Spicy Caramel Swirl Lemon Bars
These Spicy Caramel Swirl Lemon Bars sandwich a creamy layer of filling made from melted coconut butter, vanilla and tahini between a spicy caramel swirl that adds ginger and cinnamon and a deliciously-textured almond crust. Enjoy!
For the Crust
- 1 1/2 cup raw whole almonds (225 g)
- 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3/4 cup completely melted coconut butter (NOT coconut oil!)
- 1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup, room temperature (agave would work too)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- room temperature Pinch salt
- optional Lemon zest
- optional for garnish
- 2 teaspoons tahini
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Before beginning, make sure your syrup, tahini and lemon juice are at room temperature, otherwise it will cause the coconut butter to cease up while mixing. Prepare the crust first by adding the nuts to a food processor and processing into a flour. Add the syrup and vanilla and process until it forms clumps and stop. Add more syrup if it's not clumping. Line a 9X5 loaf pan with plastic wrap. Use plastic wrap, not parchment, so you can easily press the mixture on the bottom and shape the bars into squares. Parchment paper is too stiff to do it. Press the dough into the lined pan flat and evenly and out to the edges.
- Next, melt your coconut butter to a complete liquid, then measure out 3/4 cup. It is important to measure after it is a complete liquid, so the bars result in the right texture. Set aside.
- Next, slightly melt your tahini if it is too thick, then measure 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons. It should also be smooth and liquidy before measuring, so you don't get too much of tahini in the bars. In a medium bowl, combine the raw tahini, syrup, vanilla, lemon juice and salt and stir well. Now, add in the melted coconut butter and stir really well until mixed. It will be thick. Pour on crust and spread out evenly.
- Mix swirl ingredients in a small cup with a fork. Drop by spoonfuls onto the lemon batter and swirl around with a toothpick. Garnish with lemon zest, if desired. It gives it a beautiful presentation.
- Chill to firm up in fridge a couple of hours, at least. Slice into bars while they are still in the pan. These are very thick and rich, so I cut them into 8 bars.
NOTESRaw, Vegan, Gluten-free and Oil-free
ABOUT THE CHEF
Brandi is the creator of the blog The Vegan 8. She has been a passionate cook for years, but it was her husband's painful disease with gout that led her to choose a vegan lifestyle. She chose a healthier way of eating for her family that ignited a passion to create unique and delicious recipes that also happen to be vegan, gluten-free and oil-free. Her blog has become very popular, as it focuses on 8 ingredients or less, so anybody can make them with ease. Brandi believes in using nature's powerful whole foods to nourish and promote a healthier body and a healthier mind. She enjoys creating food that everybody loves, whether vegan or not. Brandi's belief is that food can be easy, use minimal ingredients, yet still be shockingly delicious.