As soon as I saw these bars in Desiree's cookbook Good For Your Gut, I knew I needed to make them ASAP. They are dairy free, gluten free, vegan, low FODMAP and totally delicious!
In a medium bowl, stir together the almond flour, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt. Evenly press the mixture into the baking pan and lightly prick the base all over with a fork. Bake until the edges start to firm up and turn golden, 13 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes while you prepare the caramel layer.
In a small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, and salt. Spread the caramel mixture over the shortbread base, then place the baking pan in the fridge while you prepare the chocolate layer.
In a small pot, bring 2 inches (5 cm) of water to a simmer over medium heat. Stir the chocolate chips with the coconut oil in a small heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over the simmering water. Ensure that the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water.
Gently and continuously stir until the chocolate and coconut oil are melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and let sit for a few minutes to thicken slightly. Pour the melted chocolate mixture over the caramel layer. Sprinkle some flaky sea salt over the chocolate, if using. Place the pan in the fridge until firm, at least 30 minutes.
*refined coconut oil is coconut oil that is hard at room temperature but has the coconut flavour removed. You can find it in most grocery stores. Substituting unrefined coconut oil will just give your bars more coconut flavour!