Keto coconut macadamia bars might just be my new favorite low carb treat. Buttery almond flour shortbread crust with a gooey sugar-free coconut and macadamia topping. This post is sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill.
I am currently obsessed with these keto coconut macadamia bars. And believe me, friends, when you try them, you will be too. Obsessed, I tell you. You know I love my keto desserts and I have so many wonderful recipes. And so many of them are my “favourites”. Really, ask me one day what my favorite low carb dessert recipe is and you will get one answer. Ask me another day and you will get an entirely different answer altogether.
Here’s the deal. Creating low carb desserts is fun. It’s beyond fun. I’d go so far as to say that it’s the joy of my life. Besides my kids and my husband, of course. Honestly, what gets my heart racing and my adrenaline pumping is coming up with a new delicious keto dessert creation. Especially one that has people oohing and aahing at the first bite. And this one is definitely Oooh and Aaah material.
Nothing delights me more than finding a conventional high carb recipe that piques my interest and seeing if I can make a comparable low carb version. I actually have a Pinterest board dedicated to conventional recipes that have caught my eye and that I want to try to make over. It’s a very very very very very very very large board and it would take me many lifetimes to make all the recipes I have pinned there. It’s such a long board, with so many inspirational recipes pinned to it, that I can’t even scroll to the bottom of it anymore. I’ve lost sight of many wonderful recipes I’d like to try making, because I can’t stop finding new recipes I want to make.
It’s a sickness. One might call it an obsession. But at least it’s a healthy one.
The science of sugar-free baking
I also love the science behind adapting a regular recipe to make it sugar-free and grain-free. It’s not so simple as basic one-to-one substitutions. Sugar does more than just make things sweet; it attracts moisture, it caramelizes and browns, and it helps create a syrupy gooeyness that low carb sweeteners can’t quite accomplish on their own. So my job, as I see it, is to find ways to achieve the same results without sugar or grains. Thank goodness for low carb ingredients like Bob’s Red Mill almond flour and Swerve Sweetener.
These bars were inspired by some conventional Coconut Macadamia Nut Bars I spied on my friend Liz’s blog, That Skinny Chick Can Bake. I knew I had the crust part down, no problem. I have a low carb shortbread crust that is to die for, it’s from my Keto Tagalong Bars. It’s amazing the way this crust comes out of the oven so soft but firms up into a perfect shortbread texture as it cools.
The filling of the original coconut bar recipe takes flaked coconut and macadamias, and that was an easy low carb swap. I love Bob’s unsweetened flaked coconut in a recipe like this. The original recipe also takes sweetened coconut cream, the sugary Coco Lopez stuff that’s often in pina coladas. I went with REAL coconut cream, the creamy thick stuff from the top of a can of unsweetened coconut milk. Knowing that my low carb sweeteners don’t always have the gooey factor of sugar, I added an egg yolk to the filling to help it have the right consistency. And then I popped in the oven and hoped for the best.
Well kids, the best is what I got. I actually took the whole pan on a girls’ weekend trip to the Oregon Coast, and I had no idea what to expect. They looked and smelled good but we didn’t cut into them until that evening. And then we all sighed and oohed and aahed as we tasted. They were gooey, they were sweet, they were nutty and rich. And my non-keto friends, who have tried and loved a lot of my desserts, declared this to be the one of best I’d ever made. I have to be honest, I’d be hard pressed to disagree with them.
I got home from our trip and made another pan the very next day, just so I could get some photos and share the recipe with you. You’re going to love it!
Low Carb Coconut Macadamia Bars
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Combine almond flour, sweetener, and salt in a food processer. Pulse to combine. Sprinkle the butter over and continue to pulse until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.
- Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of an 8-inch square pan and bake 15 minutes or until light golden brown. Set aside and let cool while preparing the filling.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the sweetener and the coconut cream until smooth.
- Stir in the coconut, macadamia nuts, egg yolk, and vanilla extract until well combined. Pour the filling over the crust.
- Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before cutting into bars. The centre will not seem set but it will firm up as it cools.