chocolate tahini shortbread bars

by Kristina Sloggett

in baking, Dessert, recipes, snacks, Vegan, Vegan MoFo

Happy Halloweeeeeeen!


Last Friday night we saw an amazing show – Bassnectar came to Portland for the second time in 2012. Loren loves us in Portland. I have seen Bassnectar a few times at Burning Man, but it has been far too long. This was by far the best show I have seen, and many who were there Friday say the same.

We went downtown early enough to get wristbands for floor access – the whole show was general admission to maximize the free flow flowy free feeling – I cannot recall exactly what he said but it was pretty cool. and we knew we wanted to be on the floor.

For a while we were in the very front row.

Then we moved more toward the front middle, because Jason said this was the best place to hear maximum bass. You could feel the bass.

There’s Loren – can you see him, right in the middle? If you have not heard Bassnectar, go listen to a bit of his music – it is awesome (and even if you have heard him – go listen!). Then if you like what you hear, if Bassnectar is coming to your area and there are still tickets, you should go!

I made these bars the morning of the show. I was up early, had the day off, and didn’t know what to do with myself, I was so excited. I put on some wub wub wub music and made a tahini version of the classic chocolate peanut butter layer bar. Late night snacks post show.


chocolate tahini shortbread bars

dairy, egg, soy and gluten free, vegan

shortbread base:

dairy, egg, soy and gluten free, vegan

1/2 cup butter (Earth Balance soy free)
3 tablespoons coconut sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla paste
1 cup gluten free all purpose flour

Cream together butter, sugar and vanilla. Stir in flour 1/2 cup at a time and combine until dough forms, do not over mix. Press into 9 x 9 baking dish, bake at 350 for 12 minutes or until set and golden brown. Remove from oven and cool. 

tahini layer:

3/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup butter (Earth Balance soy free), room temperature
2 cups coconut powdered sugar*
1-2 tablespoons coconut milk (carton) 

*make your own powdered sugar from coconut sugar granules – blend in food processor or high speed blender until fine powder forms. store in airtight container.

Cream together tahini, butter and powdered sugar; add milk and stir until smooth. When cookie base is cool, spread tahini filling in an even layer. Place in refrigerator to set while preparing chocolate topping.

chocolate topping:

8-10 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons butter (Earth Balance soy free) / coconut oil

In small saucepan, melt chocolate and butter or coconut oil to a smooth consistency. Remove bars from refrigerator, pour chocolate over top and spread to a smooth layer over tahini. Return to refrigerator to set.

Do you know Bassnectar?

What was the last great music show you went to?


{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit October 31, 2012 at 3:03 am

Bassnectar has an awesome show, right? I first saw him on the top floor of a golf dome that fit oh, maybe 100 people but we had stuffed over 400 people in the space. It was ridiculous. I’ve never been so sweaty and pumped up with music in my life. Ah! It was amazing…. and so are these bars!


2 spabettie November 4, 2012 at 9:52 pm

such an awesome show – I have seen him several times, this was BY FAR the best! he was here last May and it was a much smaller venue – this time was in a place double the size and the sound was incredible!


3 Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table October 31, 2012 at 5:06 am

I looooove tahini and chocolate! I made similarly flavored truffles from some one’s blog (was it yours?) last winter. They were scary-good.

You should go see my sister play in Portland!!! Shameless plug (but they really are good!):


4 spabettie November 4, 2012 at 9:50 pm

oooh, very cool, I will make a point to go see their show – (I just ‘liked’ their facebook page, and one of my local friends likes them too!) thanks for sharing – I’ll let you know when I see them!


5 Heather (Where's the Beach) October 31, 2012 at 5:19 am

Love that feeling of the bass! It’s been a long time since we’ve been to a show. Sounds like a great night. And that cookie/bar? Yum. Love the idea of that tahini layer


6 Jojo October 31, 2012 at 6:04 am

Your shortbread bars look awesome, I really need to try tahini in baked goods soon.


7 Ashley F. October 31, 2012 at 8:15 am

I think we were separated at birth – seriously. I saw Crystal Castles a little while ago at First Ave in Minneapolis and they rocked my socks off!

I’ve only recently grown to enjoy tahini, so I’ll have to give these a shot!


8 spabettie November 4, 2012 at 9:48 pm

YES – that is some GREAT music! if Bassnectar ever comes through your area, you should go!


9 Allie October 31, 2012 at 8:19 am

I love your taste in music! I may or may not have already bought my tickets to this:

Bassnectar on New Year’s? Don’t mind if I do!


10 spabettie November 4, 2012 at 9:44 pm

that is THE PERFECT WAY to spend New Years Eve!! I am so jealous – you will have a BLAST. have you seen him live before??


11 Allie November 5, 2012 at 5:25 am

Nope! This will be my first Bassnectar concert–can’t wait! Thank goodness the holiday season goes by so fast…


12 spabettie November 7, 2012 at 9:31 pm

oooh I cannot WAIT to hear what you think – it will be SUCH an awesome show!


