Salted Caramel Bird Bars 2These little bars are so scummy I don’t care what they’re called. I’m not feeling very imaginative today, so for some reason they are birdy bars. I’m going to claim it was inspiration from the sweet bird song that is currently going on outside my kitchen window, because that sounds charming and whimsical and I’m like that. Okay, really I just hate the words scroggin and trail mix because they sound so unappealing, and because nuts and seeds just seem like bird feed to me. Not that that’s any more appetising…. okay okay but point being they are delicious whatever you decide to call them and no birds were harmed in the making of these treats. I digress….

You may need a little time and patience on the part of the dulce de lèche, but I promise it is worth it, and after this point there is absolutely nothing scientific in the process of making these. If you’re not worried about sugar then I would definitely recommend giving the Will Frolic for Food version a go, as this was my guide when I decided I wanted to try dulce de lèche with coconut cream. You’ve gotta love it when other people share your ideas and save you all the experimentation time in the kitchen! My substitutions worked out perfectly first time around thanks to having this guide, though mine didn’t look nearly as pretty! No need to worry if you don’t have the same mix of nuts and seeds as I did, just chuck in whatever you have in the pantry. It will taste good anyway. Promise.

Enjoy!

Serves: 10

Time: 1.5 hours, or 30 minutes if caramel is made in advance

Ingredients:

for the dulce de lèche caramel…

2 cans of full fat coconut cream, preferably chilled (use one can in its entirety and for the other just the cream at the top)

80g coconut sugar

1/4 -1/2 teaspoon pink himalayan salt (optional, according to taste)

a few drops of vanilla essence (optional)

 

for the rest…

As I said, very unscientific. Add anything you like. I used…

large handful almonds, whole

large handful cashew nuts, chunky pieces

large handful hazelnuts, chunky pieces

large handful pumpkin seeds

large handful toasted buckwheat groats

small handful flax seeds

small handful desiccated coconut

 

Method:

1. Whisk the dulce de lèche ingredients together in a saucepan

2. Heat on medium high until boiling, then reduce the heat to medium.

Coconut dulce de leche paleo vegan on the boil3. Leave on the heat for about 40 minutes, stirring regularly until it reaches a delicious caramelly consistency where it will sit firmly on the end of a spoon. If you want to make it really thick you can heat it for longer, but I found my version turned to caramel much more quickly than other coconut dulce de lèche recipes, and much faster than my original dulce de lèche, and it doesn’t need to be very thick for these bars. As far as I can gather the timing can change quite a lot depending on the cream you use.

4. Let the dulce de lèche cool down. I used one can of Ceres Organics coconut cream which I noticed had a lot of solid on top. This can turn to oil and separate from the rest of the mixture. Just get rid of any excess oil off the top and incorporate it all in together with a stick blender or by hand.

Salted Caramel Mix 2Salted Caramel Mix5. Mix in all your nuts, seeds, or other ingredients

6. Scrape into a square container. Run a metal spatula or a spoon under hot water for a few seconds, and use the back of it to push the mixture into the edges of your container, flattening it out to desired thickness. (You may need to run the spoon under water a few times throughout this process).

Salted Caramel Bar block7. Freeze for 15-30 minutes until set, and slice up.

Salted Caramel Bird Bars Cuts

8. EAT ME!

Salted Caramel Bird Bars