Paleo chocolate caramel shortbread bars
I struggled with the title of this post, as I wasn’t exactly sure what to call these babies. They’re chocolate-y and sort of caramel-y. And the base is reminiscent of a shortbread, but lighter and made with coconut flour. I think that also makes them paleo? Lol. Well anyway who really cares – most importantly they are SO delicious!
Growing up, we used to always make bars as part of our Christmas cookie collection, and my absolute favourites were these ones we called “Twix” bars which featured a shortbread crust, a thick layer of caramel in the middle, and a smothering of chocolate on top. They were TO DIE FOR. Everyone was obsessed, and I looked forward to making them every year.
Of course, these Twix bars were absolutely loaded with sugar, corn syrup, condensed milk and other nasty yet admittedly delicious ingredients that I stay away from now. Even back then, I remember trying to come up with a way to healthify them, but they were just so perfect and difficult to replicate so I gave up.
The idea for this version popped into my head a couple of weeks ago when I had a ton of coconut flour to use up. I initially thought a coconut flour shortbread would be nice, but then I remembered those layers of caramel and chocolate and knew I had to give it a try. These actually turned out remarkably well – they’re sweet without being loaded with sweetener, and to my pleasant surprise, the layers actually stay firm when they’re stored in the fridge/freezer.
These are the perfect dessert to pop in the freezer and grab when you need something sweet (which for me, is every night after dinner…oops). Hope you love them! <3
- 1 c. coconut flour
- ¼ c. coconut sugar
- ⅓ c. coconut oil
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ c. peanut or almond butter
- 1 tbsp. pure maple syrup
- 3 tbsp. coconut oil
- 1/2 c. soft pitted dates, packed
- 1 tbsp. coconut milk (or other non-dairy milk - more if needed)
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- ¼ c. coconut oil, melted
- ⅓ c. raw cacao (or cocoa) powder
- 1 tbsp. pure maple syrup
- 1 tbsp. peanut or almond butter
- ¼ tsp. salt
- Line a loaf pan (for thick bars) or an 8x8 square/round pan (for thinner bars, as pictured) with parchment and set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine your base ingredients. The mixture should be fairly dry but stick together slightly when pressed between your fingers. Press this mixture very firmly into the bottom of your pan - try to get it as packed down as possible! Place in the freezer to set while you make the caramel.
- In a blender or food processor, combine your caramel ingredients. Blend until smooth. This mixture should be quite thick and sticky. If it's too thick to blend, add tiny amounts of coconut milk until you can achieve a smooth texture. Spread this caramel overtop of your cookie base and place back in the freezer.
- For the chocolate, melt your coconut oil in a small saucepan or the microwave, then whisk in your cacao, maple, nut butter and salt. Pour this mixture over the caramel and once again return your pan to the freezer so the bars can set.
- Once set (this should take an hour or so), slice into small squares/triangles, and store your bars in the freezer for best taste + texture! Enjoy 🙂