1 cup unrefined coconut oil, refrigerated until hardened
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Coconut whipped cream
Two 13.5-ounce cans full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch sea salt
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 pint strawberries, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9 × 13-inch baking dish with parchment paper.
2. Make the shortcake crust: In a bowl, using a fork or hand mixer, cream together the coconut oil, turbinado sugar, and sea salt until fluffy. Slowly mix in the flour until everything is incorporated. Fold in the chopped pecans.
3. Evenly spread the batter into the baking dish. Bake until the edges are slightly golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.
4. Make the coconut whipped cream: Remove the tops from the coconut milk cans and scrape the firm coconut cream into the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl. (Discard the liquid or set it aside for another recipe.) Fit the mixer with the whisk attachment or use a hand mixer and blend the cold cream until smooth. Add the vanilla and salt. Mix well. Slowly sift in the powdered sugar, while beating, in increments. Scrape down the sides and continue to whip until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
5. Using a large spoon or spatula, spread the whipped cream evenly over the cooled crust. Press in the strawberry slices in a beautiful arrangement. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Slice the bars into desired shapes and serve immediately. Note that the whipped cream melts quickly!
Try studding these bars with other fresh berries such as blackberries, blueberries, or raspberries. The coconut whipped cream is truly the perfect glue to hold any variety of toppings.
Reprinted from Mississippi Vegan by arrangement with Avery, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2018, Timothy Pakron.