These Date Caramel Stuffed Cookie Bars will change your life and that is my final answer.
I had a vision, if you will, for some delicious date caramel, so I hopped right up to my blender to get the job done. Initially I wanted to make some cute Date Caramel Truffles, but instead decided to stare at my Caramel for 30 minutes waiting for it to tell me what else I could do with it.
Thankfully, these Caramel Stuffed Cookie Bars were born. Let me just back it up and tell you these are gluten-free, dairy-free, AND grain-free. Just sweetened with some coconut sugar (in the cookie bars) and dates (the caramel), with a tiny, baby angel touch of maple syrup in the caramel layer. I added a bit of cardamom in the caramel to give it a bit of je ne said quoi, which is subtle and light – and makes it a bit unique.
These are gooey and chewy, kind of like a cake, sort of like a loaf, but mostly reminiscent of heaven and joy. I’ll spare you the long essay on mine and their life story, and instead get to the recipe because I know that’s what you’re all here for.
I hope you enjoy and tag me on Instagram @dadaeats when you make it!
- 12 medjool dates
- 1/4 cup creamy almond butter
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4 cup hot water
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla
- pinch salt
- 1/3 cup coconut oil melted and cooled
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 2 1/2 cups almond flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
- ½ cup chocolate chips
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a 9×5 loaf pan with parchment paper.
Empty your dates into a bowl and pour hot water over them. Let soak for 5 minutes to soften. Remove from the hot water, pit, and transfer to a high-speed blender or food processor. To the blender, add the creamy almond butter, cardamom, hot water, maple syrup, vanilla, and pinch of salt. Blend thoroughly until completely smooth and luscious. Set the caramel aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, melted and cooled coconut oil, vanilla extract, and coconut sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond flour, baking powder, and kosher salt. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, and add the non-dairy milk to help everything come together. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Transfer half of the batter to the loaf pan, and spread it out nicely so it’s evenly distributed throughout the bottom of the pan. Add half of the date caramel in the center – spread it out nicely. Now, add the remaining cookie dough on top. Swirl a bit of date caramel on the top (you won’t use all of the caramel here, save the rest for later to use as a spread, or in another dessert).
Bake in the oven for 45-55 minutes, or until the loaf is golden brown on the outside and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. It should be pretty gooey on the inside – let cool completely before slicing and serving.