Halloween is less than a week away and as a grown adult, you know what that means…not eating all the candy, being mindful, not consuming all refined sugars, BUT still enjoying some sweet treat. Right? Right! I promise I have you covered this Halloween with this surprisingly simple recipe that tastes amazing, is gluten free, vegan friendly, and so good even the kiddos will enjoy it. Introducing one of my favorite baked goods I’ve ever made…ever. Candy Caramel Cookie Bars aka Healthy Twix Bars.
This recipe was inspired by good ole’ Twix, one of my favorite candy bars when I was growing up. Yes you guys, I grew up in the Midwest and was just like so many of you eating junk foods, too. But now that we’re living the NS lifestyle, it’s time to make a healthy twist on this concept of a crumbly sweet cookie, caramel, and chocolate. THIS recipe will literally be your favorite thing to enjoy when you’re craving something sweet.
The base of this recipe was inspired by my Sesame Shortbread Cookies that were cut from the initial round of the Nutrition Stripped Cookbook. The good news for you is you get to try out this recipe regardless (in a better way, IMO) – smothered in Raw Caramel then covered with a thin layer of chocolate that hardens after you pop them in the fridge. The result is a “buttery” shortbread cookie base, creamy sweet caramel, and a nice balance of a rich chocolate coating and a pinch of sea salt.
Use this recipe for the caramel filling which you can find here: Raw Caramel
- Raw Caramel
- For the cookie:
- ½ cup pecans
- ½ cup buckwheat or oat flour
- ¼ cup quinoa or brown rice flour
- ¼ cup all-purpose gluten-free flour
- 1 tablespoon coconut flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup coconut oil, melted
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
- For the chocolate:
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- ½ cup melted coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup (add more to sweeten to taste)
- Blend the Raw Caramel and set aside.
- For the cookies:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, grind pecans into a fine flour. Add remaining flours to processor and pulse to combine. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add baking powder and sea salt.
- In a blender, add melted coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and coconut sugar. Blend until smooth and frothy, about 2 minutes. Pour this mixture into dry ingredient bowl and stir until dough forms. Chill dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Place the chilled dough on parchment paper lightly dusted with flour and top with another piece of parchment paper. Gently flatten with a rolling pin until dough is equally ½ inch thick.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the cookie dough into small cookie bars about 3 inches per side. Place on a lined baking sheet with parchment paper. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and cool for at least 10 minutes before assembling.
- For the chocolate sauce:
- Mix the cocoa powder, melted coconut oil, and maple syrup until smooth.
- Once the cookies have cooled, place them on parchment paper and spread the Raw Caramel on top of each cookie. Then with a spoon, drizzle the cookie bars with chocolate to cover and sprinkle with sea salt. Place them in the fridge or freezer to harden. Can be kept in a glass airtight container for up to a week.
Ingredients I used to make this recipe: buckwheat flour, gluten-free flour, coconut oil, cocoa powder, coarse sea salt, and good ole’ parchment paper.
Trick or treat?
What do you think about this recipe? If you make it at home, be sure to tell me what you think in the comments or by leaving a rating and share with #nutritionstripped so I can see! What other healthier takes on traditional favorites would you like to see? Let me know so I can whip ’em up for you!
p.s The last day to sign up for Fall 2016 nutrition coaching as a new client is THIS Friday, 10/28! Learn more about my coaching services and find the plan for you here.
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