The bars are so tasty, in fact, that I couldn’t resist revisiting them myself. I never tend to leave well enough alone, so I racked my brain trying to think of ways I could make them even better. Enter Steviva, my new favorite natural sweetener! Not only was I able to cut the calories and carbs, but I used it to make my own condensed coconut milk. The result? The same delicious, decadent flavor both lightened up and now gluten AND vegan.
Preheat oven to 350. Place a piece of parchment in a 9×13 baking pan, allowing an inch to hang over each end.
To make condensed milk, bring the coconut milk and Steviva to a boil in a small pot over medium heat. Once it reaches a boil, lower the heat and allow to reduce for about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally to check thickness; it should reduce by about half. Remove from the heat to cool. The mixture will thicken a bit more while cooling.
While the milk is reducing, put 4 1/2 cups of the pretzels in a food processor. Pulse into crumbs. Add 2 tbs. Stevia and melted Earth Balance or coconut oil to the food processor. Run again until the mixture is combined.
Press crumb mixture into the prepared baking pan, making sure to pack it down well.
Pour condensed milk over the crust. Press remaining pretzels (I like to break my into pieces), nuts and chocolate into the milk.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the milk is set and crust is golden. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before lifting ends of parchment to remove from the baking dish. Cut into bars. Best kept chilled.
Serving Size 1
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.