These gluten free and vegan Coconut Caramel “Twix” Cookies taste like traditional Twix bars, but they have a hint of coconut flavor from the coconut caramel. They are a delicious twist on the original candy bar!
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Every year around Halloween, I try to come up with a new recipe so I can enjoy some treats with my family.
Last year I made homemade gluten free and vegan peanut butter cups that tasted just like the real deal!
This year I wanted to be a bit more adventurous and see if I could come up with a recipe similar to Twix candy bars.
The shortbread cookies used as the base for this recipe are delicious!
I’ve been through my fair share of gluten free and vegan shortbread crusts and they’ve all turned out pretty good, but didn’t have the crunch you want in a good Twix bar.
So to Pinterest I went, searching for a way to make crispy shortbread.
I found a shortbread recipe that I knew would be super easy to modify to meet my allergy needs.
I decided to half the recipe the first time I tried it. I do that a lot when I’m trying out new recipes just in case they don’t work out.
The shortbread cookies were absolutely perfect! I’m so excited to have this recipe and it turned out that halving the recipe produced exactly the right amount of cookies I was going for.
The trickiest part of all of this was the caramel layer. Me and homemade caramel are not friends right now.
I’ve tried SO many different ways to make caramel gluten free and dairy free and I could just never get the right consistency for recipes like candy bars or caramel apples.
Most of the caramel recipes I’ve tried or experimented with taste wonderful, but have more of a caramel sauce consistency.
Don’t get me wrong, caramel sauce is great. I just really wanted a gooey caramel that would stick to things.
A while back, I saw someone post in one of the Facebook groups I’m in looking for a gluten free and vegan caramel apple recipe.
I immediately started following the post because I wanted one too! Then someone in the group commented “why don’t you just melt some Cocomel caramels and use that”….DUH!
Why had I not thought of this before?! So I immediately got on Amazon and ordered a couple of small bags to give it a try.
It was super easy to do! All you do is microwave the caramels and a little bit of dairy free milk in 20 second increments until they are completely melted.
The chocolate layer is also super easy. Just melt some vegan chocolate chips (I use “Enjoy Life” brand) with a little bit of neutral flavored oil and spoon it on top of the caramel covered cookies.
Place them back in the fridge for the chocolate layer to firm up. They are SO GOOD!
What are some of your favorite Halloween treats? Have you found an allergy friendly version of it?
I can’t wait to hear about it and hope you enjoy these gluten free and vegan coconut caramel “Twix” cookies as much as I do!
For the Shortbread Cookies:
- 1/2 cup vegan butter, softened (I use “Earth Balance Soy Free Vegan Buttery Sticks”)
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar or substitute (I use “Swerve” brand sweetener)
- 1/8 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/8 cup gluten free all purpose flour ( I use “Better Batter“)
- Dash of salt
For the Caramel Layer:
- 1 3.5 oz bag Cocomels Coconut Milk Caramels
- 1/2 tbsp dairy free milk of choice (I use “So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk”)
For the Chocolate Layer:
- 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips (I use “Enjoy Life” brand)
- 1/2 tsp refined coconut oil, melted (avocado will work as well)
To Make the Shortbread Cookies:
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the vegan butter until creamy. Add in the maple syrup, vanilla, and powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add the flour and salt to the mixer and mix until a dough is formed.
- Transfer dough to a piece of parchment paper. Press the dough down slightly with your hands and then place another piece of parchment paper on top of the dough. Roll the dough into a circle 1/4″-1/2″ thick. Use a 3 inch circle cookie cutter or glass to cut out round cookies. Repeat this step until all of the dough has been used and you have 10-12 cookies.
- Transfer parchment paper with cookies to a sheet tray and use a fork to poke 3 sets of holes into the cookies to avoid bubbling.
- Bake for 14 minutes. Cookies should be fairly firm and the edges should be slightly golden brown.
- Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and then place the cooling rack on the cookie sheet covered in parchment paper to prepare for covering in caramel.
To Make the Caramel Layer:
- Unwrap caramels and place them in a microwave safe bowl with 1/2 tbsp of dairy free milk.
- Microwave in 20 second increments, stirring between each time, until the caramels are completely melted.
- Let the caramel sit and cool for about 3 minutes. The caramel needs to be thick enough to spoon onto the cookies without it running off. Don’t wait too long or the caramel will be too hard to spread.
- Spoon the caramel mixture evenly over each cookie. Refrigerate 5-10 minutes or until caramel is solid.
To Make the Chocolate Layer:
- While the caramel layer is setting up, melt the vegan chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl for 30 seconds at a time. Stir in between each interval until melted.
- Remove the cookies from the refrigerator and spoon the chocolate evenly over the top of the cookies.
- Return the cookies to the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes or until the chocolate layer is firm.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
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