Paleo + Chocolate + Tahini in an easy recipe? I’m in! This is my new favorite recipe, and there are several versions of it around. These are basically classic Millionaire Bars, adapted to fit into grain free, dairy free, egg free, and no cane sugar parameters. Millionaire Bars have been a favorite in Scotland for years, where they may have originated, and where you might see them with names like Caramel Shortbread, or Millionaire’s Slice. They start with a shortbread crust, have a caramel middle, and chocolate layer on top. Decadent!
The recipe I am using here is adapted from this one which happens to be vegan as well as Paleo. Luckily, it’s easy to adapt Millionaire Bars to a Paleo version. The sweet relies on maple syrup here – a lot of it. That brings up the question of whether maple syrup is Paleo. If it is, how much is ok?
This is a recipe that in itself – in my opinion – is too sugary to be valid as Paleo. We know that native North American tribes made and enjoyed maple syrup – there’s even a legend that it made them lazy and less interested in other food – hmmm! It was indeed in the hunter-gather repertoire, at least in the northeastern US.
But, if you’re looking for a sweet treat for kids who can’t eat peanut, wheat, dairy (including butter), or eggs, and you’re avoiding processed sweeteners, this is an good option for a special occasion or happy after school snack.
I haven’t yet tinkered with the maple syrup to tahini ratio in the “caramel” layer, but there may be some room there to reduce the syrup. This will reduce the volume overall of the caramel layer, unless you likewise up the tahini, or other ingredient. Some recipes use dates and less syrup. It may work to blend in an unsweetened additional nut butter (almond or cashew?) if your child tolerates that, and sweeten with some stevia, to make up for reduced syrup.
Changes in my version include adding some flax (technically a seed, not a grain) to enhance the crust, plus a different source for the chocolate chips (I like Lily’s Stevia Sweetened Dark Chocolate Chips) – yes they have soy lecithin. In my experience, this is not a deal breaker for IgE soy allergy or for soy exorphins potential.
I also suggest a different timing for firming up the middle layer, which took much longer than the 30 minutes suggested in the recipe I worked from. I found that the “caramel” layer needs a good two hours in the fridge to set. I got even better results when I let it set overnight.
Once you’ve got this easy recipe assembled, keep stored in fridge or even the freezer if you like. The tahini-maple caramel will soften to runny texture at room temperature.