Decadent homemade Snickers Shortbread Cookie Bars made with a buttery shortbread base, sweet caramel nutty middle, topped with chocolate. These bars will melt in your mouth with every bite!
Would you believe me if I told you that pre-HealthNut Nutrition, Snickers bars were my go-to energy bar? That’s right!! These days I rarely eat chocolate, but to be honest when I see a stash of mini Halloween treats, I still reach for the mini Snickers bar first. Obviously there’s still some love left for those sugary crunchy treats! So if you’re like me and used to like Snickers chocolate bars, you are going to LOVE this healthier version!
This recipe is super simple to make and perfect for Halloween and for the upcoming holiday season; the hardest part is waiting for them to set in the fridge! They are such a treat and fun to make and the best part is that they’re loaded with all-natural ingredients. I wanted to stay away from using any refined sugar so I opted for a combination of natural honey and brown rice syrup.
Refined Sugar-Free Caramel
For the ooey gooey caramel layer, I knew that date caramel with peanut butter and crunchy peanuts would give it that sticky crunchy texture. That gooey layer is what we all love in a Snickers bar, right?! I love making caramel out of dates because it’s healthier, creamier, thicker and naturally sweet. Unlike traditional caramel sauce which is loaded with refined sugar. The secret to making caramel sauce with dates is using fresh sticky medjool dates. If they’re too dry they won’t blend as nicely, so make sure to soak them in hot water for a good 10 minutes to soften them. Who would have thought you can make caramel sauce out of dates?
To seal in all that deliciousness I topped it all off with some silky melted chocolate. This gives it a super rich decadent taste, making it impossible to resist. I’m warning you guys – you won’t be able to stop eating them! Go ahead and try!
Happy Halloween to all my HealthNut Fam! Let me know in the comments below what is your go to Halloween treat! If you make this recipe, be sure to share a photo on social media and tag me @healthnutnutrition #healthnuteats so that I can see your creations!
Snickers Shortbread Cookie Bars
Decadent homemade Snickers Shortbread Cookie Bars made with a buttery shortbread base, sweet caramel nutty middle, topped with chocolate, that will melt in your mouth with every bite.
Prep Time: 15mins
Cook Time: 15mins
Total Time: 30mins
1teaspoonpure vanilla extract
1 ½cupslight spelt flour
2 to 4tablespoonsof water
⅓cupnatural peanut butter
¼cupbrown rice syrup
¼teaspoonsea saltomit if using salted peanut butter
Preheat oven to 350℉. Line an 8 X 8 inch baking dish with parchment paper so it overhangs on two sides (this will make it easier to remove the bars later)
In a medium bowl, add the butter, honey and vanilla. Using a handheld mixer, whisk until smooth and creamy. Add the spelt flour, almond flour and a pinch of salt. Continue mixing until flour is well incorporated and becomes a dough. Shape into a ball using your hands.
Press the dough into the bottom of the pan. Poke holes with a fork and bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the edges are slightly golden and top is firm.
Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
In a food processor, add the dates and process until it forms into a ball or is smooth. You may need to add 2 to 4 tablespoons of water to help the food processor and scrape the sides down in between processing. Continue processing until dates are creamy and caramel like texture.
In a small saucepan, add the peanut butter, brown rice syrup, vanilla, salt (if using) and date paste. Stir and heat over low heat until well combined and smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the peanuts.
Pour the caramel layer on top of the shortbread and spread evenly with a spatula. Place in the fridge while you make the chocolate layer.
*Note: if you’re dates are dry, soak them in hot water for 10 minutes and drain.
In a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil. Stir continuously until melted and smooth.
Pour melted chocolate over caramel layer and spread evenly with a spatula. (Optional but highly recommended, sprinkle with chunky sea salt).
Refrigerate for about 30 minutes, until chocolate is settled and hardened.
Once ready to serve, using the parchment paper handles, lift the bars from the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 9 squares, or 18 bars.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week, or freeze for up to 3 months.