Homemade Chocolate Candy Bars (vegan + gluten-free)

A rich and decadent three-layer homemade dark chocolate candy bar that is dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free and peanut-free.  It starts with a sweet and crumbly cookie layer under a creamy almond butter layer that is topped with rich dark chocolate and flaky sea salt. This no-bake recipe comes together quickly and easily and can be stored in your freezer for whenever a candy bar craving hits.

With Halloween candy everywhere already, I’ve been daydreaming about my ideal candy bar.  It would, of course, have to include dark chocolate.  I also love when candy bars have different layers that provide different flavors and textures in each bite.  The obvious combination for me is rich dark chocolate and creamy sweet almond butter.  Is there really anything better in the dessert world? 

I took things a step further here and added one more important element: the cookie crust base!  To me, a good candy bar has some texture to it.  It just has to!  So that is what I did here.  These little candy bars are pure perfection and satisfy all my chocolate-lovin cravings.  

Homemade Candy Bar

Close up of homemade candy bar

I like to garnish them with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt to bring out the flavors and make the bars even more addictive. 

Healthy Homemade Chocolate Candy Bar

Healthy Homemade Chocolate Candy Bar with Flaky Sea Salt

You will find that there is very little hands-on time with this recipe.  You will need to allow time for each layer to set in the freezer before topping with the next layer.  But other than that, this recipe is super low maintenance and very straight forward. 

Homemade Chocolate Candy Bar

All you need for these homemade chocolate candy bars is:

  1. coconut oil
  2. almond butter
  3. pure maple syrup
  4. salt
  5. vegan dark chocolate (here is my homemade vegan chocolate recipe)
  6. Bucks Natural Chocolate Chip Buckwheat Cookies

This recipe is sponsored by Bucks Natural Cookies and I use their delicious buckwheat chocolate chip cookies as the base for the cookie crust in the candy bars.  They make the crust so flavorful.

Bucks Natural Cookies in Food Processor

I absolutely love their cookies because they are allergy-friendly and taste amazing.  Their cookies are naturally gluten-free and made from 100% buckwheat flour that is locally-milled from buckwheat groats.  Buckwheat is gluten-free, high in fiber, rich in vitamins and minerals and contains eight essential amino acids.  If you would like to learn more, here is an article I wrote for The Washington Post that goes into more detail about the health benefits of buckwheat.

Bucks Natural Cookies in Food Processor - ground

Bucks Natural Cookies are also free of the top eight allergens.  So, just like this chocolate candy bar recipe, their cookies are peanut-free, vegan, gluten-free, egg-free and soy-free.  Plus, because of their dedicated facility there is no concern for cross contamination with any of the top 8 allergens.

You can shop their cookies (they come in six delicious flavors).  They are giving 20% off everything site-wide from now until the end of November 2019.  The discount is automatically applied in the cart so no coupon code is needed.  Their cookies are available at these retail locations and will also be available at Wegmans in the next month or two!

whisking homemade dark chocolate

Want more chocolate in your life?

Try my favorite chocolate recipes (all vegan and gluten-free):

  1. Dark Chocolate Avocado Truffles
  2. No-Bake Brown Rice Crispy Treats with Dark Chocolate Shell and Flaked Sea Salt
  3. Dark Chocolate Chunk Almond Flour Cookies with Flaked Sea Salt
  4. Dark Chocolate Fudge Blizzard
  5. No-Nut-Butter Chocolate Eggs
  6. Classic Chocolate Chunk Cookies
  7. Protein-Packed Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
  8. How to Build a Chocolate Dessert Board
  9. Chocolate Filled Snack Bars (Raw + Nut-Free)
  10. Chocolate Microwave Cake (i.e. Mug Cake)
  11. Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies
  12. Chocolate Chip Almond Flour Cookies
  13. Instant Chocolate Mousse
  14. Healthy Chocolate Smoothie
  15. Mexican Hot Chocolate
  16. Healthy Chocolate Mocha Smoothie

Let’s Make These Vegan and Gluten-Free Chocolate Candy Bars Happen!

