Ft. 5 layer magic bars: a crunch bottom, homemade almond nougat, vegan “caramel” aka lotus spread, chocolate ganache, and maple roasted pretzels. Get out your ingredient list because these guys are a must have!
I woke up at six am this morning. Not because I’m an early riser, but because I have kids. I will admit this is the perfect excuse for being tired (at any point of any day), but even though I complain quite a lot, I’m actually starting to enjoy it.
This morning, for example, I found out that the sunlight at 9am hits straight into my kitchen and is really great for pictures. It was still too early for my morning coffee, but not too early to bake!(these actually hardly make it into the “baked” category).
I want to let you know that these bars started out really healthy. SO HEALTHY GUYS. I feel like I’m a bad influence on healthythings. Oh well!
The first time we made these bars-this was two weeks ago- I wanted to try something different for dessert. Something exciting and new and not just one layer of flavor.
So we did an almond flour bottom, vegan “caramel” filling, and chocolate ganache. The bottom was baked and it puffed up so much that it basically took over the whole bar, and me and hubs ended up just cutting off the whole bottom layer and fighting over the rest.
-Don’t worry I saved it for try #2!
Last week, I tried again. Of course, I saw the pretzel snacks and decided we should use those in the crust, but roasted first with some maple syrup for Rated Adult Eating.
Secrets: I used pancake syrup. It’s so incredibly cheap that I just love it and one day I will go out of my way to the store next door and buy pure expensive maple syrup, but not today.
So now we have this thin crunchy bottom, and we kept the vegan caramel which sounds so healthy but in reality is peanut butter and lotus spread-and honey. I know. Bad influence.
Then my personal favorite- homemade nougat. I was inspired by Molly Yeh to try this, and our nougat is absolutely real-nougat-tasting, and even better because its flavored with amaretto liquor and almond butter. YUUUUSSSSS.
Topped the whole thing with chocolate [melted with coconut butter] and then some more roasted pretzels.
Totally not so healthy anymore but insanely delicious and exactly what we want to create for a show stopping dessert!
Don’t be afraid of the ingredient list. I now it’s long, but you won’t use a full bottle of anything, and then you can just open your cupboard when you want to make these again!
Never bought amaretto liquor? Now is the time. It’s also a star in my favorite Lemon Amaretto Cake.
You have the option to use *healthier* almond butter/blanched almond paste, in the caramel, instead of the lotus spread. Your choice.
*Please don’t freeze the layers in between assembly, because while that may make it easier to spread evenly, it causes the layers to separate. Specifically the caramel and chocolate layer, which will just kind of fall off when cut. Not cool, and not for us!
*I make this in a pyrex container, a little smaller than a 9 by 13, and cover it with the silicone lid to freeze the bars after assembly. How convenient! This is my favorite container and you can get one here.
Check out the process…
Roast pretzels and make the crust…
pretzel crunch bars with almond nougat, vegan caramel, and chocolate ganache
Pretzel Crunch Bottom
- 2 cups pretzel sticks
- 1 Tbs maple syrup
- 1/8 cup almond flour
- 1 Tbs coconut/vegan butter
Almond Amaretto Nougat
- 1 cup marshmallow fluff
- 1 1/8 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup almond butter/blanched almond paste
- 1 Tbs amaretto liquor
- 1/2 cup peanut butter, crunchy if desired
- 1/3 cup lotus spread OR almond butter/blanched almond paste
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips/ one bar dark chocolate
- 1 Tbs. coconut/vegan butter
Pretzel Crunch Bottom
- Spread pretzels on a baking sheet, drizzle with maple syrup, toss to coat, and bake for 15 min. at 175c, mixing halfway through. Let cool and add 1 cup of pretzels to your food processor with almond flour and coconut butter. Blend until they are fine crumbs but you still see little bits of pretzels.
- Line your baking dish(pyrex dish) with a baking sheet, press the mix into the bottom and bake for 10 min. at 175c. Let cool
- Add ingredients to a bowl and mix well until all the almond paste is incorporated. This mixture will be very sticky. Wet your fingers with water to keep the nougat from sticking and gently press on top of the crust.
- Add ingredients to a bowl and mix well to combine. Gently spread on top of the nougat.
- Place chocolate and coconut butter in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 30. seconds. Mix, and heat again. Spread over the caramel layer.
- Use the rest of the roasted pretzels to decorate the bars, gently pressing the pretzels into the chocolate. Seal tightly with an air-proof lid and place in the freezer till set. When ready to serve, remove from freezer and cut into bars, or bite sized squares. Enjoy!
I cant wait to hear how these come out for you!
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