These Chocolate Pecan Caramel Squares are one of the most delicious treats I’ve made to date. As someone who prides themselves on their raw/no bake creations, from samoa squares to raw brownies, homemade Mars and Almond Joy bars to pies of the almond butter and key lime varieties (find these recipes here) that really is saying something!
A no bake grain free biscuit like base, set nut butter laced date caramel and homemade chocolate pecan nut butter layer, made that bit more luxurious thanks to the infusion of homemade ghee. You could of course use coconut oil in it’s place if you wish to keep them dairy free but that buttery undertone is completely necessary if you want to experience their true awesome totally irresistible deliciousness!
These bars represent so much more than just one of my favourite treats…they’re a healthy take on my favourite dessert from a past life, chocolate pecan pie. A treat that would have always been part of a binge meal, stomach ache inducing, riddled with post feasting guilt.
Hand on my heart I can honestly say that these are not just healthier, but so much more satisfying. I’m a firm believer in enjoying the food you love on a daily basis. None of this “cheat meal” mentality, sacrificing and restricting all week long only to binge eat on the not so healthy options come the weekend. I like feeling fantastic all the time these days … and with homemade squares like these babies there’s no need to feel bloated, sluggish or guilty, you can truly have your cake and eat it!
Serves – 9 hunky squares
Prep Time – 1 hour + Overnight to set
Cook Time – 15 – 20 minutes
For the Base
– 100g (1 cup) raw pecan nuts
– 35g (1/4 cup) coconut flour
– 80g (1 cup) desiccated coconut
– 45g (1/4 cup) pitted Medjool dates
– 2 tbsp (28g) ghee melted
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Caramel
– 2/3 cup (130g) pitted Medjool dates
– 3 tbsp (42g) ghee melted
– 1/4 cup (60g) all natural smooth roast cashew butter
– 1/4 cup (60ml) room temperature full fat coconut milk
– 1/4 cup (60ml) warm water
– Pinch of Pink Himilayan Rock Salt
For the Chocolate Pecan Butter
– 2 cups (250g) raw pecans
– 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp (70g) ghee melted
– 1/2 cup (50g) raw cacao powder
– 3 tbsp powdered stevia
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 6 whole pecan nuts for topping
– 1/4 cup (55g) raw cacao paste or 90% dark chocolate for drizzling
For the Base
1. Blend pecan nuts to a coarse crumb in your food processor. Add all other ingredients with the exception of the coconut oil and blend to crumb. Add in oil and blend to combine. Press into a 6 inch loose bottom square loaf tin that has been greased with coconut oil and lined with baking paper.
2. Place in the fridge.
For the Pecan Nut Butter
Preheat oven to 160C (320F). Place pecans on a baking tray and roast for 15 – 20 minutes; until fragrant and starting to brown.
For the Caramel
1. Meanwhile…blend Medjool dates to a paste in a mini food processor. Add cashew butter (one with no sugar or oil added) and blend together.
2. Add coconut milk and warm water and blend until smooth. Finely add melted ghee and your pinch of salt. Blend to combine.
3. Spread evenly over the base using the back of a spoon and return to the fridge.
Back to the Chocolate Pecan Layer…
1. Allow pecans to cool for 5 minutes. Place in your high speed blender or food processor and blend for 10 – 15 minutes until you have drippy smooth nut butter! Scraping down the sides as necessary.
2. Combine with melted ghee, stevia and vanilla and set to one side at room temperature.
3. Once the caramel has almost set, about 45 minutes to an hour after it’s been in the fridge, pour over the chocolate pecan butter mix. Place in the fridge for 10 minutes, remove and place one pecan on each square; envisage the way you’re going to slice them.
4. Place in the fridge to firm up overnight.
5. Remove from the loose bottom pan and slice into nine squares.
6. Melt cacao paste or dark chocolate in bain marie or in the microwave in 20 -30 second increments, stirring in between, for 1 -2 minutes.
7. Drizzle each squares with a little chocolate, 1 – 2 tsp, and return to the fridge on a baking paper lined tray. Serve from the fridge or allow to sit at room tmeperature for 5 or so minutes, depending on the environment.
I’m Shel but some people call me “Peachy”…I’m the food loving, fitness fanatic, blogger behind Peachy Palate, a website which is now my hub for all the paleo, keto and grain free recipes I create, hoping to inspire people to think outside the box, eating whole foods that truly nourish. Fueled by a desire to improve my own health I love to create sweet and savoury recipes, sharing them with the world ensuring no one need feel deprived regardless of their dietary restrictions or preferences. Living in Wicklow, Ireland, when not dreaming up recipes I’m lifting with the men folk in my local gym, tapped into social media or out on the road delivering, merchandising and being a super duper brand ambassador for a local health food company.
My relationship with food wasn’t always so bright, in fact it wasn’t at all harmonious for quite sometime. Having overcome a decade of eating disorders I’m in the best place I’ve ever been. I’m happy, healthy, confident and I now enjoy every nourishing mouthful, giving my body what it needs. One of my favourite quotes from a sensational foodie … “Nothing is too much trouble if it turns out the way it should.” Julia Child. Life, love and food! www.peachypalate.com