Chocolate Date-Caramel Cups for Your Special Valentine

“These are delicious. They taste like a bourbon-laced caramel candy. What are they?”, my husband asked. He could not believe the gooey caramel-like filling was pureed dates. Sorry, no bourbon. These little chocolate cups remind me of Turtles, the chocolate, caramel, pecan candy. This is a fabulous recipe from Bon Appetit’s Healthyish. Melted bittersweet chocolate layered with chopped walnuts or pecans, toasted coconut and date puree makes for a perfect Valentine treat for your perfect Valentine!

Chocolate Date-Caramel Cups

Ingredients

3/4 cup chopped raw nuts (such as pecans and/or walnuts)

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

2 Tbsp. raw sesame seeds

1 cup pitted Medjool dates (about 6 1/2 oz.)

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

6 oz. bittersweet chocolate (about 1 cup), chopped

1 tsp. canola oil

Flaky sea salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Arrange 12 standard muffin liners on a rimmed baking sheet or large plate.
  2. Spread nuts, coconut, and sesame seeds in an even layer on a small rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven, stirring once or twice, until nuts are darkened and fragrant and coconut is starting to brown, about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, place dates in a medium heatproof bowl. Pour boiling water over to cover dates and let soak 10 minutes. Drain dates, reserving soaking liquid.
  4. Transfer dates and 2 Tbsp. soaking liquid to a food processor. Add kosher salt and pulse, scraping down bowl occasionally, until smooth and creamy, with no large pieces of dates remaining. Be patient: It will take about 3-5 minutes. If you’re having trouble getting the dates to break down, add more soaking liquid 1 tsp. at a time. You should have about 1/2 cup date caramel.
  5. Melt chocolate and oil in a heatproof bowl in the microwave in 20-second increments, stirring in between, until smooth and glossy, about 1 minute total. Pour about 1 1/2 tsp. melted chocolate into each liner (no need to be exact, you just want a thin layer). Top with a small scoop of the nut mixture, pressing to spread out the chocolate a bit and to have the nuts adhere to the chocolate. Dollop about 1 Tbsp. date caramel into each, pressing down gently. Top each cup with 1 tsp. melted chocolate, using the back of a spoon to spread it around and cover as much caramel and bare nuts as possible. Sprinkle evenly with remaining nut mixture and a pinch of sea salt.
  6. Chill until chocolate is firm.

Note: Caramels can be made 3 weeks ahead. Store in an airtight container and keep chilled.

Makes 12

Recipe slightly adapted from a recipe by Sarah Jampel for bonappetit.com

judymatusky.com

 

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