6 Apr 2017

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Oat Bars with Raw Date Caramel

Soft chocolate chip, gluten free oat base, with a thick layer of raw date caramel spread on top and drizzled with melted chocolate to finish.

Raw Date Caramel Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Oat Bars | Hungry Little Bear

Gluten free baking is always a challenge. But I think I’ve cracked it. The magic ingredient? Oats. For me, gluten free flour always has a gritty texture to it and oats seem to be that something special that disguises that grittiness.

The result is a soft vanilla oat base with chocolate chips mixed through. The oats make these bars more filling and the raw date caramel is the little sweet touch on top they need.

Oh and the smell of these little bars baking away in the oven is just delicious.


Raw Date Caramel Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Oat Bars | Hungry Little Bear
Raw Date Caramel Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Oat Bars | Hungry Little Bear

I have been wanting to try out raw date caramel since I saw it on Pinterest, and oh mama it is better than I thought it would be. With just dates, maple syrup and water you can make yourself a batch of this raw caramel. That’s three ingredients!

Raw Date Caramel Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Oat Bars | Hungry Little Bear
Raw Date Caramel Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Oat Bars | Hungry Little Bear
Raw Date Caramel Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Oat Bars | Hungry Little Bear

Believe it or not, this date caramel was whizzed in a baby food processor. In two batches. My food processor gave up the fight and I was just left with a lumpy date mixture, but the baby processor saved the day! It gave it that smooth, glossy caramel finish you see now.

So definitely make sure your food processor is good at whizzing things down to a smooth mixture... because I found out mine really wasn't!

I’m already thinking of the next thing I can put add the date caramel too and considering investing in a better blender to whizz it up in.

Raw Date Caramel Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Oat Bars | Hungry Little Bear
Raw Date Caramel Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Oat Bars | Hungry Little Bear
Raw Date Caramel Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Oat Bars | Hungry Little Bear

These bars are somewhere between healthy (thank you dates/gluten free flour) and really not healthy at all (thank you chocolate), which is enough to meet the needs of my oldest sister who is coeliac and me who is just hungry all the time.

I already know these bars are going to become a regular bake of mine. They are filling, sweet and feel like a bit more of a treat than a regular ol' bar.

Raw Date Caramel Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Oat Bars | Hungry Little Bear

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Oat Bars with Raw Date Caramel

Makes: 20 bars

Ingredients:

Oat Bars:
115g butter
125g gluten free plain flour
125g gluten free oats
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
100g caster sugar
100g light brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 medium eggs, room temperature
175g chocolate chips
30g melted chocolate

(bars adapted from: dishbydish.net)

Raw Date Caramel:
250g dates
3 tbsp maple syrup
50 ml water

Directions: 

Oat Bars:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F/180C/gas mark 4. Grease and line a 9x13 inch baking pan and set to the side. 
  2. Melt the butter or a medium heat, being careful to not let it burn. Heat until it goes a light brown before removing it to cool. 
  3. In a bowl, whisk the gluten free flour, oats and baking powder together. 
  4. In a large bowl, add the browned butter, then the caster sugar and light brown sugar and whisk to combine. Then add the vanilla extract and the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. 
  5. Then slowly add the dry ingredients, mixing well to incorporate everything together. Add the chocolate chips to the mix next, reserving some to sprinkle on top later. 
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth out before sprinkling some chocolate chips on the top. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. 
  7. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before pulling out of the pan and setting on a wire rack to cool completely. 
Raw Date Caramel
  1. Chop your dates in smaller chunks and place in boiling water for 5 minutes to soften. 
  2. When draining the dates, set the water to one side and put the dates into a food processor. Whizz to puree the dates for a minute. Next add 50ml of the reserved boiling date water and 3 tbsp of maple syrup to the dates and whizz to combine. 
  3. Keep the food processor on a medium-high speed, until the mixture has become a smooth, thick caramel. If it is too thick, add a tbsp of water at a time. Taste the mixture as you go, you can always add a touch more maple syrup. 
Assembly:
  1. Spread the raw date caramel onto the bars in an even layer. Then drizzle the melted chocolate across the bars before slicing up into 20 bars!
I kept my bars in the fridge and this allowed the date caramel to set slightly better than it would at room temperature. They'll keep for up to 5 days in the fridge, but mine were eaten in a matter of days!

Have you tried date caramel before? 
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