Reprinted with permission from No-Bake Vegan Desserts by Christina Leopold, Page Street Publishing Co. 2020.
- To make the base of the bars, blend the peanuts in your food processor until they form a light crumb. Add in the salt and dates and blend further for a few minutes, until completely combined and the ingredients stick together to form a doughy consistency.
- Line a 12 x 3 ½–inch (30.5 x 9–cm) baking dish or similar-sized container with parchment paper and press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the dish using a rubber spatula. Set aside in the fridge while you make the caramel filling.
- For the caramel, put the dates, rice milk, ½ cup (129 g) peanut butter, salt and vanilla extract in a high-speed blender and blitz until completely smooth. Transfer the caramel to a bowl and add the remaining ½ cup (129 g) peanut butter, then stir well to combine. Using your spatula, spread the caramel on top of the base.
- Add the roasted peanuts on top of the caramel in an even layer. Place in the freezer to set for at least 4 hours or overnight. Once set, remove the slab from the dish and place it on a cutting board.
- Run hot water on your knife to heat it, then cut the slab into 12 large or 24 miniature bars. Place the bars back in the freezer while you prepare the chocolate coating.
- For the coating, melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler over simmering water. Dip the bars into the chocolate and sit them on top of a cooling rack lined with parchment paper to set. You can dip them a second time for a thicker layer of chocolate!
- Store the bars in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week or enjoy straight from the freezer.
Note: Dates are nature’s caramel. They are not only naturally sweet, but they also help by working as a binding agent for many dessert bases. I usually opt for Medjool dates because of their soft texture and rich caramel flavor. Feel free to experiment with different varieties, and if using dates with a firmer texture, you can soak them in warm water beforehand to help soften them up.