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Beach Cookies

Serves 15 to 20

My favorite cookies growing up were my mom's famous ooey gooey Beach Cookies.  Beach cookies earned their name from none other than the fact that my mom always packed them when she took me and my brother, Andy, to the beach!

 

Ingredients

  • ½ cup vegan margarine, melted
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (I buy Health Valley Graham Crackers and pulse them into fine crumbs in the food processor. Feel free to do this with any vegan graham cracker or wafer cookie.)
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk, mixed well before measuring
  • ¼ cup agave or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot
  • 1 ½ cups shredded coconut
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (dairy-free)
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts, toasted (optional)

Procedure

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Pour margarine into a 9- x13-inch baking pan. Swirl the margarine around until the bottom of the pan is completely coated. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs evenly into the pan until the bottom of the pan is completely coated in crumbs. Pat down lightly with your hands.

In a small bowl, whisk together coconut milk, agave, vanilla, salt, and cornstarch. Drizzle this mixture evenly over the graham cracker layer. Sprinkle the shredded coconut into the pan, then layer chocolate chips and walnuts. With the palm of your hand, gently pat the top of the cookie pan so that the chocolate chips cement into the rest of the cookie.

Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until center looks thick and slightly bubbly with lightly browned edges. Let cool, and then refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. Using a sharp knife, cut into bar cookies. The textures and flavors of this cookie really work best after refrigeration, but if you're like me and gotta dig in right away- be my guest!

If you're feeling festive, platter the cookies on a tray of brown sugar (mock sand) and stick some cocktail umbrellas in the sugar for a "beach scene".

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