Sweet, salty and a little bitter, these bars are the perfect bite of everything you’re craving. They serve a crowd and freeze well, perfect for rationing out your self-medicating treats under quarantine or for the inevitable post-quarantine parties. Adapted for a vegan & celiac lifestyle based on Sarah Jampel’s recipe featured on Basically.
For more vegan recipes check out @jonajim on Instagram! —jonajim
almond flour, or gluten-free flour
psyllium husk powder, or 1 tbsp flax meal
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9x9” metal baking pan with oil. Line with parchment paper, leaving overhang on all sides.
Toast the sesame seeds in a pan over medium-low heat, swirling frequently until aromatic and golden. Add to medium bowl, followed by flours, sugar & salt and whisk to combine. Combine aquafaba and psyllium husk, and leave to thicken for a few minutes. Cut chilled butter into ½” pieces and add to dry ingredients; toss to coat. Using your fingers, work in butter until pieces are about pea-size. Add thickened aquafaba/psyllium husk “egg” to bowl with flour mixture, then mix in. Dough should hold together when squeezed. Chill dough if dough is soft until it’s cold and firmer.
Scrape dough into prepared pan and press into an even layer (lightly flour your hands if needed). Prick dough with a fork in several spots (this will help it stay flat as it bakes). Bake for about 26-28 min. until golden brown. Set aside to cool slightly. While the shortbread is cooling, make the tahini butterscotch.
Tahini Butterscotch & Sesame Chocolate
Heat butter and brown sugar, whisking constantly, in a medium saucepan over medium until butter is melted, sugar is dissolved and beginning to bubble —about 3 minutes. Whisk in milk and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook whisking constantly, until bubbling becomes less frequent and butterscotch is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon —about 7-10 minutes. (When in doubt, err on the side of cooking longer —it's better if it's a little too firm than too runny.)
Remove butterscotch from heat, then add tahini and vanilla extract, whisking until smooth. Pour butterscotch over warm shortbread. Chill until set, 30–40 minutes.
Melt chocolate in microwave or double-boiler. Stir in sesame oil. Pour over chilled tahini butterscotch and sesame shortbread, then spread/smooth to edges of pan. Chill for 1-2 hrs until set.
Remove from fridge and lift parchment out of pan. Cut the bars in a 4x4 grid with a serrated knife (use a sawing motion to crack chocolate and not smoosh out the caramel). Keep refrigerated and eat cold or at room temp.