Twix Protein Bites (Grain Free, Gluten Free, Protein-Packed, Paleo, Vegan)
3/4 cup almond flour
1/2 cup organic unflavored pea protein (I bought the plain Whole Foods one, but any organic pea protein with only one ingredient—pea protein—will work great. This brand is on Amazon and looks perfect)
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
3 tablespoons coconut oil
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/3 cup unsalted creamy almond butter (my favorite is Trader Joe’s)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon coconut oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pinch of fine grain sea salt
1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses (optional, but recommended, see post text for more details)
1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate
1 teaspoon coconut oil
Flaky sea salt (optional, but yum!)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together all of the “shortbread” ingredients until a shaggy dough forms. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper so it overhangs the sides (I like to cut two pieces so there’s one going horizontal and one going vertical), then press the shortbread into the pan so it reaches the edges and is even, and tightly packed. Bake for 10 minutes. Set in the freezer to cool while you make the caramel.
In a large bowl (I just use the same one as the shortbread), mix together all “caramel” ingredients. Spoon onto shortbread base and return to the freezer to set before adding chocolate layer (at least 30 minutes).
Melt the chocolate and coconut oil together in a double boiler or the microwave. Pour on top of the caramel layer, tipping it every which way to distribute the chocolate and banging on the table a few times to get an even coat. Let cool for 5 minutes in the freezer then add flaky sea salt, if using. Let set completely in the freezer—at least 1 hour—before cutting.
To cut, remove from the loaf pan. First cut strips horizontally (it should look like normal Twix bars at this point). Then, turn the strips on their side, so the layers are facing you and cut into small squares (this prevents cracking the chocolate on top, although a little cracking isn’t the end of the world!). Spread out on a parchment-lined plate or pan in the freezer so they’re not touching each other. Freeze completely before transferring to a bag or tightly sealed container. Store in the freezer for up to 6 months, grabbing a bite whenever you’re hungry!