Healthier Twix Bars (Vegan)

Healthier Twix Bars

A crunchy, shortbread base, followed by a luscious layer of caramel, then finally topped with smooth, sweet chocolate. I have always adored Twix bars, but found that the chocolate to biscuit ratio was never quite right, and that the caramel layer always left me wanting more.

This recipe is my healthier interpretation of the classic confectionary treat. Swapping a refined shortbread base for a light oat shortbread and a sugar-laden caramel for a rich date caramel, these bars are far more satisfying and indulgent than your standard Twix. The combination of milk and dark chocolate gives them that extra layer of decadence, and the ratios are just right.

These are entirely vegan, however can easily be made refined sugar free depending on what chocolate you use. If you aren’t vegan or dairy free, regular chocolate can be used in place of vegan chocolate. It is also quite a large batch recipe, but because these are stored in the freezer, you can keep them for 3-4 months and enjoy them whenever you want. The recipe requires overnight chilling, but it is totally worth the wait.

I find these are even better chopped up small into little ‘Twix bites’, or if you’re feeling extra naughty, then mixed into vanilla or peanut butter ice cream.

Healthier Twix Bars

Swapping a refined shortbread base for a light oat shortbread and a sugar-laden caramel for a rich date caramel, these bars are far more satisfying and indulgent than your standard Twix.
Servings 14 bars

Ingredients
  

  • 110 g oats
  • 160 g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 145 g coconut oil or butter + 1 tablespoon extra
  • 200 g medjool dates pitted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbs almond butter
  • 80-130 ml milk or plant based milk of choice
  • 100 g milk or vegan milk chocolate roughly chopped
  • 100 g 70% chocolate roughly chopped
  • flaky sea salt

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Prepare a 23x23cm square baking tin with greaseproof paper. Boil the kettle and cover the dates in boiling water in a heat proof bowl. Set the timer for 10 minutes, then drain. 
  • Whilst the dates are soaking, make your shortbread crust. In a food processor, blitz the oats until a fine flour is formed. Melt the 145g of coconut oil/butter in a pan and take off the heat once melted.
  • In a bowl, combine the blitzed oats, flour, coconut oil/butter, salt and maple syrup. Mix with your hands or a spoon until well combined. You will then need to press the mixture into the base of your baking tin. Press firmly to form an even layer all over. Prick the surface all over gently using a fork. This will be your shortbread base. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly golden.
  • Meanwhile, make your date caramel. In a food processor, combine the soaked dates, almond butter and vanilla extract. Initially add 80ml of almond milk. Combine on high speed until a smooth paste is formed. You want to minimise any lumps. If the mixture is too dry, add a tiny bit more almond milk at a time. Add up to 130ml.
  • Once the base is cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool completely on a wire rack. Once COMPLETELY cooled, slather the date caramel to form a smooth, even layer. Transfer to the freezer overnight, or until the date caramel layer has frozen absolutely solid. I found this takes a minimum of 8 hours.
  • Once frozen solid, the bars are ready to be dipped. Remove from the freezer and take out of the baking tray. Using a very sharp knife and a firm hand, slice evenly into bars. Don't worry if some of them crumble at the edges, you won't notice once dipped. Set aside.
  • In a bain-marie (heatproof bowl over a pot of boiling water) or in short microwave bursts, melt both types of chocolate until liquid, stirring between microwave bursts or intermittently if in a bain-marie. Once melted, stir together so combined. Add your tablespoon of coconut oil and stir. Keep on a low heat so it stays melted. Prepare a large sheet of greaseproof paper next to your bowl of melted chocolate. This will be for your bars once dipped. 
  • This step requires organisation and a quick hand. Using two forks, gently lift each bar and roll in the melted chocolate so they are coated in one layer. Transfer quickly to the greaseproof sheet. Repeat this process until all the bars are evenly coated.
  • Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and transfer until the chocolate has solidified. Once the shell has solidified they are ready to eat!

Notes

Store in the freezer. Allow to come to room temperature before eating for maximum deliciousness!

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