I love Halloween candy. But this year was the first year that I didn’t have any Halloween candy. I mean none, nada, zilch! It was actually a good thing though. I’m not a big fan of jujubes and jelly beans, and most commercial chocolate tastes artificial to me. I would much rather reach for a good quality dark chocolate, so much yummier! And it’s in that spirit that I decided to make these homemade treats.
If you like Snickers, you will love these. They combine chewy almond butter nougat topped with creamy date caramel and peanuts, wrapped in delicious dark chocolate. Seriously, it,s pretty much everything that is wonderful in life in one perfect little bar. Oh yeah, and since they don’t contain any artificial yuckies, they are pretty much guilt-free too (just make sure to use the best quality dark chocolate). You’re welcome!
Vegan Caramel Nougat Chocolate Bars
Makes 12 bars
Almond Butter Nougat
1/2 cup creamy almond butter
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp coconut flour
12 medjool dates, pitted
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 cup peanuts
Dark Chocolate Coating
1 cup mini dark chocolate chips
1 tsp coconut oil
1. Start by creating the nougat layer. In a medium bowl, combine the almond butter, maple syrup and coconut flour. Mix well. Transfer the mixture to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and press down shaping into a rectangle that’s about 1/2-inch thick. Place in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
2. Next, prepare the caramel layer. Place the dates in a bowl and cover with warm water. Set aside while you get your other “caramel” ingredients together. In a food processor, combine the water, sea salt, vanilla extract and coconut oil. Add the dates and mix on high-speed until smooth and cream. Stop every once in a while to scrap down the sides. Remove the nougat layer from the freezer and top with half the caramel, spreading evenly. Top the caramel layer with peanuts and set in the freezer for another 45 minutes.
3. Over a double boiler, add the dark chocolate chips and coconut oil and stir constantly to ensure chocolate melts evenly and doesn’t burn. Once the chocolate has melted, take the nougat caramel layer out of the freezer and cut into 12 even pieces.
4. Using a fork, place each piece in the chocolate and roll over to cover evenly. Lift out of the chocolate and let the excess chocolate drip off before placing it back on the parchment paper. Once every piece is covered in chocolate, place back in the freezer for another 30 minutes until the chocolate has set.
Store these sweet treats in a airtight container in the freezer. trust me, they are so much better that way!
[All photos are my own and not to be used without permission]