Whew! Yes that is a long name, but I had to get everything in there so you can understand just how awesome these things are. I was really shocked when I came up with this recipe. I had been experimenting with making caramel out of dates and after the caramel pieces that I had planned didn’t turn out as I had hoped, I thought about making a no-bake cookie bar.
These aren’t totally no bake, you do have to cook the cookie base, but that takes less than 15 minutes. The rest you just stir together, pour, and swirl! Which makes this perfect if you realize at the last second you said you would bring a dessert to that Christmas party you’re going to.
I have a few other Christmas-y recipes and posts coming your way next week before the big day, so be on the lookout for those. I plan to spend the majority of my weekend in the kitchen. The only time that I will be out and about is to go see the new Star Wars movie with my husband. I have been getting a countdown for about two weeks now, so I think the man is excited. To be honest, I am too. While I might not be as passionate about Star Wars as he is, I really do enjoy the movies.
So if you’re going to see the movie this weekend, enjoy! Then come home and make some hot chocolate and eat these salted caramel chocolate swirl cookie bars! If the empire, hot chocolate, and cookie bars don’t put you in the Christmas spirit… you may have already crossed over into the dark side.
Salted Caramel Chocolate Swirl Cookie Bars
Cookie Base- slightly adapted from this recipe by Plated with Style
- 3/4 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 cup solid coconut oil (if your oil is liquid-y, put it in the freezer for a few minutes)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350. In a blender or food processor, pulse all of the ingredients together until you have one dough ball.
- Grease an 8 x 8 pan with a little more coconut oil. Don’t skip this step or you will end up with crumbled mess.
- Take the dough ball and press it onto the bottom and a little up the sides of the pan. You can use a cup if you’re having a hard time rolling the dough out. Make sure you have a fairly even layer.
- Bake for about 9 minutes or until it is golden brown. Remove from oven and let it cool before you pour the rest of the layers in.
- 10 Medjool dates, pitted and soaked in hot water for at least 20 minutes (preferably overnight if you remember)
- 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
- 6 tbsp liquid coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp almond butter (could use cashew or peanut butter)
- 1/4 tsp salt (a touch more if your nut butter isn’t salted)
- While the cookie layer is baking, make the caramel and chocolate layers.
- Make sure that your dates have been either soaking overnight or in boiling hot water. You want to be able to remove the skins easily.
- Once your dates are done soaking, slip the skins off. Most of them will slide right off, a few might give you a little fight. As long as you get most of the skin off you should be just fine.
- Put the dates and the coconut oil into a blender and blend until you have a smooth and creamy paste. You may have to scrape down the sides a few times before everything comes together.
- In a bowl, combine the date paste and the rest of the ingredients. Mix until everything comes together.
- 4 oz dark chocolate (I used 100% chocolate)
- 2 tbsp liquid coconut oil
- 1-2 tbsp maple syrup (if you used 100% chocolate like I did)
- In a medium bowl, grate the dark chocolate so you have little shreds.
- Add the coconut oil and maple syrup and stir.
- In the microwave or a double boiler, melt the chocolate until it is all melted and smooth.
Putting It All Together
- Once the cookie layer has cooled, pour in the salted caramel and smooth evenly over everything.
- Pour in the chocolate swirl over the top. Using a chopstick, toothpick, or butter knife, swirl the chocolate throughout the caramel layer.
- Place the pan in the freezer for at least 30 minutes so the caramel and chocolate harden.
- To serve, Run a butter knife under hot water for a little bit and slice the bars, wiping the knife clean each time.
Ok, I know you’re panicking at this point because this does NOT look like a simple recipe. Trust me, this comes together a lot faster than it seems. I finished making this in about 30 to 40-ish minutes. And once you taste these bars, you’ll forget about this super long list.
Have a great weekend friends and may the force be with you!