Almost raw chocolate-caramel shortbread

Almost raw chocolate-caramel shortbread

This post was created in partnership with Califia Farms.

Man oh man oh man OH MAN. What an interesting 12 days it’s been, eh?

I spent the first week of #45s time in office incessantly checking the news (Thom would argue that ‘incessantly’ is an understatement) (heh). Do you have any idea what that does to a person? Of course you do because you, like me, were probably incessantly checking the news, too. So I don’t need to tell you about how it made my blood boil. Or about how it started eating away at me. Or about how it turned me into a psychotic version of myself who would spew 20-words-a-second at Mike Coffman’s voicemail at 5AM. I knew something had to give when I ended one of our solo chats with a gentle reminder that YOU WORK FOR US, MOTHERFUCKER. DON’T FORGET IT.

I apologized for calling him a motherfucker, BTW. And you’ll be pleased to know my voicemails to him are far more pleasant now that I no longer start my days with 30 minutes of (bad) news. Instead I’ve been starting them with Arundhati Roy’s War Talk. I’ve read the book at least half a dozen times now (it’s a collection of short essays), but my favorite chapter has always been the very last one. It’s called Confronting Empire. And reading it is my new favorite way to start the day.

Our strategy should be not only to confront Empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness – and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different from the ones we’re being brainwashed to believe.

The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling – their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability.

Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them.

– Arundhati Roy

PS – Yes, the link to the book is an affiliate link. But the good news is that 100% of the profits I earn through my Amazon affiliate account will be donated to the ACLU on behalf of OLC readers.

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Notes: If you don’t have cacao butter for the cashew caramel cream, you can replace it with 1/4 cup (45g) of coconut oil (making for 1/2 cup of coconut oil total). The roasted cashew butter can be replaced with raw cashew butter, almond butter, etc. but the roasted cashew lends a really delicious flavor to these things. If you don’t want to make ganache, use magic shell and pour it on top of the shortbread once the caramel cashew cream is frozen solid. If you’d prefer to make the shortbread in bar form, knock yourself out. Just make sure you double the recipe so you have enough to fill the pan (I’d use an 8″ square pan). This recipe was inspired by all the Livia’s Kitchen millionaire bites I ate in London last spring.

More almost raw goodness: almost raw chocolate chunk cashew bites (my favorite), almost raw brownies with maple ganache, and almost raw coconut-pecan pie bars.

This post is sponsored by Califia Farms, maker of my favorite non-GMO + carrageenan-free almondmilk (amongst other delicious beverages). All opinions are my own and I think Califia rules. 


Oat + coconut crumbs
1 cup (90g) rolled oats
1 cup (75g) unsweetened shredded coconut
Pinch of fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean powder
4-6 (60g) medjool dates
, pitted
2 tablespoons (24g) unrefined coconut oil
2 tablespoons (28g) Califia Farms unsweetened almondmilk

Cashew caramel cream
1/2 cup (68g) raw cashew pieces, soaked 4+ hours or overnight
10-12 (160g) medjool dates, pitted and soaked 15 minutes
1/4 cup (55g) Califia Farms unsweetened almondmilk
1/2 cup (120g) roasted cashew butter
1/4 cup (45g) unrefined coconut oil, melted
1.5 ounces (43g) cacao butter
, melted (see notes above)
Pinch of fine sea salt

You’ll also need
Maple ganache
Toasted coconut flakes
Cacao nibs
Sea salt flakes

In a food processor fitted with the S blade, blend the oats, shredded coconut, salt, and vanilla bean powder into a super fine meal (this should take 1-2 minutes). Add the dates and pulse for 25-30 seconds, until evenly distributed. Add the coconut oil and almondmilk and process until fully incorporated. Divide and firmly press the crumbs into the cavities of a 12 cavity mini cheesecake pan; set aside.

