Salted Peanut Butter Caramel Bars

3 Minute Read

Written by Abby

These Salted Peanut Butter Caramel Bars from @dadaeats new cookbook are made with good-for-you ingredients and sweetened naturally with medjool dates!
 
Our sweet friend and date lover Samah Dada @dadaeats on IG just released her first cookbook LOVE TO COOK IT full of yummy plant-based recipes (many sweetened with Joolies dates) that everyone will love! We're giving you a sneak peak at one of the many decadent date-sweetened desserts Samah has included exclusively in her cookbook.
 
Samah Dada AUTHOR PHOTO credit Julia Gartland  (1)almond butter stuffed-dates_JuliaGartland_773
 
These Salted Peanut Butter Caramel Bars are the dessert of your dreams😍Layered with a shortbread crust, silky peanut butter date caramel and a thick top layer of dark chocolate🍫This sweet treat is gluten-free, plant-based, and refined sugar-free. For the luscious caramel layer, all you need are a few simple ingredients: medjool dates, peanut butter, nut milk, and coconut oil! You can also check out a step-by-step tutorial from the date queen herself here.
 
Out of dark chocolate for this date recipe? No problem!  Just combine 1/4 cup melted coconut oil + 1/4 cup cocoa powder + 3 tbsp Joolies Date syrup + 1/2 cup vanilla extract and voila you've got yourself some date-sweetened chocolate!
 
joolies dates and dadaeats cookbook
  

Here are the main ingredients you need: 

    1. Joolies Dates
      • AKA nature's candy! The natural sweetness and super caramel-y characteristic of medjool dates creates a silky smooth caramel filling for the bars.
    2. Almond and Coconut Flour
      • Using both these flours keeps this sweet treat gluten-free and creates the desired consistency for the shortbread crust.
    3. Peanut Butter
      • What's a peanut butter bar without the pb?! We recommend using a PB that has no added oils or sugars in it. 
    4. Coconut Oil
      • Being such a versatile ingredient, coconut oil is essential here to creating the perfect texture and flavor.  
    5. Dark Chocolate Chips
      • We recommend using a dark chocolate without fillers like Enjoy Life, Hu Kitchen, or Eating Evolved.
    1.  
If you make Samah's decadent sweet treat, share with us on social! Be sure to tag @dadaeats and us, @jooliesdates on Instagram so we can see all your date-able recreations!

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Salted Peanut Butter Caramel Bars

Gluten-Free, Plant-Based, Refined sugar-free

  • prep time:  25 minutes
  • bake/chill time: 2 hours
  • total time: 2.5 hours
Servings: 16
 
INGREDIENTS:
Shortbread Crust: 
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil, softened
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ⅔ cup almond flour
  • ⅔ cup coconut flour

Peanut Butter Caramel Filling:

  • 6 large Joolies dates, pitted
  • ¼ cup + 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp coconut sugar
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ cup + 2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
  • ¼ cup + 1 tbsp creamy peanut butter

Chocolate layer:

  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling

 

DIRECTIONS:
 
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and prepare an 8-inch square cake pan by lining it with parchment paper. Ensure that some of the parchment paper hangs over the sides of the pan so you can use the flaps to lift up the bars when you’re ready to enjoy them.

Make the Shortbread Crust:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the coconut oil and honey, and mix until smooth.
  2. Add the almond flour and coconut flour. Fold together until everything is fully incorporated and you have a nice malleable dough.
  3. Press the shortbread dough into the parchment lined cake pan and pack it in tightly, flattening it with your hands until the crust is evenly distributed throughout.
  4. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the edges are nice and golden brown. Let it cool completely in the pan.

Make the Peanut Butter Caramel Filling:

  1. In a high-speed blender or food processor, combine the dates, coconut oil, coconut sugar, salt, almond milk, and peanut butter. Blend until completely smooth. Try not to eat the entire thing.
  2. Once the shortbread crust has completely cooled, pour the Peanut Butter Caramel Filling over it and smooth it with the back of a spoon until it reaches the edges and is evenly distributed throughout the pan.
  3. Place the pan in the freezer and chill for 30 minutes for the caramel to firm up. While it’s in there, you can prepare the chocolate layer.

Make the chocolate layer:

  1. Melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil together, either in a double boiler or in a microwave oven in 10-second increments, stirring after each increment, until the mixture is melted and glossy.
  2. Remove the pan from the freezer and pour the chocolate on top until it completely coats the caramel.
  3. Sprinkle with some sea salt and place the pan in the freezer once again. Freeze for 1 hour, until the chocolate has completely hardened.
  4. Remove the bars from the pan by lifting the parchment paper flaps. Cut into bars and serve!

Store any extra in the freezer for up to a week (but if you are one to make them last that long, I’d like to understand you).

 

Recipe from DADA EATS LOVE TO COOK IT. Copyright © 2021 by Samah Dada.

Photography copyright © 2021 by Julia Gartland.

Published by Rodale Books, and imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.