Although appropriate for Valentine’s Day, these caramel and chocolate treats are completely welcome to grace each and every day of my year. I once proclaimed that I wasn’t a fan of date caramel, but I’ve changed my tune. The sink-your-teeth-in density that date caramel offers has a time and a place, and both are upon us right this very second.
To make the caramel, you’ll add pitted medjool dates, coconut oil, almond butter, vanilla, and sea salt to a food processor. After processing for a minute or two, this sticky, sweet caramel will bat its golden hues at you…
You’ll transfer the caramel to a bowl, stir in some shredded coconut, and pop the bowl in the freezer to chill the mixture. Once the mixture has chilled, you’ll scoop out heaping tablespoons, form it into bars (or hearts), and return the formed mixture to the freezer. While the bars are chilling, you’ll make the chocolate by melting together cacao powder, coconut oil, and maple syrup in a double boiler. Once the bars are chilled, you’ll drop them into the chocolate to coat and return them to the freezer for one last, impatience-inducing round of chill time.
As is, the recipe makes about 22 bars; however, you can easily cut it in half if you prefer a smaller yield. I’ve been making the full batch and freezing the leftovers so that Dan and I have something sweet to enjoy when a craving strikes. Something you should know: that craving strikes it like it's hot, and like clockwork, I'm seeking out one of these treats after dinner each night. My day doesn't quite feel complete without a little something sweet, and this is my go-to lately.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend filled with love for family, friends, significant others, and -- most importantly -- YOURSELF. You deserve it.
Chocolate-Covered Caramel-Coconut Bars
For the Caramel and Coconut Filling
- 2 cups pitted and packed medjool dates (about 22 dates -- soft and wet)
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 2 tbsp creamy almond butter
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp sea salt.
- 1 cup shredded coconut
For the Chocolate Coating
- ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
- ¼ cup virgin coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
To Make the Filling
- Add the dates, coconut oil, almond butter, vanilla, and sea salt to food processor. Process until smooth (1-2 minutes).
- Transfer date caramel to a medium mixing bowl and pour in the shredded coconut. Stir to combine. Transfer the bowl to freezer for 30 minutes to firm up the filling.
- Scoop out heaping tablespoons, and shape into short rectangular bars (about 1-inch by 1 ½-2 inches). Place on a baking tray that's been lined with parchment paper.
- Once all of the filling mixture is used, place the bars in the freezer for 20 minutes to set.
To Make the Chocolate Coating
- Add the cacao powder, coconut oil, and maple syrup to a double boiler. Whisk together until melted.
- After the bars have set, drop each in the chocolate to coat and return to the pan lined with parchment paper.
- Return the pan to the freezer for about 15 minutes to set the chocolate.
- Store in refrigerator or freezer.