Twix bars

I have a confession to make. Until recently, I didn’t get the whole date caramel obsession.

Every recipe called for Medjool dates, and so Medjool dates I bought.

I’d tried at least half a dozen recipes with no success, despite following them to a T.

It just never really tasted like caramel to me, and honestly, it didn’t really taste that good at all for something that was relatively quite expensive to make.

I chalked it up to people giving date caramel more credit than it was worth, or maybe I had been making it wrong or was missing something. Regardless, I shelved the idea and focused on other sweet treats.

Fast forward to just the other week. While perusing the aisles of Aldi, I saw a bag of pitted dates for $1.50 a pop – a far cry from the $12 per punnet I had paid elsewhere.

With the remnants of a jar of almond butter, a few generous spoons of coconut yogurt and a little salt, I processed the dates until they formed and thick, golden paste.

I had no expectations for the taste, as I had only been let down before, but thankfully that wasn’t the case this time!

It was smooth and creamy, sticky and sweet in just the way caramel should be, with a delicious salty bite at the end.

Who would have thought the issue was the dates, and that actually, I’d end up favouring the cheaper variety?

Truly, I was entirely blown away and I now have so many plans for this perfect date caramel – starting with these no bake, vegan and all-natural Twix bars.

While these absolutely did not turn out as cute as I had imagined, I decided to call them ‘rustic’ and move on, because MAN do they taste good!

The crumbly biscuit base, sticky caramel filling and crunchy chocolate shell truly do make the perfect after dinner treat.

INGREDIENTS

BASE:

1/2 cup almond meal

1/2 cup pecan

1/2 cup cashew

1/2 cup desiccated coconut

2 tbs coconut oil

1 tbs almond butter

Pinch of salt

FILLING:

2.5 cups regular pitted dates

2 tbs almond butter

2 tbs coconut yogurt

Pinch of salt

TOPPING:

1 cup dark chocolate, melted

Optional – Add 1/2 tsp coconut oil to the chocolate to help smooth it out

METHOD

In a food processor, combine all the dry base ingredients until they form a coarse flour. Add the oil and almond butter, and process until well combined. Press firmly into a lined tray to make the base around 1 cm thick.

Process all of the filling ingredients until they form a thick, golden paste. Smooth over the base and freeze for 30 minutes to set. It won’t go solid – just firmer.

Cut into fingers and place on some baking paper. Spoon over the melted chocolate, sprinkle with salt and allow to set.

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