Our baby is the size of a date this week so I made some salted date caramels! I have always loved caramel. If you give me a box of chocolate, I’m going to eat all of the caramels and throw the rest in the garbage…There is nothing better than chewy gooey caramel and CHOCOLATE!
I found this particular recipe on Empowered Sustenance – It’s vegan and paleo according to the blog.
- 1 cup pitted mejool dates. To measure, pit your dates and then pack them into the measuring cup before soaking them in the hot water. For me, this was about 14 smallish dates.
- 1/4 cup coconut milk (full fat or light), warmed
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract, optional
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. unrefined salt
- Coconut flour, for dusting
- Chocolate coating
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 2 Tbs. raw honey or pure maple syrup (I used maple syrup and would also suggest Agave)
- OR use melted dairy-free chocolate chips (about 1/3 cup chocolate chips, use more if needed)
- Soak dates in very hot water for 15 minutes. Drain before proceeding. Blend the dates, coconut milk, coconut oil and vanilla extract until a smooth paste forms. Add 1/4 tsp. salt, blend, and taste. Add a bit more salt if desired. Place in the fridge or freezer until firm and pliable, at least 3 hours.
- Roll teaspoons of the date mixture into balls. Dust lightly with coconut flour so they don’t stick to each other. Place in the freezer to stay firm.
- Make the chocolate coating: melt and stir together the cocoa powder, coconut oil and raw honey over very low heat until combined. The mixture may separate slightly, in this case put it in the fridge for just a few minutes and then stir. Let the mixture cool until thickened enough to coat the caramel balls. Place in the fridge for a few minutes if it is too runny, but keep an eye on it because it hardens very quickly.
- If you are using the chocolate chips instead of the homemade chocolate coating, just melt the chocolate chips over low heat until smooth. Do not overheat.
- One by one, roll a caramel into the chocolate and place on a baking sheet lined with unbleached parchment or waxed paper. Sprinkle very lightly with the unrefined salt, and place in the fridge until the chocolate coating is firm. Store in the fridge. If they aren’t consumed quickly (most likely), they last at least a few weeks in the fridge.
Notes: I found that the date paste did not harden enough even in the freezer. If you read the comments on the original post, there are some suggestions given to firm up the paste. I added a little Arrowroot powder but it didn’t help much. I do suggest dampening your hands to make the balls. It seemed to help form the otherwise super sticky paste. The chocolate firms up very nicely and a nice flavor – I added a touch of vanilla to mine.