It’s almost the end of the Whole30/Paleo month and I did pretty well – not perfect – but not too bad. Feeling proud of myself, I thought I’d explore a Paleo dessert (as I am human after all).
Paleo “allowances” are a bit easier to work with than Whole30, using almond flour instead of wheat flour and substituting milk for coconut milk. These substitutions felt doable to me and I had the ingredients in my cupboard so I hit my kitchen to experiment.
I decided to make Millionaire’s Shortbread as I have always enjoyed this dessert in the non-diet version. If you’ve never had the pleasure, imagine these bars sort of like a homemade Twix Bar – shortbread on the bottom, a layer of caramel, and then a layer of chocolate. Could this be just as good with the Paleo version? Well, I made this twice, tweaking it the second time, getting it as close to perfect as possible. The shortbread layer was good as is, however, it took me a few different tries to find the right “caramel”. I say “caramel” as the Paleo versions do not include traditional sugar or dairy so technically, they are just gooey ingredients mixed all together but I came up with one I liked more than another and from there, the bars were topped with chocolate, which can never lead you wrong.
Paleo Millionaire’s Shortbread
Total Time: 1 Hour
Makes: 8 Thin Slices
- 1 ½ CUPS ALMOND FLOUR
- 3 TBS COCONUT OIL, MELTED IF USING SOLID TYPE
- 2 TBS RAW HONEY OR MAPLE SYRUP
- ¼ CUP COCONUT SUGAR
- ½ CAN (APPROX.. 7 OZ) COCONUT “CREAM”, FULL FAT
- ¼ TSP SEA SALT
- ½ TSP VANILLA
- 5 OZ. DARK CHOCOLATE (AT LEAST 50% COCOA, WITH 70% OR HIGHER PREFERRED)
- SPLASH OF COCONUT OIL
- Make the shortbread base. Mix almond flour, coconut oil, and raw honey or maple syrup together in a bowl, pack into the bottom of a small dish. Set aside. I used a loaf pan and the thickness of this layer was perfect for me, if you like a thinner bar, use a larger dish
- Make the caramel layer. Melt the coconut sugar and coconut cream together in a small saucepan, stirring frequently until sugar has dissolved. Bring mixture to a boil, then immediately turn down the heat to a simmer, watching closely as this can quickly burn. Simmer for about 30 minutes until color turns caramel brown, stirring more towards the last few minutes to incorporate the caramelized bits from the bottom into the whole mixture
- Turn off heat and mix in salt and vanilla. If the texture is too dry at any point in making the caramel, a splash of coconut oil will help thin it out
- Pour over the shortbread base and freeze for at least 15 mins
- While the rest freezes, make the chocolate layer. Place dark chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl, with a splash of coconut oil. Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after each one. Usually takes about 2 minutes total.
- Pour over the previous two layers and place them back in the freezer for another 15 minutes. Cut and serve
If you don’t have coconut oil: for the shortbread base, lard will work as it is actually Paleo approved, and for the chocolate layer, a splash of non-dairy milk will work. You’ll want to do a tad of research about which non-dairy milk substitutions are best, as soy, rice, and oat milk are not Paleo whereas almond, cashew, and hemp all are.
The original “caramel” layer I made involved almond butter and more coconut oil but I found it made the overall dessert taste too much like coconut oil since it was then being used prominently in all 3 layers. If you don’t mind the taste of coconut oil and want to cut down on the time it takes to make the caramel layer, simply mix ½ cup nut butter, 3 TBS coconut oil, and 1/3 cup raw honey or maple syrup. Mix together and pour onto a shortbread layer. Still allow for freeze time but this method cuts down total time to only about 30 minutes.