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Do you love a certain caramel-chocolate-shortbread candy bar?… but not love the gluten? (Or hydrogenated oils and refined sugar…)
In fact, before I discovered my gluten sensitivity, these candy bars were a favorite treat.
Who can deny the delicious combination of chocolate, caramel, and cookie crust? It’s mouth-watering!
Even though I like the brand-name bars, they don’t like me. 🙁
Thankfully, I discovered a way to satisfy my cravings without the gluten. It took a little trial and error, but I finally created a recipe that hits the spot.
One bonus: this turned out much like one of my favorite Australian desserts — Caramel Slice. I grew up in the land down under, so this provides me with a little taste of home. I consider this recipe a double win!
While I’d never claim these bars as a “health food,” they still contain healthful ingredients, such as Wildly Organic’s fermented cacao powder and coconut oil.
It’s always nice when desserts contain beneficial ingredients, don’t you think?
Grain-Free Caramel & Chocolate Cookie Bars
Before you start baking, there are a few things you should know about making these grain-free caramel and chocolate bars:
The caramel — made from Wildly Organic’s special Coconut Syrup — is so amazingly delicious you will want to eat it out of the pan. Don’t do it! You need it for the bar, ok? 😉 (Learn why coconut syrup is the new maple syrup!)
Set aside some time to be in the kitchen while the caramel cooks. Do some light cleaning, read a book, or wash the dishes. You’ll need to stay close to keep an eye on the caramel and stir it frequently.
If you’ve never made caramel before, you should know that it takes a long time. Almost an hour.
As you stand there stirring, it almost seems as though the ingredients will never thicken. But they will.
You’ll know it’s ready when the mixture has reduced by about half and thickens significantly.
The chocolate layer is fairly dark. If it’s too dark for your taste, increase the maple syrup slightly, but not too much or else the chocolate layer will be too soft.
You may also add a sprinkling of organic powdered sugar or Coco Monkey to make the chocolate layer sweeter, if desired.
Finally, notice that these bars are not completely covered in chocolate like the conventional brand’s bar.
To tell you the truth, I feel like that is too much trouble! There’s a note at the bottom of the recipe if you decide you need your grain-free caramel and chocolate bars coated!
What do you think of these bars?
Print RecipeGrain-Free Caramel & Chocolate Cookie Bars
Who can deny the delicious combination of chocolate, caramel, and cookie crust? It's mouth-watering! Here's a way to satisfy the cravings without the gluten, hydrogenated oils, and refined sugar!
Line an 8 x 8 pan with two sheets of parchment paper so all sides are covered and excess hangs over each side (so you can easily lift the bar out at the end).
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Begin by preparing the crust:
In a small bowl, whisk 1/3 cup of unsalted butter with 3 Tblspn maple syrup until well blended.
Add the coconut flour and salt, stir to combine.
Gently press crust mixture into the pan and place in the oven.
Bake for 16-20 minutes until base is lightly brown and firm.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
While crust is cooling, prepare the caramel:
In a medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat.
It's important to use a medium saucepan as there needs to be room for the mixture to bubble up (it will buddle over in a small pan).
Once melted, add the maple syrup and whisk until throughly combined. Bring to a gentle boil and stir constantly for 2-3 minutes.
Add the cream slowly and whisk to blend with the butter/maple syrup.
Note: mixture will bubble up a lot.
Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, then turn down to medium-low and allow to simmer until it begins to thick and reduce.
This can take up to an hour. At one point you may even wonder if it's going to work at all, but suddenly the magic happens and you will notice the change in consistency.
Stay close and stir frequenlty.
Once sauce has thickend and reduced, pour over the cooled crust. Place in fridge to cool and set. This can take up to an hour.
When the caramel has cooled, melt the coconut oil over a double boiler.
Add cacao powder and maple syrup to the melted coconut oil and whisk until smooth.
Pour chocolate over cooled caramel. Place back in the fridge until set (about 30 minutes).
Slice into bars as desired.
For chocolate-coated bars: Melt 6-ounces of bittersweet chocolate with 1 tablespoon of Wildly Organic Expeller Pressed Coconut Oil. Use tongs to dip bars into the chocolate to coat. Place on a tray lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate until set.
These bars are best stored in the fridge in a container with a tight-fitting lid.