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Vegan Lemon Bars with Spiced Tahini Caramel

Just 8 ingredients needed total for these amazingly, rich lemon bars that are unique, thanks to the spicy tahini caramel swirl effect. These are not only beautiful to look at, but incredibly creamy and will blow everybody's mind that they are not full of butter and sugar.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 8
Author Brandi Doming

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 1/2 cup 225g raw whole almonds
  • 2-3 tablespoons 40-60g maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Filling

  • 3/4 cup 135g completely melted coconut butter (NOT coconut oil!)(I make my own, click here, this ingredient is not optional and cannot be subbed, it is what makes the bars firm up)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons 84g very smooth/runny RAW tahini (toasted tahini will be too strong of a flavor, I use Rawguru or Kroger Simple Truth brand is great)
  • 1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons 140g pure maple syrup, room temperature (agave would work too)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons 90g fresh lemon juice, room temperature
  • Pinch fine sea salt
  • Lemon zest optional for garnish

Spicy tahini caramel swirl

  • 2 teaspoons smooth/runny tahini
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • water to thin if necessary

Note

  • This recipe is written as with all my recipes, with the ratios that work. As far as SUBS, changing the ingredients could totally alter the texture result, as I've only made it using these ingredients. Please keep this in mind if you want the recipe to turn out right. As far as the tahini, I prefer Rawguru because it is liquidy and very smooth and clean tasting. If your tahini is extremely thick, warm it slightly to a smooth liquid and then measure. If you don't like tahini, you can try subbing with maybe cashew butter. Let me know if you try it!

Instructions

  1. Before beginning, make sure your syrup, tahini and lemon juice are at room temperature, otherwise it will cause the coconut butter to cease up while mixing. Prepare the crust first by adding the nuts to a food processor and processing into a flour. Add the syrup and vanilla and process until it forms clumps and stop. Add more syrup if it's not clumping. Line a 9X5 loaf pan with plastic wrap. Use plastic wrap, not parchment, so you can easily press the mixture on the bottom and shape the bars into squares. Parchment paper is too stiff to do it. Press the dough into the lined pan flat and evenly and out to the edges.
  2. Next, melt your coconut butter to a complete liquid, then measure out 3/4 cup. It is important to measure after it is a complete liquid, so the bars result in the right texture. Set aside.
  3. Next, slightly melt your tahini if it is too thick, then measure 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons. It should also be smooth and liquidy before measuring, so you don't get too much of tahini in the bars. In a medium bowl, combine the raw tahini, syrup, vanilla, lemon juice and salt and stir well. Now, add in the melted coconut butter and stir really well until mixed. It will be thick. Pour on crust and spread out evenly.
  4. Mix swirl ingredients in a small cup with a fork. Drop by spoonfuls onto the lemon batter and swirl around with a toothpick. Garnish with lemon zest, if desired. It gives it a beautiful presentation.
  5. Chill to firm up in fridge a couple of hours, at least. Slice into bars while they are still in the pan. These are very thick and rich, so I cut them into 8 bars. Keep them stored in the fridge.

Recipe Notes

*Raw, vegan, gluten-free, oil-free