These Salted Chocolate Mixed Nut Bars are a scrumptious dessert bar that has a gooey, nutty center on top of a shortbread crust, topped with dark chocolate and flaky sea salt. These gluten free, paleo, and vegan bars are an irresistible way to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Thanksgiving is past us, so I guess that means we’re onto holiday cookie season…I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: where the heck did this year go?! It feels like it FLEW right by, and I can’t believe we’re only a month out from 2018.
We’ve got a little less than a month to go before Christmas is here, which means we’ve got not a lot of time to share and indulge in a whooooole lot of delicious holiday cookies and dessert recipes. ‘Tis the season for all things sweet, right?! As a dessert blogger, this is my time to shine ;)
I’ve already shared a couple Chrismas ready favorites so far this year. Of note are these Soft Gingerbread Cookies (SO good!), these Pecan Pie Bars, these No Bake Vanilla Bean Cranberry Swirl Bars, and for the peanut butter lovers, these Chocolate Peanut Butter Tartlets!
And today, I’m adding another new favorite to the mix: Salted Chocolate Mixed Nut Bars! Chocolate + flaky sea salt is one of my all time favorite combinations, and paired with the crisp shortbread and gooey, nutty filling of these bars, it’s the perfect indulgent combo.
These salted chocolate mixed nut bars have a shortbread base that’s made simply out of coconut flour, kosher salt, maple syrup, and coconut oil. I use maple syrup to keep it vegan, but honey could be used here as well. The coconut flour helps keep the shortbread sandy and crisp, and because it’s so absorbent, it performs differently than other flours. I wouldn’t recommend substituting anything else for the coconut flour.
The filling has a gooey, caramelly base that is filled up with a variety of nuts. You can use whichever your favorites are or what you’ve got on hand – I opted for a mix of pecans, cashews, sliced almonds, and macadamia nuts. I also added chocolate chunks to the mix.
The bars are baked until bubbling, and then the hardest part: they need to be left to set in the fridge for at least a few hours before you can cut them. Of course, you could cut them before that, it just might be a gooey mess. For clean cuts, let it set first!
Once your bars are set and sliced, they get a drizzle of chocolate and topped with flaky sea salt. The resulting bars have a firm, crispy shortbread crust, which gives way to a sweet + gooey filling full of crunchy nuts and pockets of dark chocolate, all topped with a drizzle of more dark chocolate and a sprinkling of crunchy, flaky sea salt.
They’re sure to be the star of your holiday dessert platter, or the box of cookies you give to your kid’s teachers, or just a delicious treat you enjoy when a chocolate craving hits. I hope you’ll give these a go, and enjoy!
Remember to #bakerita if you try the recipe!
Salted Chocolate Mixed Nut Bars
For the shortbread crust
For the filling
- ¾ cup coconut sugar
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- ⅓ cup coconut oil melted
- ⅓ cup non-dairy milk
- 2 tablespoons flax meal
- 2 teaspoons arrowroot starch or tapioca flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅓ cup pecans toasted + roughly chopped
- ⅓ cup cashews toasted + roughly chopped
- ⅓ cup sliced almonds toasted
- ⅓ cup macadamia nuts toasted + roughly chopped
- 3 oz. chocolate chunks + 1 oz. more to melt + drizzle on top
- 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease an 8x8” square pan with coconut oil (I recommend lining the pan with parchment paper as well if your pan doesn't have a removable bottom).
Combine the maple syrup and coconut oil and whisk until fully combined. Stir in the coconut flour and salt until a smooth door is formed.
Press the dough into the prepared pan. Bake for 9-11 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool completely.
For the filling, combine the coconut sugar, maple syrup, and coconut oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and whisk to combine. Bring to a low boil and let simmer for about 2-3 minutes and then remove from heat. Let cool slightly.
While it cools, whisk together the non-dairy milk, flax meal, arrowroot starch, vanilla extract, and salt in a small bowl.
Add the milk/flax mixture to the slightly cooled sugar mixture and whisk to combine. Stir in the pecans, cashews, sliced almonds, macadamia nuts and chocolate chunks.
Pour the mixture over the cooled crust and bake for 30 minutes.
Let cool completely, at least 2 hours, in the refrigerator before cutting into 16 squares.
If desired, chop and melt the remaining 1 oz. of chocolate and drizzle it over the bars. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Let set in the refrigerator. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.