Another pretty darn healthy treat! Underneath that Enjoy Life chocolate is some pretty darn tasty peanut butter caramel—all natural, no sugar added. Did you know if you blend dates in a food processor long enough, it becomes like a paste, or even better—like caramel. No joke. Sure you might think it’s not the same caramel you’re used to, you know, the kind made with lots of sugar, cream, butter and some kinds even high fructose corn syrup and other unmentionables. And while it’s not just like your favorite caramel, it’s a darn good and much healthier substitute.
So next you’re thinking, “Ew, dates, I don’t like dates.” Well, I’m being honest here and telling you if I gave you one of these truffle candies and didn’t tell you what was in it, you’d never know! I’m super happy about this. I’d seen a few other places on the internet that have made “homemade refined sugar free caramel” and just used my own decided measurements until I was happy with it. I’m so happy I might need to forego this post right now and go make some more candy!
Oh, okay, I’ll share it with you first. So first I made the caramel. Then I knew I wanted peanut butter involved with the candy, so I added some natural, organic peanut butter. Then just threw in a little salt, vanilla and coconut flour. The coconut flour probably wasn’t necessary, but I wanted to make sure it would all bind together and I’d just be able to form the dough into balls. I am happy with the results, so I plan to just leave it as is. After the peanut butter caramel balls were formed, they spent a little time in the freezer just to make sure they were good and ready for a quick dunk in a chocolate bath.
1 1/4 cups pitted dates, soaked in water (not cold, but doesn’t have to be hot) for 30 minutes, then chopped (save the water)
1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 tablespoon water
4 tablespoons natural, unsweetened peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon coconut flour
4 ounces Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips (or chocolate of your choice)
1 teaspoon coconut oil
Put the soaked, then drained and chopped dates in the bowl of a food processor. Let the processor go for about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Turn it on again and let it keep chopping up the dates. Add the coconut oil and water and let it process for another couple minutes. You’ll know when it is a paste caramel-like texture. (It is not quite as smooth and liquid runny like some caramel, but it’s good!) Add the peanut butter, salt, vanilla and coconut flour. Pulse until well combined. Remove the blade from the processor bowl and scoop the filling into balls. (I used a small cookie scoop, it’s probably about 1 tablespoon.) Lay them on a waxed paper lined plate or small baking sheet and put it in the freezer for 20-30 minutes.
Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe glass bowl in 30 second intervals on 7-8 power. Stir after each 30 seconds, it only takes about 1 1/2 minutes, add the coconut oil before the last time. Stir until smooth. Let it sit for a few minutes before dunking the candy into it. Using a fork, set the candy on the fork and dunk it into the melted chocolate. Spoon chocolate over the top until it is all covered. Tap the fork on the edge of the glass bowl, letting the chocolate smooth over the surface. Using another fork, push the chocolate covered candy onto a wax paper lined plate. They start to harden immediately but once you have the all coated, put the plate in the refrigerator for a few minutes. Makes about 16. Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They are great cold, but you can have them out of the refrigerator before serving for a while, too.
Make yourself a healthy treat for Easter this weekend—or anytime year round!