In a high powered blender, such as a Vitamix, blend the cashews (drained), dates (drained), almondmilk, cashew butter, coconut oil, cacao butter, and sea salt on high speed until smooth and creamy; about 1-2 minutes. Divide the cashew caramel cream between the cavities then level with the back of a spoon. Tap the pan on the countertop to remove any trapped air bubbles. Transfer the pan to the freezer and chill the shortbread for at least eight hours. Once they’re frozen solid, pop them out of the pan and transfer to an airtight container until you’re ready to serve.

Just before serving, top shortbread with a spoonful of ganache then sprinkle with toasted coconut flakes, cacao nibs, and sea salt flakes. Leftover shortbread can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for at least a few months (though they won’t last that long). I prefer to eat the shortbread straight from the freezer but, if you want to serve them at a party, you’ll be pleased to know they’ll keep their shape at room temperature (thanks to the cacao butter).

Yield: 12 shortbread

Women's March on Denver


  • Reply valentina | sweet kabocha 31 January 2017 at 9:14 PM

    These are totally needed right now. Seriously.

  • Reply Kimberly/TheLittlePlantation 1 February 2017 at 1:41 AM

    Please know you are not alone. I have been more politically active the last few weeks (aka since November last year) than during the course of my entire life.
    We will not rest until this horror ends. Sending you strength all the way from London.

  • Reply Karlie 1 February 2017 at 5:18 AM

    My heart is heavy but this post made me feel a little stronger. Thank you for sharing and donating. These shortbreads are lovely, I think I’ll make them for a sweet friend’s birthday. xo

  • Reply Natalie Harney 1 February 2017 at 5:38 AM

    These look delicious – thank you for sharing them and your thoughts. Small joys are what are getting me through currently

    – Natalie

  • Reply Lan | MoreStomach 1 February 2017 at 6:51 AM

    it’s been an exhausting 12 days — i have cut back on my FB viewing but damn if i haven’t replaced it with watching the news. this introvert has a packed calendar of attending meetings and volunteering and resisting. i will admit to moments of despair though.

  • Reply Chelsea @ Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen 1 February 2017 at 7:13 AM

    I work with clients to end emotional eating, but that’s all I want to do lately! I’m so scared for the world right now… and puppy videos and desserts are the only things that seem to help me relax. These look like they will definitely do the trick. <3

  • Reply Abby @ Heart of a Baker 1 February 2017 at 9:09 AM

    I feel so much of this, I’m pretty sure my cookie consumption has increased tenfold in the last few weeks. AJ and I spent all of Sunday scrolling through Twitter constantly and going back and forth with ‘did you SEE this?!’ and then getting angry all over again. Starting the day with cookies and shortbread sounds so much better! xo

  • Reply Joyce @ Sun Diego Eats 1 February 2017 at 11:14 AM

    THAT QUOTE. It is beautiful, heartbreaking, sad, scary and full of hope all at the same time. Kind of how the world feels right now. Despite the bleak outlook and what at times feels like complete powerlessness, It gives me strength to see how much this has energized and united people, here and everywhere.

    P.S. Also yum, caramel cashew cream!!

  • Reply Dayana 1 February 2017 at 1:06 PM

    I love your recipes, look forward to your emails in my inbox, save my most favorite ones and never, ever comment. I love the pictures, enjoy the stories and again, never comment- just admire from afar. Today, I thank you so very much for using this venue to speak up and speak out! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • Reply Amber 1 February 2017 at 7:47 PM

    Comfort food at it’s best, for sure. Brava.

  • Reply Maya | Spice + Sprout 1 February 2017 at 8:07 PM

    So many high fives and hugs for this post! You are awesome <3

  • Reply Lauren 2 February 2017 at 8:22 AM


  • Reply Lynn 2 February 2017 at 10:18 AM

    Thank you for donating!

  • Reply cynthia 2 February 2017 at 3:38 PM

    Thank you for making me laugh on a topic that is far from funny — I wish I called any reps motherfuckers but instead I just stammered out some random words and said thanks and hung up. Why is a voice mailbox at all intimidating?! Anyway. Thank you for you, and for these beautiful shortbread cookies.

  • Reply Stacy 2 February 2017 at 4:34 PM

    Thanks for gently reminding Mike Coffman who he worked for. I love it. And to Cynthia, just the fact that you made the call makes you a motherfucking rock star!! and don’t forget it.

