Happy Memorial Day! I hope y’all are enjoying your holiday so far 🙂 It’s been cold and rainy for most of the weekend yet these decadent shortbread bars kept a smile on my face…
I can’t believe another month has flown by and reveal day is here again…this month’s Secret Recipe Club assignment was Lucy and Shannon’s spunky Double the Sugar blog. These two ladies are friends “from across the pond” who share a love for sugar and carb-filled goodies…you can’t go wrong there, right?
Once I spotted their Millionaire Shortbread Bars, I was sold. I knew I had to make them…no question, hands-down, I was on a mission to create a healthier and gluten-free version of these sinful treats. While these are a tad healthier, I wouldn’t call these “healthy” by any means 🙂
Since I basically eat my goodies all by myself, I decided to halve the recipe to start with. To make these gluten free, I made an almond flour shortbread crust in lieu of the gluten-filled original and reduced the sugar by replacing the white sugar with xylitol.
The salted caramel filling was made from scratch with coconut palm sugar, coconut milk, honey/agave and nut butter for a refined sugar-free treat. I opted for unsweetened carob chips that were melted with a touch of coconut oil and a couple tablespoons of nut butter for the topping…though your favorite milk or dark chocolate could easily be used if carob isn’t your favorite.
Sinful squares of delicious goodness with a chewy caramel center, crumbly grain-free crust and a salted topping…need I say more?
Salted Millionaire’s Shortbread Bars (inspired from Double the Sugar)
gluten free, grain-free with vegan option
1 1/4 cups almond flour
1/3 cup granulated xylitol (or coconut palm sugar or other granulated sugar)
1/8 tsp sea salt
4 Tbsp butter, ghee or vegan Earth Balance
3/4 cup coconut milk fat (could probably use whipping cream as well but this is not dairy-free)
2 Tbsp honey, agave or brown rice syrup (do not use honey for vegan)
3/4 cup coconut palm sugar (I pulsed mine in a blender to help dissolve more quickly)
2 Tbsp cashew butter (or other nut butter)
1 Tbsp coconut oil, butter, ghee or Earth Balance (use oil or Earth Balance for vegan)
1/8 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups unsweetened carob chips (or use your favorite chocolate chips or dairy-free chips for vegan)
2-3 tsp coconut oil, butter, ghee or Earth Balance (use oil or Earth Balance for vegan)
2 Tbsp cashew butter (almond butter or peanut butter can be substituted for a different flavor)
For garnish, optional
fleur de sel (I used grey finishing salt, this adds that extra wow factor…)
To prepare the Crust
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease one 8-inch square pan (or a large loaf pan for thicker bars) and coat with a sprinkle of almond flour.
2. In the bowl of a food processor, add almond flour, sweetener and salt and pulse once. Add butter/Earth Balance and pulse until mixture resembles peas. Press the shortbread mixture into prepared pan and bake until golden brown around the edges, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
To prepare caramel filling
1. Refrigerate one can of full-fat coconut milk overnight and scoop the fat off of the top to measure 1 cup.
2. Add coconut milk and honey/agave to a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until smooth, about 1 minute.
3. Place the coconut milk fat into a small sauce pan and heat over medium heat until liquid. Add the palm sugar and whisk until combined. Boil mixture for about 15-20 minutes, whisking well every few minutes.
4. Add nut butter, butter/oil, vanilla and salt, let bubble and continue to let cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly until mixture thickens.
5. Remove from heat and pour over prepared crust. Refrigerate or let cool to room temperature.
To prepare the top layer
1. In a double broiler or a glass bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chips and oil/butter. Stir in the nut butter until smooth.
2. Pour mixture over the cooled caramel layer. Cool at room temperature for about 10 minutes, sprinkle with fleur de sel (if desired, makes the bars really pop in my opinion) and then place in the refrigerator to cool completely, allowing chocolate to slightly harden, it’ll get a more matte look to the topping when firm.
3. Cut into 2-inch squares and enjoy *Tip: run hot water over the blade of a sharp knife, wipe dry and slice for cleaner cuts.
To store, put it in an airtight container and store in the fridge.
For other Secret Recipe Club reveal recipes: