Vegan Saffron Pistachio Caramel Bars

Last updated:

Vegan Saffron Pistachio Caramel Bars


These Saffron Pistachio Caramel Bars are inspired by the the trinity of Persian flavors – made with a cardamom spiced oaty base and a smooth saffron caramel made with rose water and studded with pistachios.

Ingredients

Oaty Base:

  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/2+1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter or coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Saffron Caramel Layer:

  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron
  • 1 tablespoon boiling water
  • 1/2 cup cashew butter
  • 1/2 cup medjoul dates, pitted
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter or coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 cup plant milk (coconut, oat, almond, etc.) or water
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon rose water
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • hefty pinch of salt
  • 2/3 cup shelled unsalted pistachios

Instructions

Oaty Base:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C
  2. Add the dry oaty base ingredients to a bowl and, using a spoon or spatula, mix until combined. Add the vegan butter and vanilla extract and mix with a spatula until a smooth, firm dough forms.
  3. Press the oaty base into a baking tin (I used a loaf tin) and bake for about 18 minutes depending on which shape and size tin you use, I recommend keeping an eye on it after the 15 minute mark. 
  4. Meanwhile, make the Saffron Caramel.

Saffron Caramel Layer:

  1. Bloom the saffron in the boiling water. Let sit for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Blend all caramel ingredients, except for the pistachios, in a blender or food processor until entirely smooth. Stir the pistachios through the caramel.
  3. Spread an even layer of the caramel over the oaty base and transfer it to the fridge to set. Once solid, this will take about two hours, it’s ready to serve. Store in the fridge or freezer. 

Notes

  • If you prefer to skip the oil in the oaty base, that’s no problem! Just substitute the oil for a nut butter, you might need to add an additional 2 tablespoons – 1/4 cup of nut butter in order to make make the liquid:dry ingredient ratio work.
  • You can swap the chickpea flour for regular wheat flour, or a gluten free flour blend.
  • You can swap out the cashew butter for any other nut butter, but it will of course change the taste of the final product.