Let’s talk candy. My favorite junk candy usually includes some type of chocolate, caramel or nougat and often nuts. Whenever I have to make those difficult choices, like pick one piece of candy, I always reach for a dark chocolate salted caramel. Usually from this store.
Why do these companies use such crap ingredients to make this delicious candy? I really find it so sad. I know it doesn’t have to be that way. This is evidenced by how easy it is to make YOUR OWN candy and the organic, preservative, additive and HFCS-free options that are emerging all the time. Which, by the way, I am planning a “Better Halloween Candy” post for next week to bring you up to speed on some much better options that are available this year. Times are changing in the food industry and I think in a good way! Now, don’t get me wrong – candy is still candy is still candy but a better option free of junk is always better in my book.
Take these homemade Dark Chocolate Covered Date Cups – inspired from my desire to have a healthier and bigger caramel candy to spend 2 Points Plus on.
These are simple and only have 5 ingredients including salt.
Dark Chocolate, Medjool Dates, Coconut Oil, Pure Vanilla Extract and Salt.
Now that is candy that I can get behind.
- 15 Medjool dates, pitted and soaked in boiling water for 15 to 20 minutes
- 2 tablespoons organic virgin coconut oil
- ⅛ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- pinch sea salt
- 6 ounces dark chocolate (around 60%), divided and melted over a double boiler
- ¼ teaspoon organic virgin coconut oil, divided
- coarse or Hawaiian sea salt for topping
- Begin by soaking the dates in boiling water. You can remove the pits before or after soaking, it doesn't matter as long as you remove them.
- Combine the soaked dates, 2 tablespoons of the coconut oil, vanilla extract and pinch of salt in the bowl of a food processor. Process until well combined and almost whipped. You may have to scrap down the sides once or twice.
- Line a mini-muffin tray with candy liners and set aside. Melt half of the chocolate (broken up into squares) and ⅛ teaspoon coconut oil in a double boiler, stirring frequently.
- Working quickly spread a bit of the melted chocolate into the bottom of each candy cup. I used my (clean) finger to spread it around.
- You only want a thin layer, enough to make a coating but without holes or breaks in the chocolate.
- Place the cups in the freezer to set for 10 minutes.
- Remove from freezer and spoon 1 teaspoon of the date mixture into each cup.
- Use your finger to gently press down the date mixture into a flat, even disc covering the bottom of each cup.
- Melt the remaining chocolate and ⅛ teaspoon of coconut oil in the double boiler. Pour a small amount over the date filling and use your finger to quickly and evenly spread it around until you can't see the date filling anymore.
- Sprinkle a bit of the Hawaiian sea salt over each.
- Place in the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes to set and Viola, homemade candy caramels!