Paleo Double Chocolate Turtle Bars


INGREDIENTS

For the chocolate cookie layer:
½ cup creamy cashew butter
½ cup coconut sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
⅓ cup coconut flour
⅓ cup cocoa powder or raw cacao
pinch salt

For the Caramel Pecan Layer:
1 and ⅓ cups full fat coconut milk*
5 Tbsp organic coconut sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
½ tsp fine grain sea salt
¾ cup chopped pecans
⅓ cup dark chocolate morsels (I used Enjoy Life Brand) or your favorite dark chocolate chips/chopped chocolate

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Make the cookie layer first. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line an 8 x 8" baking dish with parchment paper along the bottom and up the sides.
  2. Mix together the cashew butter, coconut sugar, and eggs until creamy. I used a hand mixer for this part.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the coconut flour, cocoa powder and salt, then stir this mixture into the wet ingredients until fully combined. The dough will be sticky - chill it in the fridge for about 5 minutes - this will firm it up a bit as well as give the coconut flour time to settle and absorb moisture.
  4. Now it's time to press the chocolate cookie dough into the parchment lined baking dish. The dough will still be sticky to work with even after chilled - I recommend wetting your hands just slightly to press/spread the dough evenly into the bottom of the dish. After pressing in the cookie dough, bake it in the preheated oven for 10 minutes**
  5. To make the caramel, heat the coconut milk* and coconut sugar over medium heat in a small saucepan, stirring to blend. Bring the mixture to a boil (I typically raise the heat to medium/hi for this, you can increase the heat depending on your stovetop) while stirring.
  6. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer (this might be med/low or med) and continue to cook, stirring to avoid the sugar burning, until the mixture is thickened and deep caramel in color***
  7. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla, salt and chopped pecans, then spread the caramel pecan mixture over the chocolate cookie layer (after baking 10 minutes) and return to the oven to bake for another 12 minutes or until the middle begins to bubble.
  8. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with the chocolate chips. Once they melt, use a toothpick to gently swirl the melted chocolate all over the top of the bars.
  9. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until completely cooled, then cut into squares and serve. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

NOTES
*I chill the can prior to opening, discard half the "water" and blend up the rest before using
**be careful not to overtake since you'll be baking it again with the caramel layer
***This can take anywhere from 20-40 minutes depending on your stove, mine seems to take less time than others!

Original recipe and more pictures visit: Paleo Double Chocolate Turtle @ paleorunningmomma.com

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