This recipe is the candy bar of my dreams.  It has it all – a crunchy crumbly cookie layer with a creamy almond butter center topped with rich chocolate and then sprinkled with flaky sea salt for the ultimate gourmet treat!  These chocolate candy bars are perfect for serving to anyone with common food allergies since they are peanut-free, soy-free dairy-free, egg-free and gluten-free.  I cannot wait for you give this one a try!

Dark Chocolate Candy Bar with Flaky Salt

Now, let’s make some chocolate candy bars!

Print
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Dark Chocolate Candy Bar with Flaky Salt

Homemade Chocolate Candy Bar (vegan + gluten-free)


  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Total Time: 60
  • Yield: 16 bars 1x

Description

A rich and decadent three-layer homemade dark chocolate candy bar that is dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free and peanut-free.  It starts with a sweet and crumbly cookie layer under a creamy almond butter layer that is topped with rich dark chocolate and flaky sea salt. This no-bake recipe comes together quickly and easily and can be stored in your freezer for whenever a candy bar craving hits.


Scale

Ingredients

Bottom Layer: Cookie Crust

  • 2 boxes Bucks Natural Buckwheat Cookies: Chocolate Chip or Sugar Cookie variety
  • 5 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

Middle Layer: Creamy Almond Butter

  • 1/2 cup raw almond butter*
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt

Top Layer: Chocolate

Garnish with flaky sea salt


Instructions

For the bottom layer:

  • In a food processor, process the cookies until fine (about 30 seconds).  Add the coconut oil and process again until well combined.  Transfer to an 8×8 baking pan lined with parchment paper.  Spread into one compact even layer and place in freezer for 20 minutes.

For the middle layer:

  • In a small saucepan over low heat add the almond butter, maple syrup and coconut oil.  Whisk to combine and melt together.  Once well incorporated, remove from burner and whisk in the vanilla and salt.  Set aside until the first layer is finished setting in the freezer.
  • Once the first layer has hardened in the freezer, pour the middle layer overtop.  Use a mini spatula to spread the middle layer into one even layer.  Return the baking pan to the freezer to set the middle layer (about 20 minutes).

For the top layer:

  • Add 2 inches of water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Place a glass bowl overtop to create a double boiler.  Add the chocolate and coconut and stir to melt and combine.  Set aside until the middle layer has hardened.  Once the middle layer has hardened, pour the melted chocolate overtop and lift and tilt the baking pan to spread the chocolate into one even layer.  Place in freezer for 5-10 minutes to allow the top layer to harden.

To Serve

  • Remove the baking pan from the freezer and lift the bars out using the parchment paper.  Place on a flat surface and allow to thaw for a couple minutes until you can easily cut through the bars with a knife.  Cut into 12-14 small chocolate candy bars.  Sprinkle with flaky sea salt if desired.  Serve immediately or return to the freezer in an airtight container lined with parchment paper for up to one month.

Notes

*Make sure your almond butter is runny and not hardened.  I have found the flavor works better with raw almond butter instead of roasted almond butter.  I buy mine at Trader Joe’s for $6/jar.  It is unsweetened and unsalted.  You can try to experiment with other nut or seed butters (even tahini!) but results may vary in terms of the flavor.

Prep time includes hands-on time only.  Please allow enough time for each layer to fully harden in the freezer before adding the next layer.

The candy bars will start to soften at room temperature so they are best served straight from the freezer and enjoyed within a couple of minutes.

Keywords: homemade vegan and gluten-free chocolate candy bars

Thank you Bucks Natural Cookies for sponsoring this post! It means so much to me to partner with brands I love!

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There may be an affiliate link(s) in this post, which means that if you click on a product link above and complete a purchase, I’ll receive a small commission at no extra cost to you! As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you SO much for reading!

                     

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