Your favorite candy bar with a healthy, matcha twist.
I have always had a sweet tooth, especially when it comes to anything with chocolate. As a kid, the gummy and sour candy was never turned down but it was the Twix, Milky Way, Kit Kat and Three Musketeers that really had me bouncing off the walls.
I often am asked if I would eat candy. I probably would not! Not only is most candy loaded with sugar and artificial ingredients, they just don't appeal to me. While I don't crave the candy itself, sometimes I get nostalgic thinking about the traditions surrounding candy - Easter, Halloween, Birthday's, Fourth of July, etc. These times were very carefree and chaotic until the sugar high turned into a sugar crash!
That kind of crash is exactly why I love matcha I steer away from too much coffee. Matcha simultaneously energizes and calms me. It may sound crazy, but there is science to prove it! Matcha is naturally full of the glutamate, L-theanine. Glutamates are neurotransmitters which transmit signals from neurons to other neurons. L-theanine plus caffeine stimulate a state of sustained focus without a crash.
Not all matcha is created equally. In fact, there are less than 60 authentic matcha tea farms left. There are all sorts of matcha grades, uses and price points. Typically, I drink premium or ceremonial matcha and bake with culinary matcha. The taste is equally sweet, nutty and earthy. It is an acquired taste but if you are new to matcha, there are plenty of creative ways to incorporate it into things you already love. First, purchase high quality matcha (use code CACAOFC for 20% off first order). Check out Instagram, TikTok and/or Youtube for recent matcha news and recipes.
For the shortbread layer:
3 1/3 cup oat flour (I just blended up old-fashion oats
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 Tbsp culinary-grade matcha (use code CACAOFC)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup maple syrup
For the caramel layer:
1 cup creamy cashew butter
1/2 cup melted vegan butter + 1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
For the chocolate layer:
2 cups non-dairy chocolate chips
1-2 Tbsp coconut oil for melting
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a large mixing bowl, combine oat flour, coconut oil, matcha, maple syrup and vanilla extract.
Evenly press mixture into a parchment-lined balking dish. Use a fork to poke holes to prevent bubbling. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool for 20 minutes and then place in freezer.
While the shortbread later is cooling, melt vegan butter so it has plenty of time to cool.
In a food processor, add all the caramel ingredients and mix until smooth.
Spread caramel on the cooled shortbread layer and freeze again for 1-2 hours.
Remove from freezer and lift parchment paper out of baking dish so you can slice into bars of desired size. Freeze again for 20-30 minutes.
While bars are freezing, use a microwave or double boiler to melt chocolate with coconut oil.
Coat bars in chocolate and freeze to set.
Sprinkle with matcha and enjoy!
Store in fridge or freezer!
Makes ~24-32 bars