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Crunchy Peanut Butter Caramel Oat Bars (Vegan+GF)

Take an already decadent treat like caramelitas to the next level with these loaded cookie bars.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 16 - 18 bars

Ingredients

Caramel Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup coconut cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons strong black coffee
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Cookie Layer:

  • 1/4 cup natural creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 coconut oil melted
  • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plant-based milk
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons organic cornstarch
  • 2 cups quick cooking oats GF if needed
  • 1/2 cup roasted salted peanut (roughly chopped)

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  • about 1 1/3 cups dairy free semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate divided

Instructions

  1. First make the caramel. Combine brown sugar, coconut cream, syrup, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Bring to a soft boil and stir occasionally, scraping sugar from sides of pan, for about 12 minutes or until it reaches 240 degrees F (115C) and starts to get thick and develop a dark amber color. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and coffee then cool for about 5 minutes while you make the cookie dough.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C) and grease a 8x8 inch glass pan. Cream peanut butter, coconut oil, and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer. Scrape sides of bowl, then add milk and mix until combined. Add vanilla, baking powder, and salt until mixed, then add cornstarch, oats, and peanuts and stir to combine. Divide the dough in half and press one half into prepared pan in an even layer. Bake for 10-12 minutes until it begins to brown on the edges. Remove from oven and pour on the caramel.
  3. Sprinkle on the chocolate chunks and then crumble the second half of the dough on top. Return pan to oven and bake for 22 - 25 minutes until the edges are browned. Cool completely before cutting and serving. (You can place the pan in the fridge as soon as it's cool to the touch to cool them faster.)

Recipe Notes

If you have trouble finding coconut cream at your local grocery store it's completely fine to use full-fat coconut milk and scrape the cream off of the top. Just be sure that it's cold enough to separate.