apple caramel squares grain free scd diet
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APPLE CARAMEL SQUARES (GRAIN FREE, SCD) these aren't your average squares. they're filled with a layer of sweet cookie-esque shortbread, a layer of caramel, and a layer of cinnamon-coated apples.

It is I, curator of all things apples. Today I bring to you, another recipe that involves apples, caramel, or some combination of the two. Well, it’s definitely a combination of the two, though–  there’s something about the sweet caramel paired with apples that just goes so nicely. Name a better duo.

Add some cinnamon and you basically have this apple caramel square, all constructed on top of an almond flour-date shortbread cookie base. The cookie base is already optimized for full-caramel potential, thanks to the cup of softened, pitted medjool dates included in it. However we bring the caramel factor up a wholeeee ‘other level when you add in the homemade vegan caramel sauce that’s included in the recipe below, made out of medjool dates and hazelnut milk. 

apple caramel squares grain free scd diet

After constructing your cookie layer, and then piling on your caramel layer, you will proceed to decorate the final layer of this square concoction with thinly sliced, apples of your choosing – I always like a nice tart apple, or else a good baking apple is the McIntosh. I simply laid the apples down, horizontal across the width of the square, with each apple resting slightly on top of the proceeding apple. It’s very easy to decorate and it looks fantastic.

I will leave a caveat regarding these squares: do not wait to consume them! They are best consumed and served fresh. In tandem with that caveat: If your cookie layer isn’t thick enough – at least 1 inch in thickness – you may end up with a soggy base layer after leaving these squares in the fridge for a few days, as the caramel is moist on top of it and will dampen the cookie-shortbread base. I recommend simply warming up your square in the oven to remedy this, if it does happen, or even freezing your squares and taking one at a time when you’re ready to eat — but warming them up in the oven is always recommend for the ~optimal~ eating conditions/experience!!

Find the recipe for these sweet apple caramel squares below, and tag me on Instagram with a picture of your creation @grainfreee, or drop a comment below.

apple caramel squares grain free scd diet
apple caramel bars grain free scd diet

apple caramel squares: ingredients

Cookie base layer:

  • 1 + 1/2 cups of almond flour
  • 1/4 cup of almond butter
  • 1 cup of medjool dates, softened and pitted (approx 6-7 dates) (softened in boiling hot water for 15 minutes, or in room temperature water overnight, covered)
  • 1/2 tsp of pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp of honey

Caramel layer:

  • 1 cup of hazelnut milk or nut milk of choice
  • 12 medjool dates, softened and pitted (softened in boiling hot water for 15 minutes, or in room temperature water overnight, covered)
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • dash of salt

Apple layer:

  • 2-3 apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1-2 tbsp of honey (depending on desired sweetness, as these squares are already sweet – so if you prefer less sweet, you could even omit the honey entirely)

apple caramel squares: how to

Base layer:

  1. Start by blending the dates, vanilla extract, honey and almond butter, in a food processor. Blend until smooth, and add in almond flour, combining well by hand.

  2. With a spatula, spread the mixture across a medium or large baking tray lined with parchment paper, approximately 8 inch x 7 inch, with 1 inch or so in thickness (I simply centered the dough in the middle of a large baking tray).

  3. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 for 15 minutes, and remove. Set aside while you prepare your caramel and apple layer.

Caramel layer:

  1. In a clean food processor, blend your dates and add in your milk a bit at a time, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the vanilla and salt, and blend on high until completely smooth. 

  2. Remove the blade from the food processor, and slather the caramel across the dough. Set aside as you prepare your apple layer.

Apple layer:

  1. Peel and slice your apples thinly. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the apples with honey and cinnamon.
  2. Cover the caramel layer with the apples, placing each slice individually length-wise along the edge of the squares, repeating until the dough is full. Place back in the oven, baking 20-25 minutes, until slightly browned and apples are softened.
  3. Allow to cool completely before slicing.
  4. Store these squares in between layers of parchment paper in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. If, when removing from fridge after a day or two, you find the square to be soft, simply pop it back in the oven for 5 mins or so at 350 to firm it back it up and enjoy it warm and slightly crisped!

Step-by-step photos below.

apple caramel bars grain free scd diet
apple caramel bars grain free scd diet
apple caramel bars grain free scd diet
apple caramel bars grain free scd diet
apple caramel bars grain free scd diet
apple caramel bars grain free scd diet
apple caramel bars grain free scd diet
apple caramel bars grain free scd diet
apple caramel bars grain free scd diet

apple caramel squares (grain free, scd diet)

these aren't your average squares. they're filled with a layer of sweet cookie-esque shortbread, a layer of caramel, and a layer of cinnamon-coated apples.
Course: Dessert
Author: grainfreee.com

Ingredients

Cookie base

  • 1 + 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1 cup medjool dates approx 6-7 dates, softened in boiling hot water for 15 minutes, or in room temperature water overnight, covered
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp honey

Caramel layer

  • 1 cup hazelnut milk or nut milk of choice
  • 12 medjool dates, softened and pitted softened in boiling hot water for 15 minutes, or in room temperature water overnight, covered
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • dash salt

Apple layer

  • 2-3 apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1-2t tbsp honey

Instructions

Cookie base

  • Start by blending the dates, vanilla extract, honey and almond butter, in a food processor. Blend until smooth, and add in almond flour, combining well by hand.
  • With a spatula, spread the mixture across a medium or large baking tray lined with parchment paper, approximately 8 inch x 7 inch, with 1 inch or so in thickness (I simply centered the dough in the middle of a large baking tray).
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 350 for 15 minutes, and remove. Set aside while you prepare your caramel and apple layer

Caramel layer

  • In a clean food processor, blend your dates and add in your milk a bit at a time, scraping down the sides as needed.
  • Add the vanilla and salt, and blend on high until completely smooth. 
  • Remove the blade from the food processor, and slather the caramel across the dough. Set aside as you prepare your apple layer

Apple layer

  • Peel and slice your apples thinly, if you haven't yet. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the apples with honey and cinnamon.
  • Cover the caramel layer with the apples, placing each slice individually length-wise along the edge of the squares, repeating until the dough is full.
  • Place back in the oven, baking 20-25 minutes, until slightly browned and apples are softened.
  • Allow to cool completely before slicing. Store these squares in between layers of parchment paper in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. If, when removing from fridge after a day or two, you find the square to be soft, simply pop it back in the oven for 5 mins or so at 350 to firm it back it up and enjoy it warm and slightly crisped!
    Step-by-step photos on my website/above.

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