For the Chocolate Pecan Crust
- 1¾ cups pecans
- 3 tablespoons cacao powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons cashew butter
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
For the Chocolate Mousse Center
- ¾ cup coconut cream or heavy cream
- 2 ounces high quality dark chocolate
- 3 ounces grass-fed butter (at room temperature)
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- 2 eggs (make sure they’re pasteurized!)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the Buttercream Topping
- First, prepare the chocolate pecan crust. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position.
- Place all of the crust ingredients into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until everything has been combined well and looks crumbly. This should take about 1 minute. If the mixture builds up on the sides of the bowl, scrape down with a spatula.
- Press the mixture evenly into a square or rectangular baking dish. If your fingers are getting sticky, sprinkle them with warm water to make this process easier. Poke a few holes using a fork into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges. Set aside to cool. After 10 minutes, transfer to the freezer.
- Scoop the coconut cream out of the can of coconut milk. Place it in a medium bowl, and beat the coconut cream with a hand mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form (usually 2-3 minutes). Cover and refrigerate the cream.
- Heat the chocolate for the center layer in the microwave under medium power or over the stovetop on medium-low using the double boiler method until melted. Set aside to slightly cool.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the softened butter on medium speed for just 1 minute. Add the coconut sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Pour in the cooled chocolate to the mixture and beat until well incorporated. Add 1 of the egg and beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes. Add the other egg and beat for another 3 minutes until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the vanilla.
- Fold the chilled coconut cream into the chocolate filling until there are no visible white streaks left. Pour the filling into the prepared crust and smooth the top over with a spatula. Place in the freezer to set.
- Rinse and dry the bowl and whisk of the stand mixer. Place the palm shortening and coconut sugar into the bowl and blend on medium for 4-5 minutes until creamy. Add the vanilla and coconut milk and blend again for 1-2 minutes until well combined.
- Carefully spread the buttercream topping over the chocolate layer. Smooth over the top with an offset spatula.
- Let the bars set in the freezer for 3-4 hours before serving. They should be left out at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before eating!
Coconut cream is the cream that has risen to the top of a can of coconut milk, which has been sitting in a refrigerator overnight.