To be honest, these chocolate caramel slice bars were kind of life changing.  Life changing as in, I can say these are the best raw bars I have ever made. Life changing as in, we ate the whole pan in three days, and only because I forced us to make them last that long. Life changing as in, obviously, now I had to share them. They are that decadent, rich, indulgent, chocolate pleasure that you would expect, but in a non-sinful, I’m-just-eating-nuts-and-dates-and-cacao kind of way. Arguably healthy even, I would say.  Maybe that makes it okay to eat the entire pan in three days.

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Raw Chocolate Caramel Bar [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

Serves

12

Ingredients

For the Base:

  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1 tablespoon coconut cream
  • 1/4 cup large gluten-free flaked oats
  • 6 small dates, or 3 Medjool dates

For the Caramel:

  • 1 1/4 cups dates
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3-4 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Chocolate:

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 3-4 tablespoons maple syrup
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Preparation

To Make the Base:

  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse until a dough forms. If it is too sticky, add some extra oats.
  2. Once ready, press base into a 9×9-inch square pan and place in the refrigerator to harden.

To Make the Caramel:

  1. Place all the caramel ingredients in a processor bowl and pulse until a smooth caramel forms. Scrape often, and add additional water if necessary to create a smooth, spreadable consistency.
  2. Once caramel is smooth and well-blended, spread evenly on top of almond base and return to the refrigerator.

To Make the Chocolate:

  1. In a saucepan, over medium heat, add coconut oil, cacao, and maple syrup, and whisk constantly until smooth and melted.
  2. Pour over caramel layer, smoothing gently to create an even coat, and return to the refrigerator.

To Assemble:

  1. Leave in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours until all layers have hardened and chocolate is smooth.
  2. Remove and slice into squares. Store leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
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