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You don’t like the taste of maca powder? This recipe might change your mind! These Maca Cookie Dough Caramel Bars are made of chocolate, caramel, and cookie dough. Sounds great, right? You’ll know it is!
I wasn’t a fan of maca powder, I mean, I didn’t like the taste of maca when I first tasted it. The taste was like a weird Chinese medicine to me.
But after a while, I kind of adjusted my palate to this new stuff in my pantry, and I started to learn to appreciate its taste, especially after I found a way to make it tasty. This is one of the recipes where maca powder shines!
There are 3 components in these chocolate caramel bars:
- Smooth, high-protein Maca Cookie Dough Based
- Naturally sweet Date Caramel Layer
- Bittersweet Dark Chocolate Topping
How to Make Maca Cookie Dough Caramel Bars
Even though there are 3 layers in these caramel bars, it’s actually quite easy to put together. But to do this, we need a food processor. And one important thing to do before you start is to soak your pitted dates for the caramel layer.
And then when we start, make the base first by combining the cookie dough ingredients in the food processor. Press the mixture down to a prepared loaf pan. Place it into the freezer.
Then, blend the dates with other caramel ingredients in the same food processor until smooth.
Spread the caramel mixture onto the cookie dough base and freeze for 4 hours or until it’s set.
Finally, melt the chocolate with some cacao butter and pour it on top of the caramel layer. Wiggle the pan to let the chocolate cover evenly.
Cut them into squares and enjoy!
How to Store Maca Cookie Dough Caramel Bars
I will recommend store these cookie dough caramel bars in a freezer-safe container in the freezer. They shall be fine for 2 weeks. When about to serve, let it sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes to defrost.
But if you don’t have much time waiting for them to defrost, you can just pop them into an air-tight container and store them in the fridge. They should be okay for 3~5 days. Enjoy them straight out from the fridge.
Questions You Might Have
Is there aother substitution for cacao butter?
Yes, you can use coconut oil instead. But cacao butter is definitely superior, in my opinion.
I don’t have a food processor. Can I use a blender instead?
A high-end blender might work, but the catch is you may have to stop and scrape down the sides many times. And you might also get an uneven texture with a blender for this recipe. So I would still recommend using a food processor.
That’s it! I hope you will enjoy these Maca Cookie Dough Caramel Bars and hope this recipe would change how you think of maca powder. And if you have any thoughts or other questions, feel free to jump down a comment down below.
More Vegan Dessert Recipes:
- Vegan Dorayaki (Japanese Pancake with Azuki Bean Paste)
- Vegan Cherry Black Forest Parfait (Gluten-free)
- Vegan Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars (with a secret ingredient!)
Maca Cookie Dough Caramel Bars (Vegan)
High-protein Cookie Dough Base
- 100 g cooked chickpeas, a heaping 1/2 cup
- 2 Tbsp maca powder
- A pinch of salt
- 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 30 g peanut butter, 2 Tbsp, better if it's runny
- 20 g coconut flour, 2 Tbsp
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
Date Caramel Layer
- 100 g pitted dates, soaked in drinking water for at least 1 hour
- 1 Tbsp date-soaking water
- 70 g peanut butter, 1/4 cup + 1 heaping Tbsp, better if it's runny
- 1/2 Tbsp cacao butter, melted*
- 2 Tbsp cacao nibs
- 70 g vegan dark chocolate, ~2.46 oz
- 1/2 Tbsp cacao butter, *
To make the base:
- Line an 8″ loaf pan with parchment paper.
- In a food processor, add all base ingredients. Blend them together until smooth. They should be able to stick together when pressed between your fingers.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Use a silken spatula or spoon to press the mixture down to form a base.
- Place the pan in the freezer while we make the caramel layer.
To make the caramel:
- Drain out the water from the pitted dates. Save 1 Tbsp and add it with the soaked dates to the same food processor. (You don’t need to wash it.)
- Add peanut butter and melted cacao butter. Blend them all together until smooth (as shown in the picture above). You might need to stop and scrape down the sides as needed.
- Take the pan out from the freezer. Transfer the caramel mixture into the pan and spread it out evenly to cover the base.
- Sprinkle the cacao nibs on top of the caramel layer. Return the pan to the freezer for 4~6 hours until the caramel layer is set.
To make the chocolate topping:
- Add the chocolate and cacao butter to a heat-resistant bowl. Use a double boiler (bain-marie) to melt them together until nice and smooth.
- Remove the pan from the freezer. Pour the melted chocolate on top of the caramel layer. Wiggle the pan to let the melted chocolate evenly cover the caramel layer.
- Let it sit for 1 minute to let the chocolate harden. Then cut into 8 squares and enjoy!
- Storage: Store in a container in the fridge for 3 days or 2 weeks in the freezer.
- *Maca powder: Maca powder from different brands will have a different taste. You can try different ones to find the one that suits you best! I personally like this.
- *Cacao butter: You can also use melted coconut oil.