  • Reply Jo 3 February 2017 at 9:04 AM

    Okay, so to be honest I normally never consider book suggestions seriously even when they’re from my friends, but for some reason I checked out ‘The God of Small Things’ from the library after you recommended it in a previous post. And ooooh man. I was in a daze for a couple of days after the book was done – it’s so beautiful when a book can live inside of you like that (me: still shedding internal tears over Velutha). Anyway, it’s all due to your recommendations, so thank you! And I will definitely check this one out!

  • Reply Christina 3 February 2017 at 9:06 PM

    Hi Ashlae – odd question for you. I’ve been following you on Flickr for years and have just gone back onto my blog to post after a long absence and have noticed issues when using Flickr to share media. How do you post without the Flickr logo on every photo!

    • Reply Ashlae 10 February 2017 at 6:58 AM

      Hi Christina –

      I remove the script tag at the end. EASY PEASY!

      • Reply Christina Bartlett 14 February 2017 at 10:59 AM

        Woah – when I do that it reduces the quality something crazy. I’ll keep playing around. Thanks!

  • Reply Carlos At Spoonabilities 4 February 2017 at 9:48 PM

    I stand with you! We need to stay strong. Thank you for sharing, and I’m so happy to see the woman standing up and defending their right or OUR Right!. Here from Miami, we will do the same. Thank you!

  • Reply Sandra Broussard 5 February 2017 at 1:41 PM

    You are certainly not alone, although at times I have looked around and asked myself, is this real? Am I the only one seeing and hearing this? I have screamed at the TV, at my husband, at coworkes and yes even my UPS delivery man. I raised my voice to the clerk at the post office who said, I didn’t like him but I didn’t like her either so I did not vote. I donated to the ACLU and even signed up to volunteer working in the local ACLU office because I can’t just sit here and do nothing. I feel awful everyday when I wake up wondering what will they do today, what lies will they tell and how can any news channel bear to let Kelly Ann Conway on to give an interview. I have pledged to stay off of FB until I can get my emotions in check and I spend more time meditating and going to yoga. I can’t let them wear me down. Today I baked an apple pie, first time ever. Now I will make these and then proceed to share them with the people I have been screaming at. Have a good day, that is all.

  • Reply Weekend Reading | The Full Helping 5 February 2017 at 4:14 PM

    […] As usual, Ashlae knocks it out of the park with her vegan chocolate caramel shortbread tarts. Even the toppings (sea salt and maple ganache) have me […]

  • Reply Sarah | Well and Full 7 February 2017 at 7:33 AM

    THIS. OMG THIS. I’ve felt so heartened seeing my favorite bloggers using their platforms to speak out and RESIST. It gives me hope for America. Thank you Ashlae <3 <3

  • Reply SARAH | ONE WINDOW KITCHEN 7 February 2017 at 9:11 AM

    These treats and that quote… THANK YOU. <3

  • Reply ALMOST RAW CHOCOLATE-CARAMEL SHORTBREADReally nice recipes…. by foodffs via Tumblr – Viralpics 10 February 2017 at 3:52 AM


  • Reply Trish 14 February 2017 at 7:47 PM

    I’m encouraged to read posts from fellow women who speak up and speak out and who will not take all of this bullshit from 45. I run a blog like you (waaaaaay smaller though), and I too choose to leverage my voice to fight for what we believe is right. I’m in this fight with you along with millions out there! Let’s keep strong at this together!

  • Reply Patty Kenny 18 February 2017 at 10:49 AM

    Bravo, for this post! I, too, have struggled. It helped to motor to DC (from Central Maine) for the march. It helps to be active in local groups. We need to buoy each other, because this is going to be a marathon, not a sprint, as they say! Thanks for your words and your honesty and the passage from War Talk.

  • Reply E 11 November 2017 at 6:07 AM

    Thank you for everything in this post. I’ve always loved your blog, but seeing you recommending and quoting Arundati Roy, makes me love it even more.

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