As with nearly all my recipes, this one came together randomly, unplanned, and turned out to be pretty irresistible. This isn't so much me trying to brag about my cooking skills as it is simply an example of how ridiculously easy vegan sweets can be to make. If you don't have a lot of experience with vegan cooking and think it's going to be super complicated, I am here to say: not really! Like with any other kind of food, it can be as simple as you like; OR you can get fancy with it if that's your thing. It's up to you!

As we all know by now, I am lazy as crap in the kitchen so I tend to opt for the easy/quick/basic recipes most days. This is yet another one of them. If you dig peanut butter, sweet stuff, chocolate and dessert that nourishes your bod and gives you energy: this is the recipe for you. And this is the blog for you as well... just sayin'. ;)

All the equipment you will need for this is basically a blender, and it doesn't have to be an amazing one. I stayed at a friend's place when I made these; their blender is similar to a Magic Bullet and - as you can see - it got the job done. Otherwise we are just gonna be mixing stuff together with a spoon, melting it on the stove and pressing it into pans with our hands.

The first layer is like a coconut cookie dough with almond flour and dates. YES. The middle layer is peanut butter caramel, thickened with coconut oil and taken to the next level with sea salt. YES. The final layer is chocolate. I added soy milk (that's all that was in the fridge, normally I prefer almond or coconut milk) so it made the chocolate creamier and softer than normal, more like sticky fudge. YES. Everything about this recipe is right, and writing about for the past 15 minutes has made me crave a slice so if you'll excuse me I have (healthy, vegan) caramel chocolate bars to eat.

[makes 9 slices]

1 heaping cup dates
1 cup hot water
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup almond flour
1-2 cups shredded coconut, as needed

1/3 cup peanut butter
3 heaping tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 cup coconut oil
Scant 1/4 cup cocoa powder
Scant 1/4 cup agave nectar
Scant 1/4 cup non-dairy milk, as needed
Pinch sea salt

To make the base: leave the dates in the hot water for 15 minutes so they soften up. Add the coconut oil as well so it can melt. Don't discard the water. Blend the water, dates and coconut oil mixture together until as smooth as possible, it will be a thick, sweet paste. Add more water or some non-dairy milk if necessary. Transfer this date paste into a bowl and mix in the salt, almond flour and coconut. I started by adding just a little almond flour and coconut, and then just kept incorporating more until I had a mixture that resembled a thick, moist cookie dough -- so do that. It tasted really good. Press into the bottom of a small lined bread pan. Leave in the fridge.

To make the middle: throw all the ingredients into a small pot on the stove (low heat) until the coconut oil melts and you can stir it all together evenly. Tastes SO yummy. Pour this over your crust and leave the fridge again so it can harden, this will probably take about 20-30 minutes.

To make the top layer: throw all the ingredients - except the milk - into a small pot on the stove (low heat) until the coconut oil melts and you can stir it all together evenly. Gradually stir in the milk until you have a glossy chocolate mixture. If it's too watery, add more cocoa or coconut oil. Once your middle layer has hardened up a bit, pour the chocolate over it. Sprinkle on some more salt if you like and leave in the fridge for an hour or two, or overnight. Slice and enjoy!

You can keep 'em in the fridge for a few weeks, or a few months in the freezer.