Today I’m super pumped to have a guest post from cookbook author, Josh, of Slim Palate, who many of you are familiar with, and for those of you who are not, make sure you head over to his awesome blog for good eats.
But of course not before you take in this grain-free, gluten free Dark Chocoalte-Caramel Cookie Bar—think of this as the healthy version of a Twix Bar. Sure I do a fair share of indulgent treats around, but indulgent treats that are Paleo and/or gluten-free friendly is always something I love working into my rotation of baked goods.
With that, let’s do this . . .
So I’ve always been a huge fan of Naomi’s blog so this is a great honor to be able to guest post here. I knew that I had to create something sweet to match the style of this blog so I whipped something up that I think everyone can thoroughly enjoy. I’ll give you a hint: it’s Twix inspired
So maybe I gave it away with that one but I don’t think anyone can complain. It’s a lot easier to make than you think, and it’s entirely gluten free, grain free, and refined sugar free. Despite lacking all of these things it still happens to have the familiar crumbly shortbread base, the sweet and salty caramel, and rich chocolate in every bite.
This is all possible with the power of science, and by science I mean simply subbing honey and coconut sugar in place of the regular sugar and corn syrup. You can always use sugar and corn syrup if you’d rather but I think that might take away some of the magic behind this recipe. The idea that healthier foods/ingredients don’t taste good is a fallacy and I’m here to eliminate that thought.
Then again, it’s still a treat that still has lots of sugar in it. Which is probably why it tastes amazing. Oh it also has like a ton of butter in it so, yeah. I have no regrets.
Sugar fiends and health nuts unite, enjoy the crumbly, buttery, ooey gooey candy that are my Dark Chocolate-Caramel Cookie Bars. You won’t regret it.
Dark Chocolate-Caramel Cookie Bars
Yield: Serves 6
- 2 cups almond flour
- 1 cup tapioca flour
- 1 cup softened butter plus extra for greasing
- 2/3 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 cup honey
- 3 tablespoon butter or ghee
- 3/4 cup heavy cream or coconut milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 10 1/2 ounces dark chocolate, roughly chopped (anywhere around 70%)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9x13 baking pan with parchment in both directions, leaving some overhang. Grease the parchment with butter.
In a media medium sized bowl whisk together the almond flour, tapioca flour and salt. In a stand mixer begin making the shortbread crust by adding the softened butter, and coconut sugar and creaming it on medium high until you get a frosting like consistency. While beating slowly add the almond flour and tapioca flour and continue to beat on medium high until it forms a dough. Press the dough evenly into the prepared baking pan.
Place the shortbread into the oven for about 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
In a medium sized heavy bottomed pot fitted with a candy thermometer add the coconut sugar, honey, 2 tablespoons of the butter or ghee, heavy cream or coconut milk, vanilla, and salt. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to about medium low-medium to hold a nice boil without boiling over. Bring it to about 265 degrees and immediately take it off the heat.
Pour the caramel over the cooked and cooled shortbread crust and quickly spread it around to cover the whole top. Allow to sit for 30 minutes or until the caramel is no longer liquid or warm to the touch.
Place the chocolate in a medium sized microwaveable bowl and microwave on high at 30-second intervals, stirring in between intervals, until completely melted. Alternatively you can melt it in a double boiler, stirring often, until completely melted.
Pour the melted chocolate over the caramel part and spread it around with a frosting knife or spatula.
Allow to cool for 30 minutes to an hour, until the chocolate is completely solid. Remove the candy from the baking tray and slice into bars with a sharp knife. Store in an airtight container or serve immediately. These will last you about 1 1/2- 2 weeks.
Tips: When using your candy thermometer, make sure that it is only in the liquid and not touching the bottom of your pot.