First of all. If you’re new here, I want to let you know a couple of things
a.) I’m Paul and I’m a plant based fitness professional
2.) The recipes I post here are almost always dessert
c.) Why? Because, why not?
d.) That 2 up there is not a mistake, I’m well aware that the alphabet does not have a 2 in it
5.) Or a 5.
So. I discovered something while getting lost in an instagram rabbit hole – you know, those moments when you’re scrolling and you see a picture and click on a tagged account and then another tagged account and then another and another and another? Yup. That happens to me ALL. THE. TIME.
Ok, back to what I discovered. You can make VEGAN CARAMEL with 3 ingredients. Really, 2 plus a dash a salt, but I digress.
TWO INGREDIENTS?!? Yup. Wait for it.
Tahini and Maple Syrup.
I know what you’re thinking. Tahini…isn’t that what makes hummus, so, I dunno…hummus-y? You’re definitely not wrong, but let’s talk about Tahini for a second here. Tahini is basically peanut butter but sesame seeds are used instead of peanuts. Does that make sense? I hope so.
I had to put this recipe to the test and see for myself if Tahini and Maple Syrup really tastes like caramel after they are mixed together on the stove top.
Consensus? 100 times YES!
So what can we do with this vegan miracle? EVERYTHING!!!
But for now, let’s make VEGAN GLUTEN FREE TWIX BITES.
Calm down. These are literally so easy and after eating 20 of them I can confidently say that they are beyond delicious. I just ate 3 more to confirm, and yes, they are 100% delicious and *gasp* healthy.
Makes 24 mini bites (give or take the 7 that you’ll eat during the baking process)
Start to finish creation time: 1 hr plus some fridge action
These miraculous silicone mini muffin baking pans or an 8 x 4 Baking Pan
Some sort of double boiler action (aka a saucepan with a stainless steel bowl placed on top)
½ cup Tahini
½ cup Maple Syrup
Dash Pink Himalayan Sea Salt (you can use regular sea salt too, just avoid table salt!)
1/2 cup Almond Meal
1 cup Gluten Free Flour (I love this brand)
3 tbsp Maple Syrup
1/4 tsp Pink Himalayan Sea Salt (because: Pink)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract or Vanilla Bean Powder (obsessed to the MAX)
1/4 cup Coconut Oil
2 cups Chocolate Chips (My favorite well worth the $8 price point brand)
Let’s get started! First things first. Set your intention and repeat after me:
“I will not eat all of these by myself. Although they are made with the highest quality ingredients and zero refined sugars I promise I will share these magical treats with my friends/family and social media.”
Ok. Now that we have that covered.
Preheat your oven to 350
Place your almond meal (psssst if you don’t have almond meal just put whole almonds in the food processor and make it yourself…I know, I’m full of tricks!) with the gluten free flour, maple syrup, salt, vanilla and coconut oil in your food processor and pulse until a nice crumbly dough is formed.
I had to add a little extra coconut oil to make the dough stick together a bit, but start with a ¼ cup and add from there.
Then fill ⅔ of the mini muffin molds with the dough and firmly pack it in with a spoon (or your fingers). Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden around the edges. Alternatively you can use an 8 X 4 baking pan (one you would make banana bread in) and press the entire batch of dough into the bottom of the pan.
While the cookies are cooling mix the tahini and maple syrup in a sauce pan and heat over medium high heat to boil. Once caramel starts to boil (around 2-4 minutes) turn heat down to medium low and let simmer for another 5 minutes until it starts to thicken.
Make sure to keep an eye on it and constantly stir so it doesn’t burn. After caramel is thickened remove from stovetop and let it cool for a few minutes. Then pour caramel directly onto cookies filling the last ⅓ of the muffin molds. This should remind you of a Twix commercial, but without the high fructose corn syrup and chemicals! After you’ve covered all the cookies with a nice layer of dreamy Varamel (that’s Vegan Caramel…duh) place them in the fridge for at least 15 minutes to cool. I ended up letting them cool overnight, but that’s just because I like to bake in the wee hours of the night and normally need to sleep.
Next, melt your chocolate chips in the double boiler and get ready to drizzle that deliciousness over your already delightful caramel cookies!
Baker’s note: It is completely acceptable to have already eaten half of the cookies before putting chocolate on them. Believe me. It happens and it’s ok! Don’t beat yourself up – you’re literally that good of a vegan gluten free baker that it would be silly not to taste test!
Oh, another important and more serious bakers note: Remove the cookies from the mold before you pour the chocolate over them – I placed mine on a silpat (no idea why that word is actually the name of a thing, but the thing that has the name silpat is legit amazing…my favorite is this brand) and took a nice spoonful of melted chocolate and dolloped it on top and then used my spoon to distribute the chocolate evenly over the cookie by applying a little bit of pressure on top of the cookie and moving the spoon in a circular motion. This will evenly push the chocolate over the edges of the cookie and create an artistic drip design on the sides!
Once all the cookies are coated do your best to place them in the fridge and let them chill. Believe me, after 20 minutes of fridge time the chocolate will harden and these tasty morsel will literally put any store bought candy TO SHAME!
Make sure to post photos of you enjoying your treats on social media and tag me @paulfishman with #FISHMANFIT. If you end up posting a picture of an empty muffin tin I’ll completely understand. THAT. GOOD.
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