13 Carrian@ohsweetbasil October 31, 2012 at 8:42 am

I haven’t tried tahini in baked goods either, I can’t wait to try it!


14 spabettie November 4, 2012 at 9:42 pm

it’s a really good flavor, I think, and goes well with chocolate!


15 Heather @ Better With Veggies October 31, 2012 at 9:46 am

I think you have been even more creative this month than usual (if that’s even possible). Lentils in cookies & tahini on sweets – yummy!


16 spabettie November 4, 2012 at 9:42 pm

especially on Mondays, right? I just want to tell you again how much fun I am having – we should just start the alphabet over again and choose new foods! 😉


17 Adventures in Dressmaking October 31, 2012 at 9:48 am

Oooh, sounds good! May have to try this flavor combo in a raw/grain-and-processed-food-free version! I do like those sticky sesame bars with the chocolate drizzled over them, from the Asian grocery stores… never would have thought to put tahini in a chocolate bar before, though! Yum!


18 moonsword October 31, 2012 at 9:49 am

Thanks for these gorgeous shorties! I think they’d make perfect little gifts, wrapped up like little candies but oh so much better! Happy Halloween and A Blessed Samhain!


19 spabettie November 4, 2012 at 9:39 pm

oooh, they WOULD make great gifts! I will have to remember this… 😉


20 recipeland October 31, 2012 at 11:15 am

Chocolate tahini and shortbread bars sound insanely delicious, love tahini and chocolate. Will have to get some tahini, and give these decadent bars a try :)


21 Sharon @ Bit of the Good Stuff October 31, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Happy Halloweeeeen to you toooooo!!!
OMG your chocolate tahini shortbread bars look AMAZING! My idea of treat heaven! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe. I can’t wait to give them a try.
Beautiful pics too :) xx


22 spabettie November 4, 2012 at 9:37 pm

you are very welcome, Sharon – I hope you do make these – enjoy!


23 Macey October 31, 2012 at 5:46 pm

Oooh, I haven’t heard of these guys, but if they play Burning Man, then I’m sure they right up my alley! I’ll definitely be checking them out! I’m getting the distinct feeling that we would be good friends :)


24 spabettie November 4, 2012 at 9:27 pm

I love that you said that – I am getting that feeling too! :) we just need to get together already! 😉


25 purelytwins October 31, 2012 at 7:31 pm

girl you had as at chocolate and tahini! looks amazing!!!!!!!!


26 spabettie November 4, 2012 at 9:25 pm

thank you!


27 Leah October 31, 2012 at 7:58 pm

Yum, these look great! I have never used tahini in a dessert, must try!


28 spabettie November 4, 2012 at 9:24 pm

thanks, Leah! tahini works really well here – it helps that I LOVE tahini!


29 Bee (@TheSpicyBee) October 31, 2012 at 10:16 pm

These look so much easier than I expected them to be! I will have to try this recipe out sometime. I just created a GF flour mix after a trip to Bob’s Redmill and I’m interested to see how versatile it is.


30 spabettie November 4, 2012 at 9:20 pm

it is very easy, just a few steps… what types of flours went into your mix? I haven’t done that, I just mix things together on a recipe by recipe basis.


31 Bee November 4, 2012 at 9:27 pm

I don’t follow it to the tee but I have been using this recipe:


32 Matt mmWine Horbund November 1, 2012 at 7:04 am

My son, 13, got me into DubStep. He would love to go, but he’s a bit young :) we do listen to a bit of Loren’s work, plus of course Skrillix



33 spabettie November 3, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Skrillix is good too… fun music!


34 Sondi November 1, 2012 at 5:06 pm

I love tahini in baked goods. I’m not a big fan of earth balance, though, I wonder if I could replace it with coconut oil?


35 spabettie November 3, 2012 at 2:41 pm

Sondi, I have never used coconut oil with this particular recipe, so I’m not sure of the resulting consistency (of the cookie). Let me know if you do try?


36 Mom Foodie November 4, 2012 at 8:42 am

Love it. I always hesitate to buy tahini since it comes in a large container & I usually end out tossing 1/2 of it from going rancid. These look like a wonderful way to use it before it gets funky 😀


37 Jenn November 6, 2012 at 4:32 am

I’ve never had tahini but these look so delicious that I just might have to try this!


38 spabettie November 7, 2012 at 9:15 pm

well Jenn you must try tahini, it is delicious! and it pairs well with chocolate, so I hope you enjoy these!


39 Choclette December 7, 2012 at 8:34 am

These look so good, I really must try and chase down some coconut sugar. I found your picture on Pinterest a while back, but haven’t had a chance to look until now.


40 Kristina Sloggett December 9, 2012 at 8:53 pm

thank you! …and the coconut sugar is not absolutely necessary, if you have other sugars around they would work as well. Cheers!


41 Cindy September 2, 2013 at 2:18 pm

I just made this slice for a baby shower and it was lovely – thanks for the recipe. :-)


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