Making homemade candy bars is so much easier than you think.
Healthy Vegan, Paleo Snickers Bites
MAKES 12-16 BITES
CASHEW NOUGAT LAYER
3/4 cup raw cashew butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1-2 Tbs. coconut flour
1 Tbs. maple syrup, optional
PEANUT CARAMEL LAYER
9 Medjool dates
2 Tbs. organic creamy peanut butter, unsalted
1/4 cup organic peanuts, unsalted, roughly chopped
1/4 tsp. sea salt
4-5 ounces dark chocolate (70%+), ideally sweetened with coconut sugar
1/2 tsp. coconut oil
Flakey sea salt, for topping
Line a 9x5” loaf pan with parchment paper.
Soak Medjool dates in hot water for 5 minutes. Drain well and reserve soaking liquid.
To make cashew nougat layer: Mix together cashew butter, vanilla extract, and maple syrup (if using). Stir in 1 tablespoon coconut flour, adding more as needed, until a soft, pliable dough forms.
Press cashew dough into a 1\2-inch thick layer in prepared loaf pan (dough will not fill entire pan) — make sure edges + top are smooth and even.
To make peanut caramel layer: blend soaked dates with 3-4 tablespoons soaking liquid, adding more liquid as needed one tablespoon at a time until smooth and caramel-like. (You can also use a food processor.) Mix in peanut butter, peanuts, and salt.
Spread caramel evenly over the top of the cashew nougat layer. It should be thick enough to stay put and not run off the sides. Freeze for at least one hour to firm up (or overnight).
Using a sharp knife, cut caramel/nougat into desired number of pieces (12-16) and place back into freezer while you melt the chocolate.
For the chocolate coating: Melt chocolate and coconut oil in a small bowl in the microwave at 30-second intervals. Stirring in between. You can also melt over a double boiler on the stove.
Remove cut bars from freezer and dip each one into the melted chocolate. I find it is easiest to use two forks for this — remove any excess chocolate by scraping the bottom of the fork against the side of the bowl once dipped.
Sprinkle dipped chocolates with flakey sea salt before it hardens.
Store in the fridge for one week or freezer for up to two months.
While peanuts are technically not paleo, I took the liberty to call these bars as such. Feel free to swap with almond butter and chopped almonds for a truly paleo treat.
Recipe developed by Erin Parekh.