Does anyone bake or cook when they are anxious? I do.
I remember when I was about 20 I was trying to figure out the next “career change”. I was working at a residential real estate agency and was offered a job in the commercial side of the office. I knew I didn’t want to stay where I was, but wasn’t sure if commercial was my thing. I went home over lunch and baked some chocolate chip cookies, brought them back to the office to share with my co-workers and quit. There is something therapeutic about baking for me.
With that being said, I am baking and cooking up a storm. I’m trying to make things a little healthier, not as sweet, less white flour etc etc. Trying to keep our immune systems up I guess.
I found this recipe in one of my cookbooks and tweaked it a bit. It reminds me of the coconut chocolate Girl Scout Cookie. It has chocolate, peanut butter, dates, coconut, cashews and coconut caramel in it. So messy and very delicious.
You start out with the chocolate layer, then add on the cookie layer, then the caramel – and top off with another layer of chocolate.
Turns out commercial real estate wasn’t my thing. I ended up quitting after about 2 weeks in case you are wondering. 🙂 I didn’t make the wrong decision I don’t think. It lead me to the next thing – which lead me to the next thing etc. etc.
There is no job to quit and really no decisions to be made. And I can’t even share my baked goods with our neighbors. But for a few minutes during the day, my mind gets to switch off the chaos that is surrounding us and concentrate on spreading chocolate evenly on the parchment and not burning the coconut flakes. Sometimes you just need a little baking therapy.
Caramel Chocolate Bars
- 12 ounces dark chocolate chips
- 4 T chunky peanut butter
- 2 cups unsweetened coconut, toasted
- 1 cup roasted cashews
- 1 cup pitted medjool dates
- 1/2 tsp celtic salt
- 1 14 ounce can full-fat coconut milk
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 T coconut oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper. Melt 6 ounces and 2 T peanut butter over low heat.When melted, spread evenly on the parchment paper.Put in freezer for at least 15 minutes or until it is cold and set.Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse the coconut, cashews, salt and dates until they form a ball.Press this mixture on the top of the frozen chocolate. Put in the refrigerator.Start making the caramel – in a saucepan, add the coconut milk, coconut sugar and honey. Boil for at least 10-12 minutes until it gets thick. Let it sit for a few minutes and add in a sprinkle of salt, vanilla and coconut oil. Let cool a few more minutes and pour on top of the date mixture.Let sit in the refrigerator for a few hours.Melt the remaining 2 T peanut butter and 6 ounces of chocolate chips and spread on cooled caramel.