Yup, I’m turning zoodles, or zucchini noodles if you prefer, into a dessert. It sounds really weird and I have doubted myself as I was doing it, but the end result is actually pretty tasty. Continue reading
While I don’t take a HUGE interest in football, kind of hard when your team is the Bears…. but I do enjoy watching games and I really like watching the big game. Ok, ok, I’m mostly watching for the commercials and the halftime performance, BUT I still like to watch.
I’m also in it for the food. Come on, does that one shock you? Chips and dip, pizza, wings, snacks of all shapes and size, the Superbowl isn’t just super because of the football players. The Superbowl comes right at a time when you have been working hard to make eating healthy a habit. It feels like it’s there to test your willpower and you’re a horrible human being if you slip up and eat a chicken wing…. or fifty.
You should never feel guilty for eating food, even if it isn’t the healthiest. You made a choice and that’s fine. Eat the food and move on. To help yourself feel a little better of eating a super bowl during the Superbowl (see what I did there?), try making real food snacks and appetizers for your party. Instead of buying your chips and dip, make your own. Create a build your own pizza bar and provide plenty of fresh vegetables for toppings. Or do a taco bar! Mmmmmm tacos….. There are plenty of ways that you can make your party food taste indulgent and healthy.
Which is why I made this treat for you guys! I love my salted caramel chocolate swirl bars from Christmas and I wanted to see if I could make something with my favorite combo: chocolate and peanut butter. I mean really, is there anything better than chocolate and peanut butter? No. The answer is no.
These are gluten, dairy, and egg free so they can cover a variety of diets, allergies, and intolerances. If you can’t or don’t do peanut butter just sub in your favorite nut or seed butter, crunchy almond butter works really well! You can also make these a few days in advance and that is one less thing you have to prepare.
So make these and be the hit of the party and enjoy the comm… I mean the game!
Chocolate PB Bars
Chocolate Cookie Crust
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 2 1/2 tbsp coconut sugar
- 6 tbsp solid coconut oil
- Preheat oven to 350. If your coconut oil isn’t solid, measure it out and then stick it in the freezer for a few minutes. Meanwhile, combine the rest of the ingredients in a blender and pulse until fully combined.
- Add in the coconut oil and pulse until the mixture is all crumbly. Lightly oil an 8 x 8 pan with some coconut oil and line with parchment paper with a little hanging over the sides. Press the cookie crust into the bottom of the pan and bake for 10 minutes. It will look like it isn’t set, but don’t freak out. It will all be ok!
- Once it’s done let it cool for a few minutes and then place it in the freezer to harden while you get the filling together.
Peanut Butter Filling
- 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax seed and 3 tbsp water mixed together)
- 1 tsp baking soda combined with 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 2 tbsp chunky peanut butter or almond butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut shreds
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips/chunks
- In a medium bowl, mix flax egg, baking soda mixture, peanut butter, vanilla, and coconut sugar together. Make sure it is really well combined.
- Stir in the coconut shreds and spread the filling on the cookie crust. Bake for about 8 minutes.
- Pull it out and sprinkle the chocolate chips on top and then bake for another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let it cool completely before you cut them into bars. The bars may seem a little gooey, but they will firm up as they cool. Keep them stored in the fridge or the freezer until you’re ready to eat them.
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!