Ocala Cooks – November ’20

Introducing Ocala Cooks, our place to showcase our readers’ recipes. Want your recipe featured in Ocala Style? There are four ways to submit. Send your recipe through the form at ocalastyle.com/ocalacooks, email your recipe to ocalacooks@magnoliamediaco.com, put your recipe in our Ocala Cooks Facebook group, or post your recipe on social media using #ocalacooks

Salted Caramel Chocolate Bars

This recipe is from Avant-Garde Vegan by Gaz Oakley (avantgardevegan.com) and they call it “a sweet treat that is surprisingly healthy!” We can attest that this gluten-free, refined and raw sugar-free dessert with a nutty cookie base has the most amazing flavor. These are the perfect make ahead treats to have on hand for last minute guests.

Serves 16

Almond Cookie Layer
2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup macadamia nuts
1/2 cup pecans, plus additional for topping
3 tablespoons agave nectar
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon peanut butter
Pinch Himalayan salt

Salted Caramel Date Layer
2 cups Medjool dates, pitted
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 cup almond milk
1/2 cup filtered water
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt

“Chocolate” Coating
8 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
10 tablespoons organic raw cacao powder
3 tablespoons agave nectar or 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Line an 8-inch square removable bottom cake pan with parchment paper. › For almond cookie base: Blend pecans and macadamia nuts in blender until the texture is fine and crumbly. › Pour into a mixing bowl. › Add almond flour, peanut butter, coconut oil, agave nectar and salt. › Mix well by hand or in blender until combined. › Pour into cake pan. › Using a spatula, press cookie layer down well, including edges, until it is even and compacted. › Place pan in freezer while you prepare the caramel layer. › For caramel layer: In blender, blend dates and almond milk. › Add coconut oil, water and salt. › Blend on high for about one minute. › Spread caramel evenly over cookie base. › Place pan in freezer for at least 3 hours. › Remove from freezer and remove bottom from pan. › Dip a chef’s knife in hot water. › Cut into eight slices, then cut across once to make 16 bars, dipping knife into hot water between each slice. › Place bars on a tray lined with parchment paper. › Place 3 pecans on top of each bar. › Place tray in freezer for 30 minutes while preparing chocolate. › To make chocolate, melt coconut oil. › Add cacao powder. › Stir until there are no lumps. › Add agave nectar or maple syrup and stir. › Quickly but gently, pour over bars. › Place bars in freezer for at least 30 minutes before serving. › Store in freezer for up to three weeks.

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