Chocolate and Peanut Butter Shortbread Bars Everyone Can Love

A recipe for gluten-free, dairy-free and grain-free millionaire bars, excerpted from the cookbook Good for Your Gut, by Desiree Nielsen

These bars are a decadent, satisfying treat made from wholesome ingredients like almond flour and peanut butter.

Inspired by millionaire bars, the cookie base is made from protein-packed almond flour and the caramel layer is melt-in-your-mouth decadence. Even with the three layers, these bars are quite simple to make and well worth the bit of extra effort. Yes, low-FODMAP treats can be zero compromise.


Chocolate and Peanut Butter Caramel Shortbread Bars

Makes 16 bars


Shortbread Base

  • 2 cups (500 mL) almond flour
  • ½ cup (125 mL) refined coconut oil
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon (1 mL) salt

Caramel Layer

  • 1 cup (250 mL) natural peanut butter
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) refined coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) pure vanilla extract Pinch of salt

Chocolate Layer

  • ¾ cup (175 mL) dairy-free dark chocolate chips (at least 70% cocoa)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) coconut oil Flaky sea salt (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°F). Lightly grease the bottom and sides of an 8-inch (2 L) square baking pan with coconut oil. Cut a length of parchment paper long enough to line the bottom of the pan with extra hanging over the sides.
  2. Make the shortbread base: In a medium bowl, whisk 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.
  3. Make 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.
  4. Make 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, about 30 minutes.
    Remove from the pan using the parchment paper overhang. Cut into bars. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Good For Your Gut Cookbook

Excerpted from Good for Your Gut by Desiree Nielsen. Copyright © 2022 by Desiree Nielsen. Published by Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

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