Most of the time, I like to cook for others. I like to cook things that I know (or hope) others like. Then, when I pulled it off and they tell me how great it tastes, I feel awesome. It’s an accomplishment.
I’m fairly certain that this has something to do with deep-rooted need for validation. Something I don’t go out looking for it, but that I do very much appreciate — especially in the cooking department.
It probably stems from something my parents did when I was young. Trust me, it’s always their fault. HA!
Once in a while though, I like to cook something just for me.
Like my Creamy Coconut Eggplant Curry. I don’t care if my family doesn’t like it. I do, I’m gonna cook it, and enjoy it all by myself.
Other times instead I have a recipe in mind, but I’m not sure how it will come out. So I plug away in the kitchen and start experimenting.
Creating a recipe takes a bit of culinary wizardry. Knowing when and how to combine flavors, textures, and using the best tools to create the dish you had in mind.
It involves plenty of trial and error, mixing and matching, and lots of tasting.
This is basically how these Homemade Twix Bars came to life.
I’ve been wanting to make these for like, forever. And though there are hundreds of recipes for homemade Twix bars online, I wanted to create my very own paleo and vegan version.
Twix is basically a chocolate shortcake biscuit covered in chewy caramel and chocolate.
So I started with a tried and tested recipe for paleo shortcrust (to be honest this part of the recipe didn’t take much creativity, just a few minor adjustments.)
Then I made my worldwide famous paleo caramel sauce and thickened it to right consistency (chewy and gooey but still soft, exactly as I needed it to be).
I then covered everything with semi-sweet chocolate.
VOILA’: Homemade Twix Bars (Paleo & Vegan).
I know it does look like a lot of work, but it’s extremely easy in practice.
All you need is coconut flour, maple syrup, coconut oil, coconut milk, and chocolate. That’s about it.
The shortbread crust comes together in a snap, the caramel sauce takes a bit of time but doesn’t need your undivided attention, and covering everything in chocolate takes no time at all.
These bars are so DANG GOOD.
Rich and chocolaty: a thick crust topped with chewy caramel covered with chocolate. Simply amazing and so addictive. Not to mention gluten-free, paleo, and vegan.
I made them again yesterday for Niece- since she came over after school – and she couldn’t stop raving about them: mission accomplished!
Makes 16 bars
⅔ cup coconut flour
4 tablespoons maple syrup
¼ teaspoon salt
⅓ cup coconut oil, at room temperature
1 (14 oz / 400gr) can full-fat coconut milk (I used BPA-free Natural Value)
½ cup maple syrup
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cornstarch (or arrowroot powder)
1 tablespoon cold water
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (I used Enjoy life mini chocolate chips)
1 teaspoon coconut oil
Salt flakes (optional but highly recommended)
Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C) and place a rack in the middle. Line a 8×8-inch square pan with parchment paper and lightly grease it. Set aside.
To make the shortbread crust, in a large bowl combine coconut flour and salt. Add maple syrup and stir until combined and crumbly. Add coconut oil and mix vigorously with a wooden spoon until a dough ball forms.
Press the dough into the prepared baking pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown at the edges. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a rack.
In the meantime make the caramel sauce.
In a large saucepan with a thick bottom combine coconut milk, maple syrup, and salt.
Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat and let reduce for about 40 to 50 minutes, stirring every now and then.
Towards the end stir more often to keep the bottom from burning too much.
Don’t rush it. The process could be faster or slower, depending on how hot your burner is.
When reduced add coconut oil and vanilla extract and cook for further 5 minutes until it reaches a deep caramel color (if you’re not sure about it, look at my Paleo Caramel Sauce recipe)
In a small bowl combine cornstarch (or arrowroot powder) and water, whisk it into the hot caramel and stir the mixture constantly while cooking it for approximately 2 to 4 minutes to thicken the caramel and cook out the cornstarch flavor.
Remove from the heat and let cool for about 5 minutes, then stir vigorously until smooth and glossy.
Pour over the crust and let cool in the refrigerator until set before topping with the chocolate layer.
For the chocolate layer, melt chocolate chips and coconut oil in a double boiler over low heat, whisking until melted and smooth.
Pour melted chocolate over the caramel and smooth it into an even layer. Sprinkle with salt flakes, if using.
Refrigerate until the chocolate is set.
Using a sharp knife cut into 16 bars. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 1 week.
One bar yields 211 calories, 14 grams of fat, 20 grams of carbs, and 2 grams of protein.