Finally, Christmas desserts I can feel good about eating. Review of Christmas Dessert Freedom Cookbook.
This week I discovered the Cocoa Caramel Bars.....can you say yummy, chocolaty, caramel goodness...caramel and chocolate are just made for each other! The allure here is this caramel contains no refined sugars or dairy! The picture in the cookbook kept calling out to me, the recipe was easy to prepare (it does require a 12 hour chill time, though) but the result was so worth it. The result, these ooey, gooey, little bars of decadent awesomeness that would stand up to any traditional bar. I loved these so much I had to ask Leanne if I could share the recipe with you and she graciously agreed, so read on!! These oh so delicious bars will definitely make a wonderful dessert to take to friend's house, office party, cookie exchange or an impressive addition to any holiday table! Best part people will have no idea they are indulging with a healthier treat! Hope you love them as much as I do!
Chocolate, caramel...you can't go wrong!
Cocoa Caramel Bars
Makes: 16 Squares Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 12 hours (chill)
Recipe Artist: Leanne Vogel Cookbook: Christmas Dessert Freedom E-Book
(Remember to use organic ingredients when possible)
1/4 cup extra-virgin coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup coconut nectar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup hulled hemp seeds
For the Caramel Layer:
1 cup tahini or sunflower seed butter
1/2 cup coconut nectar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
For the Top:
1 ounce semi-sweet dairy-free chocolate
2. For the bottom layer: Add melted coconut oil to a large bowl. Slowly drop in cacao powder, whisking as you go. When all is added and clumps are gone add coconut nectar and vanilla. Whisk until incorporated. Add shredded coconut and hemp seeds. Mix with a spoon or your hands, until everything is covered in chocolate. Press mixture evenly into prepared pan and transfer to the freezer to cool.
3. Next, prepare the caramel layer: Add the tahini, coconut nectar and vanilla to a saucepan and heat on low heat for 1-2 minutes, just until incorporated. You DO NOT want the mix to boil, just get it hot and continue to stir until the mixture begins to hold together slightly. Remove the pan from the freezer, top the base with caramel and even out with a spoon. Place back in the freezer.
4. To prepare the top layer: Add water to a large saucepan, cover and bring to a boil. Add chocolate to a heatproof bowl and set the bowl over top of the saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low. Keep the bowl over top of the saucepan until all chocolate is melted, about 5 minutes. Once melted, take out the bars from the freezer and drizzle the melted chocolate over top.
5. Cover pan and freeze for at least 12 hours
Can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days or freezer for up to 1 month.
The PDF digital/e-book cookbook is immediately accessible after purchase. I am a little traditional and love flipping through a cookbook, reading the recipes and looking at the pictures, for an added treat or to give the cookbook as a gift, once purchased simply print out in colour on a heavier weight paper ( I used 32lb, bright white 98) and take into your local office supply store like Staples and have them bound the book!