Paleo Tropical Blondies

Hello, Monday! Did that weekend fly by for anyone else? I was lucky enough to spend the majority of the weekend outside in the sun, but while I was inside I was nerding-out: scrunched over my screen trying to transfer the Foraged Dish email list from one platform to another. 

When I first set up my blog to send new posts out to subscribers via email, it was a set it and forget it situation. I literally set up the function and moved on, trusting that the platform was working and doing it's job. It's been a while since I checked in, and taking a look this weekend put a spring in my step!  If you subscribe to Foraged Dish via email, THANK YOU! I was happily surprised to see some familiar names, as well as new names, on my newsletter list. I love that I can share this place (is a blog a place? I'm going to call it one) with you, and I love hearing from you! (If you don't subscribe yet, and you're wondering how you can get in on all of that delicious action, you can click here or on the button in my lefthand sidebar that says "SIGN ME UP!"). 

Now, for the real news: Paleo Tropical Blondies. They're cookie bars. They're full of pineapple, macadamia nuts and coconut, but are totally grain- and refined-sugar-free! News worthy? Yes! 

I have always been a big fan of cookie-like goods. Chewy cookies are my favorite, which is why I've always had a weak spot for blondies. Blondies are like extra thick, extra chewy cookies (and in this case, extra is totally better).

Topped with extra coconut, they're pretty much a tropical vacation. Since I stayed in Colorado for my Spring break, this is as close to a tropical vacation I've been this year! I took them with me on a weekend climbing trip, and basked in the glory of vacation with every bite. I was on the beach in my head at least. 

If needing a vacation is not enough to convince you to make these, consider this: these cookies have less than a 4th of the sugar that most energy bars have. Since I was taking these with me in place of store-bought bars, I did some research. While I'm a big fan of LÄRABARs, they have 18 grams of sugar, and other bars have almost twice that! I felt better eating these Paleo Tropical Blondies than any of the bars at the store. They're full of healthy fats and protein from real ingredients. 

This recipe was shared at Simply Natural Saturdays. 

Paleo Tropical Blondies

Paleo, Primal, Grain-Free    |       |    Print This Recipe

Soft little blondies with macadamia nuts and pineapple.

Serves: 9   |    Total Time:


  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • 1/4 cup desiccated coconut 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 2 egg
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup macadamia nuts
  • 1/4 cup minced pineapple
  • 2 tablespoons desiccated coconut, for topping


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease a 9 x 9 pan or pyrex dish with coconut oil. 
  2. In a small mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the coconut oil, honey, and banana. Add the vanilla and eggs and beat until incorporated.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond flour, coconut flour, arrowroot powder, 1/4 cup of desiccated coconut, salt, and baking soda. No clumps should remain. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and use a spatula to stir until a sticky dough forms.
  4. Fold in the minced pineapple and macadamia nuts. Press the dough into an even layer in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons desiccated coconut. Bake for 20 - 30 minutes, until golden on top and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle. 
  5. Allow to cool for 10 - 15 minutes before slicing into 16 even rectangles. Store in an airtight container. 
  6. TIP: Taking these on an adventure instead of store bought bars? Wrap them snuggly with saran wrap instead of using a zip lock. The tighter packing job will help prevent them from crumbling.


Grain-Free Chocolate Cherry Cookie Bars

This combination of almond, chocolate, and dried cherries made it’s first debut on the long-gone blog I wrote in college. That blog has long since been folded, a decision that was made on a whim following some bad advice, but if you really do some digging, you can still find the 2010/2011 remnants on Way Back Machine.

The original was a cookie bar — made without eggs, because my mom never seemed to have eggs in the fridge, so my signature cookie bar recipe was a bit like a soft shortbread made with brown sugar for a more classic chocolate chip cookie taste. It called for dried cherries, chocolate, and white chocolate. When I pressed my blog in 2011 before leaving to study abroad, it was the one recipe I was emailed for. #humblebrag

Luckily, before I hit “delete” on that site, I printed off all of my favorite recipes, and glued them into a black notebook. My cookbook.

In 2014, three years later, when I picked up blogging again, recreating a healthier version of those cookie bars was high on my to do list. These bars call for almond butter and almond flour, which build the dense, fudgy base. Eggs keep everything together. And honey gives a sweet edge where refined sugars did heavy lifting in the original. I skip white chocolate these days, because why eat white chocolate when you can eat dark chocolate?! But, if variety is the spice of your life, feel free to use half white chocolate and half dark chocolate (1/4 cup each). I use the dried cherries from Costco for this recipe, however if you can’t find dried cherries you could also use dried cranberries (I have often seen cranberries sweetened with cherry juice, which would mimic cherries in this recipe quite well).

Grain-Free Chocolate Cherry Cookie Bars

Published June 26, 2014 by
   Print This Recipe

Serves: 16   |    Active Time: 50 minutes


  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 2 tablespoon butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or chopped up dark chocolate bar
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F, and line a 9x9 inch baking dish with parchment paper.
    2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine almond butter, butter, honey, and eggs. Stir until smooth.
    3. Add almond flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir to make a stiff batter.
    4. Fold in chocolate and cherries until evenly distributed.
    5. Press better into an even layer in the baking dish, and then bake for 20-25 minutes. Cookie bars should be golden and slightly puffed.
    6. Allow to cool 10 minutes. Slice into 16 squares and serve. Store in airtight container at room temperature or in fridge.