I see you used dates for this recipe. That seems weird. Why would I want to use dates instead of sugar? Can't I just make caramels the old-fashioned way?
Love, Someone who really wants to know
I used dates because there are a whole-food source of natural sugar. It makes way more sense to me, as a health coach and sugar-attracted person, to eat real food that tastes sweet than just pure sugar because sugar does nothing GOOD for my body and only makes me feel tired, angry and achy.
How does it make you feel?
PS you can do whatever you want, really. Isn't it nice to have choices, though?
Sea Salt Date Caramels*
*these are a tad bit labor-intensive. Block off some time and put on some high-vibe music to make these babies.
(makes about 15 medium caramels)
Ingredients 1 cup pitted medjool dates. To measure, take the pit out of your dates and then pack them into the measuring cup before soaking them in the hot water. I used 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 (I use Navitas) 1/4 cup organic coconut oil 2 Tbs. raw honey or pure maple syrup OR use melted dairy-free chocolate chips (about 1/3 cup chocolate chips, use more if needed)
1) In a pot of very hot water, soak the dates and then drain them. In a blender, combine the dates, coconut milk, coconut oil and vanilla extract to make a paste. Add salt, blend, taste and add a bit more salt if desired. Set in the freezer until firm.
2) The original recipe said 3 hours but I left this for a day or two until I was ready to make them. The mixture was firm but melted in my hands so I highly recommend you use two spoons to form the date mixture into balls. Dust lightly with coconut flour, place on a cookie sheet and store in the freezer to stay firm.
3) To make the chocolate coating: melt and stir together the cocoa powder, coconut oil and raw honey over very low heat until combined. If it's too runny, place in the fridge for a few minutes to harden. Remove from fridge and stir until desired consistency.
- If you are using the chocolate chips instead of the homemade chocolate coating, melt the chocolate chips over low heat until smooth and add a bit of coconut oil, if needed. Do not overheat.
4) Take one caramel at a time and dunk into the chocolate. Roll it around until covered. You will know your chocolate coating is too hot if the date ball melts between your fingers. I learned this lesson the hard way. Place the dripping, delicious mess on a baking sheet lined with unbleached parchment. Sprinkle a few grains of salt on top and put the sheet in the fridge to firm up the chocolate coating.
5) Store these suckers in the fridge to keep their shape. If you somehow manage to not eat them all in a day or two, they should keep for about two weeks.