Low-Calorie, 5-Layer Holiday Magic Bars (so delicious)
Sure, you have the best intentions to eat healthfully during the holidays. Let’s be honest, though: there’s nothing quite like a batch of sugar cookies or a piece of pecan pie to get you in the festive spirit. And most of us can’t resist. In fact, according to recent research from Cornell University, the average weight gain for Americans during the Christmas to New Year’s holiday season is roughly two pounds.
Luckily, there’s no need to sacrifice fun or flavor when Coach Cristina is in the kitchen making holiday magic bars.
Just make a few simple swaps, and many of your favorite holiday desserts can be made healthier and, in some cases, even meet all your dietary needs (e.g., keto, paleo, etc.).
The following recipe combines a few of my favorite things, including gingerbread and eggnog, incorporated into five layers of heavenly bliss in these holiday magic bars.
Coach Cristina’s Holiday Magic Bars
For the eggnog:
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 Tbsp honey or maple syrup
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- *optional splash of spiced rum
For the crust:
- 2 cups almond flour
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ginger
- ½ tsp salt
For the Toppings:
- Dark cacao/chocolate chips
- Shredded coconut
- Pecan pieces
- *optional, dried cranberry
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- Whisk ingredients together on high until the mixture boils, then reduce to a simmer and let cook and thicken for 40 – 60 minutes.
- Pour it into a jar and cool in the frig for at least an hour.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper.
- Combine the ingredients for the crust. Then press firmly into the bottom of the pan.
- Bake crust for 20 minutes.
- Add chocolate chips, coconut, and pecans.
- Drizzle the eggnog mixture evenly over the toppings.
- Cook the bars for another 10 minutes.
- Once the bars are fully cooked, allow them to cool completely before cutting.
- Serve and enjoy!
Chef Note: If you are not a fan of any of the toppings, then, by all means, omit them and make this dessert your own. My kids, for example, don’t do coconut, so when I make these for us, I have to leave that ingredient off.
Chef Note: If you are not a fan of eggnog, you can simply make a coconut milk and maple syrup mixture without the other ingredients. I would suggest 1 can of coconut milk and ¼ cup of maple syrup. Same deal—just whisk together over medium to high heat and then chill. Drizzle on top before the second baking session. Voila!
Chef Note: Due to all the toppings, it is best to allow the bars to cool before attempting to slice them. I’ve made this mistake more than once, and take it from me it is a very important step to remember.
Nutrition Information (depending on toppings):
Yields 24 servings
- Calories: 120
- Fat: 9 g
- Carbs: 8 g
- Fiber: 1 g
- Protein: 3 g