you can never eat too much

Healthy Caramel Chocolate Bars

Every day is a cheat day if you try hard enough.

I do try and follow the 80-20 rule when it comes to eating right (which is to eat healthy foods 80% of the time and indulge 20% of the time), and when that cheat time comes around I’m always trying to decide how I’m going to treat myself. One thing I’ve been doing lately is making healthier alternatives to a few of my favorite treats. When I was a kid Twix was my favorite chocolate bar, and since I’ve been craving those lately I decided to make them at home.

Enter: healthier caramel chocolate bars, which are a pretty close Twix copycat if you close your eyes and take a bite. The “cookie” here is made from Rice Krispie Treats, honey, and almond butter, which makes it perfectly crunchy and a little sweet.

The “caramel” comes from a mixture of dates, almond butter, almond milk, and cinnamon. It’s really tasty, and although it’s not an exact caramel replacement, in this case, it comes pretty darn close.

The chocolate coating I couldn’t cheat too much – it’s made from melted milk chocolate. There are sugar-free, vegan, etc. chocolate options out there but I wanted actual chocolate, man. If you’re looking for a healthier substitute comment below and I can give a few recommendations.

One thing I’ve found with these treats is that they have to be kept in the freezer or refrigerator in order to keep their shape. So they may not be the best thing to bring to a summer picnic, but they do make a great midnight snack to sneak from the fridge every now and then. At least that’s what happens in my home 😉

Hope you get to try this healthier chocolate bar treat, let me know if you make this recipe! Would love to know what you think.

Healthy Caramel Chocolate Bars Recipe

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Ingredients

Cookie Crust

  • 1 1/4 cups crispy rice cereal
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • pinch of fine grain sea salt

Caramel

  • 200 grams pitted soft Medjool dates (about 1 & 1/4 cup pitted dates)
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon almond milk, or more if needed
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of fine grain sea salt

Chocolate Coating

  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Line an 8-inch pan with parchment paper. In a small pot, add the brown rice syrup, peanut butter, and vanilla. Increase heat to medium and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently until combined. Add pinch of salt. Pour into a large bowl with rice crisp and stir well.
  2. Scoop the rice crisp mixture into pan. Wet hands slightly and then spread the mixture evenly and press down firmly until smooth. Place in freezer while you make the date caramel.
  3. Soak dates in water until soft (only if necessary) and drain. Place pitted dates, peanut butter, milk, and salt in the food processor and process until almost smooth and a big ball forms.
  4. Spread caramel layer over top of the crust until it’s as smooth and even as you can get it. Place back in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to set.
  5. Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30-second intervals. When 2/3 of the chips are melted, remove from heat and stir until smooth. Spread chocolate on top of the caramel and place in the freezer for about 3 minutes only.
  6. Remove from freezer (chocolate should be slightly firm, but not completely set) and slice into rows and then in half. Freeze again until set for about 10 minutes. Store in fridge or freezer.



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