Homemade Caramel Candy Bars

I can't tell you how many Twix bars I ate growing up (and in college!) but I can tell you the number would probably embarrass me. The candy bars that line the shelves of the impulse aisle are laden with refined sugar, dairy and unrecognizable ingredients so I decided to make my own! I shared these with my family and they devoured them! They taste just like the real thing- only better. 

These candy bars are so absurdly delicious- I could have eaten the entire pan in one day! The caramel sauce is so chewy and sweet but slightly salty- my goodness it is OUT OF THIS WORLD SO GOOD. I'm glad I have a bit of self control, ha!

I can't even believe that these perfect wonders are vegan and plant-based and just basically whole-food champs! Ah, the happiness that comes with candy. I can't help myself. I'm giddy over the thought of you guys digging your chompers into these bars.

 You're going to love them! 

Homemade Caramel Candy Bars

For the dark chocolate layer you need:

  • 1/3 cup chopped raw cacao butter
  • 4 TBSP raw cacao powder 
  • 3 TBSP pure maple syrup

For the *caramel filling you need:

  • 1/2 cup creamy almond butter
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt

For the crust you need:

  • 2/3 cup coconut flour
  • 3 TBSP pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted 

Get cooking:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a square baking pan with parchment paper. (I used an 8x8 and would not recommend going any larger as your bars will become too thin)
  3. In a medium bowl, combine all crust ingredients until you have a shortbread dough.
  4. Turn the dough out into the baking pan and press firmly so that your crust is the same thickness throughout. 
  5. Bake the dough for 9-11 minutes. Remove and let cool completely. 
  6. To make the caramel filling, add all ingredients for the caramel to a small sauce pan. Heat over medium and whisk until everything is melted together. Remove from heat and let it cool for 10 minutes. 
  7. Pour the caramel sauce evenly over the cooled crust. Place in fridge to harden for at least an hour.
  8. To make the chocolate use a double boiler or substitute a glass bowl fitted snuggly over a small sauce pot. Add an inch or so of water to the bottom sauce pot and place over medium heat. Add chopped cacao to the top bowl/pot. Whisking continuously, melt the cacao butter. Remove from heat as soon as the butter is melted. 
  9. Add the cacao powder and maple to the melted cacao butter and whisk until combined. If you prefer sweeter chocolate, now is the time to add more maple!
  10. Let the chocolate cool slightly. Pour chocolate over the hardened caramel layer and spread evenly. 
  11. Place the pan back in the fridge for at least an hour for the bars to set completely. 
  12. Patience is a virtue.
  13. To cut the candy bars- remove the candy from the pan by pulling on the parchment paper. 
  14. Run very hot water over a very sharp knife and quickly slice your bars into thin strips about 1 inch wide. Keep wiping the blade so as not to smear crust over the other candy bars as you cut. 

Store these candy bars in the fridge up to 1 week or place in freezer for 6 months. Enjoy, chocoholics!   

*Caramel recipe adapted from Blissful Basil's 5-Minute Caramel Sauce.

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Dairy Free Chocolate Pudding

If you didn’t love licking the top of a chocolate pudding cup as a kid then I’m not sure we can be friends. Just kidding, I’d never shun you. Even if you didn’t engage in such activities- I guarantee you’re going to take down this healthy version of chocolatey dreamy pudding with fervor! 

Cashew Chocolate Pudding

This No FOMO version requires an overnight soak of the incredibly magic nut- cashews! No tofu, no avocado just cashews, coconut milk, hemp and raw cacao whipped up with a few more ingredients give this pudding a beautiful rich depth of flavor. 

The recipe makes enough for two large servings but because the pudding is so rich- I actually enjoyed it in small doses throughout the week as a quick after-dinner treat. Of course, let's not forget how amazing this is to pull together without dairy, gluten or refined-sugar! YUM!

Cashew Chocolate Pudding 2

Dairy Free Chocolate Pudding

You need:

  • 3/4 cup soaked cashews 
  • 1 cup canned full fat coconut milk 
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds 
  • Dash of sea salt
  • 1 TBSP cacao powder
  • 1 date (or 2 if you've got a mad sweet tooth)
  • 1 TSP vanilla
  • 1/2 ripe medium banana

Get cooking:

  1. Place cashews in a bowl covered with water, let soak for 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Rinse and drain cashews. Add to blender with remaining ingredients.
  3. Let chill overnight to thicken up!

Gluten-Free Summer Berry Cobbler

The ultimate nutritious all-American dessert for the ultimate all-American weekend celebrating the 4th of July! This cobbler is gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free!!! YES!

My family is heading to Knoxville for the long weekend and we're planning a few days chocked full of lake time, sunshine and games. But first, cobbler! This recipe requires only one bowl and is super easy to make. We all need a great fresh berry cobbler recipe in our arsenal and this one is mine. I'm sharing it with all you beautiful people and I hope you make it your friends and family this weekend. It truly is the ultimate delicious treat with no guilt. 

I didn't add too much extra sweetener to these berries because they were just so delicious on their own. If you have a crazy sweet tooth- feel free to add a tablespoon or two more to the berries. 

Gluten-Free Summer Berry Cobbler

For the berries:

  • 7-8 cups mixed fresh berries (I used 4 cups diced strawberries, 4 cups mix of cherries, blueberries and raspberries)
  • 3 TBSP coconut sugar 
  • 2 TBSP arrowroot powder
  • 1 TBSP fresh lemon juice

For the topping:

  • 1 cup gluten-free traditional oats
  • 1 cup chopped raw pecans
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 2 TBSP unsweetened shredded coconut 
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 4 TBSP coconut oil (melted)
  • 2 TBSP maple syrup (more to taste)

Get cooking

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Grease a 13x9 baking dish (I used coconut oil)
  • Dice berries to uniform bite sizes pieces
  • Add all berries, coconut sugar, arrowroot powder and lemon juice to a large bowl. Stir to combine.
  • Add to the greased dish. 
  • Wipe out the bowl.
  • Add oats, pecans, flour, coconut, cinnamon and salt to the bowl. Stir. Add vanilla, coconut oil and maple. Stir again. Taste and add more maple if desired. 
  • Top berries with the oat mixture and spread evenly. 
  • Place in the oven and bake uncovered for 35-45 minutes. If your oats don’t crisp up- turn on broiler to high and brown for 1 minute (checking constantly to not let topping burn). 
  • Serve with cashew ice cream or coconut whipped topping. 

Cover and store in the fridge if not eating right away. Will keep for about four days. Reheat in oven at 350 degrees.