Omg hi. I know, could my vocabulary BE any more ingenious. Probably because I have no words for these bars except ERRMYGOSH hello huuney. Dark chocolate caramel collagen candy bars. It’s no wonder these east coast harvard folks find me odd.
All I do is read about nutrient metabolism, make collagen candy bars, gaze through Trader Joe’s and watch dodger baseball. With a side of sweaty marathon training. I wish I was more interesting but thats all I got for ya folks. Take it or leave it.
BUT if any of that sounds like fun to you then hi hello let me make you these bars for halloween while we watch Game of Thrones all night.
Are you dressing up this year? Halloween has never really been my favorite holiday. I’ll never forget the time I was just entering the “teen phase” my freshman year of high school and dressed up for a party. My mom and me were so excited to get me ready and she helped paint my entire face white with a bloody mouth, dark eyes and jet black gelled hair. AKA a deadly vampire. Full cape in all…
Remember that scene from Mean Girls when lindsey lohan shows up to the playbuy bunny high school halloween party as a dead zombie bride? Yea. That was me in a nutshell. I learned VERY early on I was a different breed and needless to say ended up trick or treating that night.
So here we are 10+ years later and I”m whipping up vegan dark chocolate caramel collagen bars for halloween completely embracing the quirky, dramatic person I am. Well, slowly learning to anyways. Also currently writing this post on a Saturday, snuggled up in my apartment with a latte-t0-go from Tatte as it’s POURING rain outside. Been busting out work, content and projects all day + adulting so definitley feelin ALL the ignorance-is-bliss feels as I pretend I don’t have 4 more weeks of my medicine clinical rotation waiting for me.
Granted, it’s actually all very valuable! I love the physiology/metabolism aspect of clinical nutrition but not so much the setting or feeling like a hamster on a spinning wheel (the internship in general feels this way a lot of the time)…more on that later! All I know is this little space of a platform I have started to grow is what really keeps me going. THANK YOU for showing up and reaching out when you do. It makes this all worth while, especially when I get to create delicious healthified candy bars for all the other quirky-dramatic-active souls out there. Recipe details below 🙂
Dark Chocolate Caramel Collagen Candy Bars Recipe Notes
Bottom Layer: Layer one is going to be your collagen + peanut butter + maple syrup base. This alone is deadly delicious so beware! You can also probably sub honey for the maple syrup but I am a mega fan of pure maple syrup for sweetness. You can also sub the peanut butter for sunbutter, I tested that out and LOVED it. Keep in mind these bars are DENSE and RICH. If you prefer a thicker bar, prepare in a 9×11 bread loaf. If you prefer a very thin bar, prepare in an 8×8 pan.
Collagen Protein & Vegan Options: I have tested the recipe with pure chocolate flavored collagen protein powder (I used Ancient Nutrition brand that they sent me for an instagram partnership). I have not tried other protein powders, or flour so I can’t say what the results will be if you decide to substitute. I do suggest trying the recipe as is to start. If you are vegan I recommend Aloha Chocolate Flavored protein powder!
If not vegan, the collagen lends a great flavor if using the chocolate flavor (yum) and has added health benefits to support your joints, healthy skin and aid in gut health. I have been a mega fan of bone broth/collagen based proteins for years because of this AND mainly because of my digestion tolerates it much better than whey or artifically
Date Caramel: The date caramel is TECHNICALLY optional but it adds such a great balance to the DENSE fudgy bottom layer and RICH dark chocolate top layer. I suggest soaking pitted dates overnight or atleast two hours before blending. In fact you have to do this in order to help create a “syrup” and blend much easier! Adding some cashew milk (I tested with nutty life and nutpods hazelnut creamer !) to the blender is a game changer for not only making your life easier in terms of the caramel coming together but helps add creaminess. Yum.
Storage: These MUST be stored in the freezer! If you keep them at room temperature they will become melty/crumbly. They still taste good but the bars will not hold. In fact, I’mnot sure if I mentioned this but you don’t even have to bake these bars. They are “no-bake” meaning after about an hour in the freezer you can slice em up and eat!
Serves: 12 small squares
- Bottom Layer:
- 1 cup unsweetened sunbutter OR creamy peanut butter (not thick)
- ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup chocolate flavored collagen protein*
- Sea salt to taste
- Middle Layer:
- 1 cup dates, pitted and soaked in water in the fridge for at least two hours (or overnight)
- 2-4 Tbsp. cashew milk
- ¼ cup chopped peanuts or cashews
- Top Layer:
- 1 cup vegan dark chocolate chips**
- 1 tsp. coconut oil
- Sea salt topping
- First line a 9x11 loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In pan over medium heat, melt together the subutter and maple syrup. Continue to mix together over the stove until a syrup forms. Turn heat off and mix in the chocolate collagen powder and sea salt. A thick dough shoiuld form! You can also melt the nut butter and maple in a microwave safe bowl if you wish. Press the dough into the pan and set aside.
- Now prepare the date caramel but blending the PRE-SOAKED date in a high powered blender or food processor with 2 Tbsp. cashew milk. You will need to scrape down the sides 2-3 times and continue to blend until a "caramel" forms. Add more cashew milk a little at a time if needed to help blend and form a syrup. Spread the date caramel over the collagen base. Then top with the chopped peanuts.
- Now melt the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl with coconut oil in 30 second increments, mixing inbetween. It should only take you about two rounds, be careful not to burn the chocolate!
- Spread the chocolate over the peanut caramel layer, top with sea salt then place in the fridge for 1 hour. Carefully slice into small squares and keep stored in the freezer!
**To keep dairy free, use dairy free chocolate chips. I love Lily's or Enjoy Life brand!