With a flaky shortbread base, a gooey caramel center, and a rich chocolate topping, these chocolate caramel shortbread bars are a decadent treat that all your friends and family will love! The shortbread is made from spelt, making it perfect for those with wheat allergies, and the caramel layer is made from just dates, coconut oil, and a pinch of salt. Bring these bars along to scout meetings, or snack on them throughout the week anytime you're craving something sweet.
Chocolate Caramel Shortbread Bars [Vegan]
For the Shortbread Layer:
- 1 cup spelt flour
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
For the Caramel Layer:
- 2 cups pitted dates, soaked for 15 minutes
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- A pinch of sea salt
For the Chocolate Layer:
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder or cacao powder
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- Place your dates in a bowl and cover with hot water, allowing them to soak for 15 minutes while you prepare the shortbread base.
To Make the Shortbread:
- Prepare the shortbread base by mixing together the spelt flour, melted coconut oil, and maple syrup in a bowl until smooth. Pour the batter into a prepared pan, using a spatula to smooth it out, and then place the baking pan in the refrigerator.
To Make the Caramel:
- Next, prepare the caramel layer by thoroughly draining your soaked dates and placing them in a food processor or high-speed blender with the coconut oil and a pinch of sea salt. Process until smooth.
- Take the baking pan out of the refrigerator and pour the caramel over the top, smoothing it out with a spatula until the entire shortbread base is covered. Now place the pan in your freezer while you prepare the chocolate topping.
To Make the Chocolate:
- For the chocolate topping, melt 1/4 cup of coconut oil in a small saucepan. Once melted, turn off the heat, and stir in the cocoa powder and maple syrup until a smooth, chocolate sauce forms.
- Remove the baking pan from the freezer and evenly spread the chocolate mixture over the caramel layer.
- Place the bars back in the freezer for around 3 hours, until the chocolate layer sets and the caramel layer becomes more solid.
- After a few hours, you can carefully lift the entire dessert out of your pan using the parchment paper and carefully cut the large square into 16 smaller squares.
- Store the bars in the freezer in an airtight container and serve them straight from the freezer.
- They won't be frozen solid, but the cold keeps the caramel from becoming too soft.