 1/3 cup erythritol
- 1/2 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 cup organic heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon pure stevia extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Mix together ingredients for the crust, minus the egg white.
- Beat egg white with a fork and measure out one tablespoon of it. Add to crust ingredients and stir until a dough comes together.
- Press crust into an 8 by 5 loaf pan lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Measure out cream and vanilla and set aside.
- Heat 1/2 cup erythritol or Swerve, and 1/2 tablespoon (1 and 1/2 teaspoons) honey in a deep saucepan over medium heat.
- Swirl pan occasionally until all erythritol is dissolved.
- Watch the color of the dissolved sweeteners closely, and pull pan from the heat when it turns a dark amber color (do not let mixture turn black!).
- Add cream, vanilla, and stevia, whisking constantly. It will foam up considerably. Stir mixture until caramel sauce is smooth.
- Whisk in stevia.
- Pour into a metal or glass bowl and set aside.
- Remove chocolate from fridge. Let sit for a couple of minutes until it cuts smoothly. Chop into chunks.
- Sprinkle chocolate chunks over crust, then top with chopped walnuts and coconut.
- Pour caramel over the coconut, taking care to drench all of the coconut in sauce.
- Press down on the coconut all over with a spatula or the back of a spoon.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool completely before cutting and storing. These are best when eaten the day you make them.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and foil to freeze.
- 4g net carbs per bar
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate (Ghirardelli)
- 2 tablespoons powdered nonfat milk (Organic Valley)
- 2 tablespoons xylitol or 3 tablespoons erythritol
- 1/8-1/4 teaspoon good-tasting pure stevia extract
- 2 teaspoons nonhydrogenated shortening (Spectrum Organic) OR cocoa butter
- Powder erythritol and milk in a coffee grinder or Magic Bullet for about a minute, until fine and powdery. Let the mixture settle before opening the blender lid.
- Chop chocolate bar and add shortening.
- Microwave in a large glass bowl for 35 seconds on HIGH, and stir. Mixture might have lumps.
- Heat for 15 more seconds and stir until chocolate is smooth. Microwave in 10 second intervals to completely melt the chocolate, if necessary.
- Add in sweetener and fold chocolate around the bowl with a spatula until you get a uniform, smooth consistency.
- Stir in stevia, taste, and add more if necessary.
- Pour mixture into a pan lined with parchment paper. Smooth out the chocolate to a uniform thickness, about 1/4″.
- Chill chocolate in freezer and proceed to make caramel sauce.
- ~1 heaping cup (about 1 and 1/8) of chocolate chips is 32g net carbs
In the spirit of the season, I’ll be giving away prizes as a token of appreciation to readers of this blog. Every day until Christmas, there will be a new post with a featured gift. Leave a comment and win! In a very scientific selection process, I’ll be putting the names of everyone who comments in a hat, and making my sister draw one out. You can win every day if you leave a comment on each post and happen to win every random drawing. Hey, it could happen. Up for grabs is sugar-free sweeteners, chocolate, sea salt, and an extra special prize on the last day! The giveaway is closed. Thanks for participating, everyone!