coconut milk chai bars

One thing that we always look forward to during the holiday season is preparing the best and most flavorful menus. Whether you’re the hostess or a guest looking to bring something yummy with you, we’ve found the perfect bite-sized dessert. At first glance you might think that these treats are in the same family as salted caramels. While we do love a good caramel, our LaurenConrad.com resident baker and dessert genius, Lauren Lowstan, created coconut milk chai bars that are on their own level of deliciousness. Not only do they give off a fragrant aroma of fall flavors (think chai spices and sweet caramel), their sweetness is perfectly complimented with the dash of sea salt sprinkled on top. If you’re looking for a decadent dessert to pass around your next soiree, look no further. Keep reading to see how you can easily whip up a batch of coconut milk chai bars that will surely have your guests reaching for seconds…

Ingredients:

Shortbread Layer:

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 c flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Caramel:

  • 4 bags chai tea
  • 1 3/4 cups coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup corn syrup
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar

coconut milk chai bars

Instructions:

Shortbread:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a stand mixer, beat the coconut oil, sugar and vanilla until completely combined, about one minute. Add in the flour and salt and mix on slow speed just until everything comes together.
  3. Line a 9″ pan with parchment paper and spray the tops and side of the parchment with cooking spray. Crumble the shortbread into the bottom of the pan. Press firmly with your hands until the shortbread covers the bottom and is an even layer.
  4. Bake the shortbread layer in your preheated oven until the top is a light golden brown, about 12-15 minutes. Take out of the oven and set aside until the caramel is ready.

Caramel Layer:

  1. Place the coconut milk and chai in a saucepan set over medium high heat and let it come to a light boil. Take off the heat and let sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Take out the tea bags and toss. (Make sure to squeeze any extra milk out of the bags).  Add in the corn syrup and salt and bring the mixture bag to a light boil and stir until the salt is completely dissolved, about 4 minutes. Once the mixture is smooth and together, remove from heat and set aside.
  3. In a separate saucepan, add the sugar and water and whisk until combined. Place over medium high heat and cook, without stirring, until the sugar is a nice amber color, and reaches 310 degrees.
  4. Immediately, gently pour the caramel into the chai spiced milk. Be careful—the mixture might bubble and crackle, and you don’t want to get extremely hot caramel on your skin!
  5. Place the saucepan (that now has all your ingredients in it) back over medium heat (yes, one more time!) Stir your caramel until all the clumps have disappeared and it is smooth.
  6. Raise the heat to medium high and cook until the caramel has thickened and reaches 245 degrees. I like to keep stirring the caramel until it reaches 245!
  7. Pour the caramel over the shortbread layer and let it set and cook completely.
  8. Once you’re ready to cut your bars, make sure to oil your knife before cutting! This will help the caramel to not stick to the knife.

coconut milk chai bars

These coconut milk chai bars practically melt in your mouth! And did we mention that they taste delicious with a mug of coffee?

Are you going to be giving these coconut milk chai bars a try?

Let us know if you do in the comments!

We love it when you tag us on social media too! If you try out one of our recipes be sure to tag @laurenconrad_com on Instagram and use the hastag #lcdotcomloves.

XO Team LC

Photos: Valorie Darling for LaurenConrad.com
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