I have posted the recipe for these before, but with the holidays approaching, I’m finding myself wanting to make them (and eat them!) and you may too! 😉 They are so easy and so tasty! My kids came by when I was making them once, popped one (without chocolate) into their mouth and immediately exclaimed “Mmmm caramel, I love caramel!” Yes to a healthier treat!
Recipe (makes approximately 15 caramels)
1 cup pitted dates
½ Tbsp peanut (or other nut or seed) butter
½ cup dark chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (use dairy free if needed)
1 Place pitted dates and peanut butter in a food processor and process until smooth.
2 Take mixture out and roll into small balls. You should get approx. 15 balls. Put in the fridge or freezer for 10-15 min to harden.
3 In a small bowl gently heat chocolate (either over a water bath or in the microwave)*.
4 Dip caramels in the chocolate and place on parchment paper to harden.
5 Optional: You can sprinkle with caramels with either some sea salt, chopped nuts, fancy sugar etc!
6 Let cool so chocolate sets.
*If you melt the chocolate over a water bath be careful not to get water into the chocolate. Also, the smaller the bowl, the better for this purpose!
If microwaving the chocolate, add a drop of milk or cream and heat in increments of 15-20 seconds and stir between so you don’t burn the chocolate and it gets dry.
Thanksgiving is this weekend! I hope you have plans to spend some time relaxing while enjoying some delicious food! If you need some dessert inspiration, here is a recipe for an indulgent pumpkin treat – Pumpkin Cheesecake with Cinnamon Cream & Candied Pecans!
Pumpkin Cheesecake with Cinnamon Cream & Candied Pecans
1 bag gingersnap cookies (284 g – I use the MI-DEL brand which can be found in the health food section of supermarkets like Fortinos.)
1/3 cup butter, melted (preferably unsalted)
4 packages cream cheese, room temperature (8 oz each)
1 ¾ cup sugar
1 can butternut squash puré (or pumpkin) (15 oz)
5 large eggs
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp grated nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp salt
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
Cinnamon Whipped Cream:
1 cup cold whipping cream (35%)
2 T (-1/4 C) maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup roughly chopped pecans
2 Tbsp maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Add gingersnaps in 2 batches to the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until crumbly. Transfer to a large bowl and add melted butter. Stir until evenly mixed. Press mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with 3-inch sides. Bake the crust until golden brown, about 10 min.
- Remove from the oven and let cool while preparing the filling.
- Boil a kettle of water.
- To a large bowl, add cream cheese and sugar and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2-3 min. Add butternut or pumpkin and beat until incorporated. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, then add cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt and vanilla. Beat until blended. Add flour and beat until incorporated.
- Wrap sides and bottom of the springform pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Pour the filling into the pan and put it in a small roasting pan. Pour the hot water from the kettle into the roasting pan, filling halfway up the sides of the springform pan, about 1 1/2 inches. (Make sure you don’t get any water inside the cake pan). Bake until the center of the cheesecake moves slightly when the pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour and 20 min.
- Carefully remove cake from water bath and let cool on a wire rack.
- Once cooled, use a paring knife to loosen the sides of the cake from the pan. Chill the cheesecake for at least 4 hours before serving.
- Put pecans in a small-medium pan and fry for about 2 min.
- Add maple syrup and stir to coat nuts. Keep stirring to prevent from burning, 2-3 min. Careful, the hot maple syrup will be very hot!
- Set aside to cool and caramelize for 10-15 min.
Cinnamon Whipped Cream:
- Meanwhile, pour cream and maple syrup into a medium-large bowl and beat with an electric hand mixer until thick and frothy. Add vanilla and cinnamon and beat until medium peaks form.
Serve your pumpkin cheese cake topped with cinnamon cream and candied pecans and enjoy with family and friends!
The dinnerlicious! team wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving!