Sometimes a girl needs a candy bar. And last time I checked, candy bars are chock full of sugar. Thankfully these low carb candy bars are made with healthy ingredients so you can indulge without doing harm to your body. What more could a girl ask for?
Low Carb Candy Bars
When I was in college, I went through a phase of being obsessed with peanut butter Twix. Are those even still around? They had a chocolate shortbread cookie base with a peanut butter filling.
I don’t know what made me think of them, but I decided there really needed to be a low carb alternative. Because as we’ve established, I kind of have a thing for peanut butter and chocolate.
I played around a bit, tweaking and fiddling, until I came up with something just right. My husband was so sad about all the tasting he had to do.
Let’s get to it.
Chocolate Shortbread Cookie
For the crust, I used almond flour, cocoa powder, xanthan gum, salt, butter, sweetener, and vanilla.
I personally don’t like my desserts super sweet, so while I used 1/4 cup of sweetener here, you could add a couple more tablespoons if you have a sweet tooth.
To make these into candy bar shapes, I used a silicone mold. This makes for a decent-sized candy bar, although not quite as large as a store-bought one.
If you’d prefer not to use a mold, you can bake this in a square pan and then slice it after it’s cool. The shortbread would likely be thinner, but you could cut it into smaller pieces if you like.
The benefit of using the mold is that you can make an indent in the center of each bar. This helps when it comes time to put the filling on.
These get baked until the edges start to brown. Make sure you don’t underbake or you won’t have a crisp cookie.
After they come out of the oven, I use a spoon while they’re still hot to reinforce the indentation.
Peanut Butter Filling
While those are cooling, it’s time to make the peanut butter filling.
This consists of butter, natural peanut butter, sweetener, and peanut flour.
I tried this at first just using the sweetener to get it to the right consistency, but I found it was way too sweet that way. So I switched to using half sweetener and half peanut flour and it was just right. But if you don’t want to buy peanut flour and enjoy when things are tooth-numbingly sweet, you can use all sweetener.
But if you do decide to buy peanut flour, you can also be all set to make my favorite Single Serve Peanut Butter Cookie Dough. (Seriously, you should make that.)
After the shortbread has cooled, take it out of the mold and spread the peanut butter filling in the center.
I find it’s best to use a piping bag and large round tip. (This is what I use for my mint meringues as well!) But it also works to use a zip top bag with the corner snipped off. Just be aware it’s harder to control the amount this way.
Place the bars on a rack over a parchment-lined baking sheet and place them in the freezer for 15-20 minutes or until very firm.
If you have any parts of the peanut butter filling that aren’t smooth (and you care about that) you can smooth it down more easily when it’s frozen.
Last, it’s time for the chocolate coating. This is just regular old melted chocolate. I use 85% dark chocolate, but you can also use completely sugar-free chocolate if that’s your preference.
Instead of dipping these, which is a tiresome, messy process, I decided to just pour the chocolate over them. The bottom doesn’t get covered with chocolate this way, but I find I don’t mind that at all. And it’s much easier to deal with this way.
You’ll see that in the recipe it calls for 6 oz of chocolate. Not all of this chocolate will stay on the bars, but it’s necessary to melt that much to get it coated properly. I weighed the amount of chocolate that was left on the parchment after, and calculated that the bars use about 3.25 oz of chocolate, so I adjusted the nutrition facts accordingly.
After that, you just have to let them set! I like to store these in the fridge, in an airtight container. But you can let them come to room temperature before eating if you prefer they not be cold.
Mmmm. Just look at those beauties. Sure to kick any craving for candy bars right out of the park!
Just make sure to hide them from the kids.
- 1 cup (100g) almond flour
- 3 Tbsp (20g) cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 Tbsp (57g) butter, room temperature
- 4 Tbsp (28g) low carb sweetener
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Peanut Butter Filling
- 4 Tbsp (57g) butter, room temperature
- 1/3 cup (80mL) peanut butter
- 1/4 cup (28g) low carb sweetener
- 1/4 cup (20g) peanut flour
- pinch salt
- Preheat oven to 350F (175C)
- Make chocolate shortbread: Whisk together almond flour, cocoa powder, xanthan gum, and salt.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together butter and sweetener until well combined. Add vanilla.
- Mix in dry ingredients in two parts, mixing well after each addition, until mixture is homogenous.
- Press shortbread dough into silicone mold and make an indentation along the center of each cavity. Bake for 10-14 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown.
- Press indentation again with a spoon when you remove from oven to reinforce. Allow to cool.
- While shortbread is cooling, make filling. Beat together butter and peanut butter until well combined. Add remaining ingredients and beat well.
- Remove cooled shortbread from the mold. Place filling in a piping bag fitted with a large round tip (or use a ziptop bag with a corner cut off) and top each shortbread with a wide stripe of peanut butter filling.
- Place bars on a rack set over a parchment-lined rimmed cookie sheet. Transfer to freezer for 20 minutes or until firm.
- While chilling, melt chocolate in microwave or double-boiler until fully melted.
- Remove bars from freezer and carefully spoon chocolate over each bar to cover top and sides completely. Allow chocolate to set.
- Serve. Store extras in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Much of the chocolate coating drips off the bars. I calculated the macros based on the chocolate actually on the bars, not the total listed in the recipe.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 9
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 288Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 10.5gSodium: 145mgCarbohydrates: 9.3gNet Carbohydrates: 5.1gFiber: 4.1gSugar: 2.8gProtein: 8.2g