Store bought candy bars may not be healthy, but these homemade Twix bars sure are. No corn syrup, dairy, wheat or artificial flavorings to be found here! Better yet, these Healthy Homemade Twix Bars are Paleo, Vegan, gluten free and nut free. They consist of a tigernut flour shortbread cookie and creamy date caramel that's coated in dark chocolate. This healthy Twix recipe is just what you need when candy bar cravings hit!
Truth: Candy bars are hard to photograph! Well, most things chocolate are. But, like with most things, it's what's on the inside that counts...right?
Anyway, while a "real" Twix bar may be more photogenic, these homemade Paleo candy bars have a whole lot more going for them. I mean, have you looked at the ingredients in a conventional Twix candy bar?
Ingredients in a Conventional Twix Candy Bar
"Real" Twix candy bars contain not-so-great-for-you ingredients. Okay, so that's being nice. They contain horrible ingredients! In fact, pretty much every ingredient is something I don't eat. Here's the list:
Milk Chocolate (Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Chocolate, Skim Milk, Lactose, Milkfat, Soy Lecithin, PGPR, Artificial Flavors), Sugar, Enriched Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Palm Oil, Corn Syrup, Skim Milk, Dextrose, Less than 2% - Food Starch-Modified, Salt, Cocoa Powder, Baking Soda, Soy Lecithin, Artificial Flavor.
Something I find a bit funny: the enriched wheat flour and the fact that they listed the vitamins/minerals found in it. It's almost as if they're trying to say that the product is healthy because it contains these vitamins! But, don't be fooled, these are all synthetic vitamins and found in very small quantities in a candy bar.
Also, I had never heard of PGPR (in the milk chocolate) until doing some research for this post. Apparently the full name is: polyglycerol polyricinoleate. This substance is used by many big brand chocolate companies to replace cocoa butter because it is far cheaper. PGPR consists of glycerol and fatty acids typically derived from castor beans. In addition to being cheaper, it increases shelf life. (1)
Now, compare this to my recipe for Vegan Twix bars and the two are almost nothing alike! The only similarities: they have a filling that consist of a shortbread cookie and caramel and a chocolate coating.
So, onto my Paleo Twix recipe....
These bars not only taste great and contain healthy, real-food ingredients, but they've got some other amazing qualities as well.
- Paleo & Vegan friendly - only gut-friendly, real-food ingredients
- grain free & gluten Free - the shortbread cookie is made with tigernut flour (almond flour works too)
- nut free - allergy friendly
- dairy free - caramel is made from dates
- no bake - no oven needed!
You really can't go wrong with an easy homemade Twix recipe like this! It's one of those recipes that somehow disappears overnight. Try just eating one! 😉
Ingredients in Healthy Homemade Twix Bars
These Paleo Vegan Twix bars contain simple, real food ingredients. They're even nut free! (Which, if you do a quick google search you'll quickly find that most Paleo candy bar recipes contain nuts.)
The shortbread cookie is made of tigernut flour, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla and salt. Almond flour would be a great alternative for the tigernut flour if you aren't looking for something nut free. For this substitution, I recommend using 150 grams (or about 1 + ½ cups) of blanched almond flour.
The caramel filling consists of dates, coconut oil, coconut flour, vanilla and salt. This simple, easy caramel is made in a food processor and blended to a thick, creamy paste.
Dark Chocolate Coating
Lastly, the dark chocolate coating is made of dark chocolate chips and coconut oil. For this recipe, I recommend 70-85% dark chocolate. But really, feel free to use your favorite. The coconut oil thins the chocolate, making it better for dipping.
How to Make Twix Bars From Scratch
These copycat Twix bars are easy to make and don't require any baking. They do take a bit of time to put together, mostly because it is best to let the shortbread and caramel layers set in the freezer prior to dipping them in chocolate.
To start, line an 8" x 8" baking pan with foil. Set aside.
Make the Shortbread Cookie
For the cookie layer, combine all ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl and mix (first with a fork and then using your hands). The dough may seem too dry at first, but it will eventually bind together.
Next, roll the dough into a ball and then press it into the lined baking pan. This layer is thin, so using a pan that's larger than 8" x 8" is not recommended (smaller pans work though).
Make the Date Caramel
Next, make the date caramel. First, place the dates in a microwaveable bowl and cover with water. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. (Another option is to boil water and pour it over the dates. Let them sit for 5-10 minutes.)
Next, drain the water and place the dates in a food processor along with coconut oil, vanilla and salt. Blend well, stopping to scrape the sides every so often.
Add in coconut flour and blend until the caramel has a thick, smooth texture.
Scoop the caramel onto the center of the shortbread layer. Place a sheet of parchment paper over the caramel and use your hands to smooth the caramel to the edges of the pan.
Freeze for a minimum of 2 hours. (This is necessary for cutting and dipping the bars!)
Coat the Bars in Chocolate
After freezing, melt the dark chocolate and coconut oil over low heat in a small sauce pan. Stir frequently.
Once the chocolate is fully melted, retrieve the bars from the freezer and cut them into 16 equally sized pieces.
Dip the pieces (one at a time) into the melted chocolate. Place them on a lined baking sheet to set. I find this easiest to do with a fork. First, drop the bar into the dark chocolate, rotating it with a fork until it's fully coated. Then, pick the bar up using the fork. Lastly, scrape the fork along the side of the pan to remove excess chocolate and place the twix on a lined baking sheet.
After coating the bars in chocolate, you may drizzle the remaining chocolate over them and add a pinch of sea salt. This step is totally optional but gives these paleo twix more personality!
How to Store Homemade Candy Bars
These homemade vegan twix bars are best stored in the fridge or freezer. Simply, place them in a sealed, air-tight container for up to two weeks in the fridge or two months in the freezer.
More Easy, Paleo Chocolate Recipes
For more simple, easy-to-make chocolate recipes, check out these:
- Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cups
- Spicy Coconut Butter Cups
- Allergy Free Fudge
- Dark Chocolate Turmeric Truffles
These are the best homemade Twix bars! They consist of a grain free shortbread cookie and date-caramel that's coated in dark chocolate. Paleo, Vegan, nut free and no bake.
- Line an 8" x 8" baking pan with foil. Set aside.
- For the shortbread cookie: add all ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl and mix (first with a fork and then using your hands). Roll dough into a ball and then press into lined baking pan.
- For the caramel: place pitted dates in a microwaveable bowl and cover with water. Microwave on high for 2 minutes** Drain the water and place dates in food processor with coconut oil, vanilla and salt. Blend well, stopping to scrape the sides every so often. Add in coconut flour and blend until mixture has a thick, smooth texture. Scoop the caramel onto the shortbread, then cover with a sheet of parchment paper. Use your hands to push the caramel to the edges of the pan and make a smooth, even layer.
- Freeze for a minimum of 2 hours***
- Chocolate Coating: in a small sauce pan, melt dark chocolate and coconut oil over low heat. Stir frequently. Once chocolate is fully melted, remove bars from freezer and cut into 16 equally sized pieces. Dip the bars (one at a time) into the melted chocolate. Place them on a lined baking sheet to set.
- Optional: drizzle the bars with remaining chocolate and top with a pinch of sea salt.
- Bars can be stored in the fridge or freezer.
*May substitute the tigernut flour for 150g (1 + ½ cups) blanched almond flour.
**If you don't have a microwave, simply soak the dates in boiling water for 5-10 minutes.
***Freezing the bars firms up the caramel and shortbread, making them easier to cut and dip into the chocolate.
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