October is what I call the beginning of dessert season. It all starts with bags of candy and chocolate bars for Halloween, followed by the pies of Thanksiving, and onto cookie swapping in December before those New Year’s resolutions set in. But have you noticed that the pies and cookies are all homemade, while Halloween is left in the pre-packaged dust. You might not be able to pass out ‘made with love’ goodies to trick-or-treaters, but you can feed homemade vegan candy bars and goodies to your little ones, their classmates, and party guests.
This recipe for cashew joy vegan candy bars was created by my good friend and cookbook author, Hannah Kaminsky.
I made these almost Almond Joy vegan candy bars myself, and they were met with sighs of delight. With my husband, myself, and two foodie guests as taste-testers, I can honestly say that these no bake treats are positively delicious and very easy to make.
Of course, my bars didn’t come out as pretty as Hannah’s, but they were every bit as delicious. Her picture is the one at right and mine is above. Chocolate dipping is a tricky skill to master!
I had to make a slight variation to the recipe because I didn’t want to open a whole can of coconut milk for the small amount needed in this recipe when I was heading out of town! So I used 2 tablespoons of milk beverage, 1/4 cup of coconut oil, and omitted the coconut milk. I also added a pinch of salt to the filling, because I couldn’t resist. But the recipe below is Hannah’s version.
Special Diet Notes: Cashew Joy Vegan Candy Bars
This recipe is naturally dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, and vegetarian.
For nut-free cashew joys, omit the cashews and increase the coconut to about 3 cups for “Mounds” vegan candy bars.
- 3 tablespoons full fat coconut nilk
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 8 ounces (about 2-2/3 cups) unsweetened shredded coconut
- ½ cup chopped, toasted cashews*
- ½ cup whole toasted cashews
- 12 ounces rice milk chocolate, or semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, coconut oil, vanilla, and confectioner’s sugar.
- Stir in the shredded coconut and chopped cashews, until fully incorporated and no dry patches remain.
- Transfer the mixture into a lightly greased 8x8-inch square pan, and use the bottom of a measuring cup to evenly press it down.
- Place the whole cashews at regular intervals in even lines down the pan, pressing them in gently.
- Freeze for at least 3 hours, or until firm.
- Melt the chocolate.
- Slice the coconut filling into small bars. Carefully dip each one in the chocolate to coat, tap away any excess chocolate, and place on a sheet of parchment paper. The coconut might be fragile, so you can store the pieces in the freezer until the moment that you’re ready to dip them.
- Let the bars cool until set. Store at room temperature in an air-tight container for up to 3 days, or freeze to enjoy later.