Updated: Feb 2, 2021
Shortbread cookie, caramel, almonds, and chocolate! What could be a better combination? I'm on a journey to recreate allergen-free versions of all the foods I've missed out on growing up, and something I always wanted to try were candy bars! So a couple months ago, I set out to recreate the most gooey and delicious caramel chocolate bars I could dream of! It took many batches and many revisions, but I'm so happy with how these came out! They're heavenly and I couldn't be happier to share this recipe here with you all!
Yields: ~30 2" x 1" candy bars
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This recipe uses my Dairy Free Coconut Caramels recipe for one of it's layers with chopped almonds mixed into it. Alternatively, if you're low on time and your diet doesn't exclude dairy, you can buy regular soft caramels at the store, melt them down in a microwave or double-broiler, add in your chopped almonds, and go from there!
For the Shortbread Cookie:
1/4 cup almond flour, fine
1 tbsp corn starch
6 tbsps raw cane sugar
4 tbsps vegan butter, cold & cubed into 1" pieces (I use Earth Balance sticks)
a pinch salt
For the Caramel:
See Dairy Free Coconut Caramels recipe for needed ingredients.
15 ounces Enjoy Life chocolate chips/morsels (or 15 oz of your preferred Dairy-free chocolate)
3/4 cup chopped almonds
Flaked sea salt (optional)
A wire cooling rack
A candy/food thermometer
A double boiler or microwave
Canola/veg/coconut oil for greasing your tools
For the Shortbread Cookie:
1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Beat your cold, cubed butter and raw sugar together in a medium bowl until the butter is pea sized.
3. Add your Bob's GF flour, almond flour, and salt and beat into a smooth dough.
4. Roll out your dough into a 1/4 inch thick rectangle on a lightly floured work surface. 5. Using a ruler, cut the dough into 2"x 1" rectangles. As you cut them, carefully transfer them to your lined baking sheet, spacing them out with about 1/2 an inch in between. If at any point you find that the dough is becoming difficult to work with and your rectangles are having trouble keeping their shape, stick all the dough in the freezer for 3-5 minutes to firm it up, then continue as you were.
6. Once you have all your dough into rectangles, stick them in the freezer and preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. If your oven takes more than 10 minutes to preheat, transfer your cookie dough to the refrigerator for the remainder of the time.
7. Bake your cookies at 350 for 11-12 minutes then set them on a cooling rack. They'll be soft now but they'll crisp up as they cool. Your cookies shouldn't have spread or lost their shape in the oven, but if they did a tiny bit, now is a great time to trim their edges with a sharp knife while they're still soft to ensure they're all uniform for your candy bars.
For the Caramel:
1. Follow steps 1-6 on my Dairy Free Coconut Caramels recipe then come back here for more steps.
2. When your caramel is at 245-250 degrees Fahrenheit, add in your 1 tsp vanilla extract and your 3/4 cup chopped almonds and stir until combined.
3. Pour your caramel almond mixture into a greased 9"x 9" casserole dish to set for 1-2 hours (or until it is firm and cool enough to work with).
4. When your caramel is cooled, carefully remove it from the dish and place it on a cutting board. Grease a kitchen knife with oil and, using a ruler as a guide, cut your caramels into 2"x 1" rectangles (the same size as your cookies).
1. Place 1 almond caramel rectangle on each shortbread cookie until you've used either all your caramel or all your cookies. I always have a little extra caramel to enjoy later.
2. Melt your vegan chocolate in a double broiler or microwave and line a baking sheet with parchment paper then place a wire cooling rack on top of it.
3. Rest an un-coated candy bar on the prongs of a fork and lower it into the melted chocolate to coat just the bottom 1/2 cm or so of the bar. Place it onto the cooling rack with the cookie sheet below it and spoon some melted chocolate over the top and sides of the candy bar to fully coat it. Repeat this process until all of your candy bars are coated.
4. Once you've coated all your candy bars, sprinkle some flaked sea salt over them (this is optional) and let them cool for 1-2 hours until the chocolate is hardened. Then, dig in!
Feel free to comment below or reach me on Instagram @eats.by.eli if you have any questions, if you have made this recipe, and if so, what you thoughts were! Best wishes!