Oatmeal-coconut cookie base, salted peanut butter caramel, and almost-raw chocolate topping make the perfect plant-based treat.
Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook Time:15 minutes
Total Time:60 minutes
Yield:16 bars 1x
1½ cups rolled oats
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup walnut halves
1/4 cup virgin coconut oil
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Salted Peanut Butter Caramel
1½ cups pitted Medjool dates (measured after pitting)
1/4 cup smooth organic peanut butter
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp fine sea salt (if using unsalted peanut butter, add 1/8 tsp more sea salt)
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
3–4 tbsp water, as needed to thin
Almost-Raw Chocolate Topping
1/3 cup cacao butter (I use Organic Traditions brand)
3 tbsp raw cacao or cocoa powder
3 tbsp pure maple syrup
1½ tbsp non-dairy milk
Line a 9×9-inch square glass baking dish with parchment paper, leaving some overhang to allow you to easily lift out the bar, and set aside. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place the pitted dates in a bowl and cover with hot water for 15 minutes.
Make the crust: Place the rolled oats in a food processor fitted with the S blade and pulse until a coarse flour forms. Add the coconut and walnuts and pulse until they are both ground. Then add the coconut oil, maple syrup, salt, and vanilla and process until a dough begins to form.
Transfer the dough to the lined baking dish and press it in with your fingers, ensuring that the dough is evenly distributed within the pan. You may need to wet your fingers to prevent sticking. Pierce it all over with a fork and bake for 12-15 minutes, until lightly browned and fragrant. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Make the caramel: Drain the soaking water off of the dates. Place the dates in a food processor fitted with the S blade, along with the peanut butter, vanilla, salt, and lemon juice. Process until very smooth and creamy (see photo for reference).
Once the crust has cooled completely, scoop the date caramel on top and smooth with the back of a spoon or a spatula.
Make the almost-raw chocolate topping: In a small double boiler or a small heatproof bowl that can be place over a pot of water, warm the cacao butter over medium heat. Once melted, remove from the heat and whisk in the cacao powder, maple syrup, and milk. Pour over top of the caramel layer.
Leave the square in the baking dish and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, or until the chocolate topping has set.
To slice, lift the bar out of the pan using the parchment paper as handles and cut into 12-16 squares.