I don’t make a lot of dessert in our household – that’s probably not a surprise. But with company coming I decided it was time to get creative in the kitchen to see if I could create a healthier dessert. (note I wrote healthier – not healthy – it’s a chocolate candy after all!)
There were a few requirements as the family started designing this dessert (they never make it easy on me). 1) it must be chocolate but not too sweet or too dark. 2) after much contemplation and debate about candy with peanut butter versus candy with coconut – coconut won out. 3) it had to be able to be made with a variety of nuts in order to satisfy everyone. 4) it had to have caramel.
Okay, number 4 was a nightmare. Caramel? Really? That’s normally just browned sugar, corn syrup, evaporated milk, heavy cream, and butter (basically). But, I had to admit – a dessert with caramel sounded amazing so I accepted the challenge.
There was A LOT of failure along the way – although the taste testing of dessert is pretty awesome if it’s not perfect, but eventually I succeeded. We loved this dessert!
Remember the Heat
This recipe doesn’t have any preservatives or special packaging to keep the chocolate from melting so I definitely recommend keeping it in either the refrigerator or the freezer. The heat of your hands will melt the chocolate so I like to cut each cup up into quarters so it’s a tasty bite without the melted chocolate mess (yes, I did learn that the hard way!)
Don’t be overwhelmed by what looks like a really long recipe. This recipe is super simple; I just couldn’t figure out how to write it with less steps and make sure it was clear. This recipe is actually so fast and easy my 9 year old son loves making it . . . and eating it!
- ½ cup coconut oil
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- Line a muffin pan with 12 baking cups.
- Place all ingredients in a small saucepan. Melt coconut oil on low heat, stirring constantly.
- Spoon ¾ tablespoon into the bottom of each baking cup. There will be extra chocolate; save this for covering the candy in the final step.
- Place in freezer while making the remaining layers.
- ½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp. melted coconut oil
- ¼ tsp. vanilla
- Pinch of sea salt
- In a small bowl mix all the ingredients together until a soft paste forms.
- Divide the mixture between the cups and press down onto the chocolate layer. Do not take coconut all the way to the edges of the cup in order for the chocolate to seal around the filling.
- 6 medjool dates, pitted
- 3 Tbsp. maple syrup
- 3 Tbsp. melted coconut oil
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- Pinch of sea salt
- Place all ingredients in a food processor. Blend for approximately 2 minutes or until the consistency of caramel.
- Divide the mixture between the cups and spoon onto the coconut layer. Do not take caramel all the way to the edges of the cup in order for the chocolate to seal around the filling.
- ½ cup coarsely chopped raw nuts of choice
- Divide the nuts between the cups and push into the caramel layer.
- Spoon the remaining melted chocolate over the cups. Freeze for approximately 20 minutes.