Healthy Caramel and Peanut Butter Cups

October 23, 2012 · 27 comments in Snacks

I have a bit of a problem.

I’ll call it the tea-snacking-cycle.

It happens to me ALL the time…and I really do mean that.

I get home from school – I’m tired (cycling 7 miles a day isn’t the most energising thing ever), I’m probably a bit annoyed at the pedestrians who think the road = sidewalk, and drivers who think cyclists don’t mind screeching to a halt so they can turn in front of you and save 5 seconds of their journey time.

Oh and I’m hungry.

I’ll make a snack or whatever, and boil the kettle to make some tea – the aim being to reach a point where I both have a cup of tea, and my food. Can you sense the problem?

Kettles take a while to boil…

I’ve normally at least half finished my food once the tea is made. That’s one problem.

Then comes the second, do I go get more food? Or do I wait until an actual meal time? Ugh.

Yeah, there seems to be an obvious solution to the problem – make the tea, then get the food, but I think my brain is working against me and just automatically makes me get the food first. Damn you brain.

One thing I’ve found though is that if I have these caramel peanut butter cups around, I can normally only manage to eat one; they’re so crazy rich and decadent, it’s pretty much solving my tea-snacking-cycle problem!

Make sure you have your sassy pants on when you’re ready to make these: They’re full of fibre, healthy fats, antioxidants, deliciousness and some protein too! They’re also vegan and thus, dairy-free!

POWER SNACK ACTIVATE!!!!!

Notes

- the dates were measured while still un-pitted, and I really packed them into the measuring cup!

-you don’t have to use dark chocolate, use any type you want! (you can easily use vegan chocolate too) I used 70%, mah favie :)

-you’ll probably have some date caramel mixture left over, it is dangerously addictive. You can freeze it in blobs and chocolate coat them, thin it down with water or milk and use like you would caramel sauce, or just straight up eat it with a spoon.

-You can substitute the cornstarch for an equal volume of arrowroot to make ‘em grain free (thanks for the suggestion Dana Zia!)

Healthy Caramel and Peanut Butter Cups

Date caramel inspired by Oh She Glows
makes 24 mini-muffin-sized candies (around 60 kcal each)

3/4 cup (150g) dates (not pitted)
1 tbsp almond butter (or any other neutral nut butter)
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla extract

5 – 6 oz dark chocolate, melted
3 tbsp peanut butter, warmed

Soak the dates for up to 4 hours in warm water, drain, pit, then blend with 1/4 cup of water. Set aside.
Stir together the almond butter and 2 tbsp of water (doesn’t need to be well mixed), set a side. In a separate bowl, stir together the cornstarch with the vanilla and 1 tbsp of water. Set aside.
Combine the sugar with 1 tbsp of water in a small saucepan and cook over a medium-high heat, swirling occasionally (but never stirring) until just golden. Take off the heat and add the almond butter mixture – step back it will bubble up and go a bit crazy for a mo. Then put back onto the heat (on medium) and stir until smooth. Add in the cornstarch mixture and pureed dates. Turn the heat down to low, and cook whilst stirring for 5 minutes.

Line a mini muffin pan with mini-muffin liners. Put about 3/4 tsp of melted chocolate into the bottom of each liner. Use a small pastry brush or spoon to push the chocolate up the edges of the liners, coating them well. Freeze for 5 minutes to set the chocolate.

Remove from the freezer, spoon in around 1 tsp of date caramel and smooth with a damp finger. Pour around 1/2 tsp of warmed peanut butter on top of the caramel, spreading and smoothing it to the inside edges of the liner. Freeze again for 5 minutes.

Top with enough chocolate to cover the peanut butter, smoothing it out as much as possible. Freeze for 10 minutes to set completely. Store in a cool (temperature wise.. not socially..) place.

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Julie @ Table for Two October 23, 2012 at 2:06 am

you had me at healthy caramel. these look amazing and i wouldn’t feel so guilty with these..but maybe after a handful, that wouldn’t be so good for my hips, hehe..gorgeous photos!

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Izy October 25, 2012 at 12:40 am

hahaha, I’ve probably eaten a few too many recently :/ I’m just trying to focus on the healthier aspects of them though, and hoping that’ll balance the chocolate out ;) Thanks!

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Tiffany October 23, 2012 at 3:31 am

Wow! I am so going to try these!!!

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Izy October 25, 2012 at 12:45 am

awesomesauce!

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Martina C. October 23, 2012 at 3:36 pm

These little cups are amazing, and the pictures wonderful ;)

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Izy October 25, 2012 at 12:40 am

Thank you :)

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Alice Apsey October 23, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Making these tomorrow. They look SO yum.

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Izy October 25, 2012 at 12:45 am

hope they go okay! :)

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superdripp October 23, 2012 at 9:35 pm

BUT. WHAT. IF. MY. SASSY. PANTS. ARE. IN. THE. WASH.

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Izy October 23, 2012 at 9:41 pm

then you’d better wash em up fast!!

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Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen October 23, 2012 at 11:35 pm

They look so wonderful! Usually I take the super lazy route and do chocolate + peanut butter, but yours sounds much more interesting and not much more work.

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Izy October 25, 2012 at 12:41 am

ahh, sometimes you just need pure chocolate and pb! Thanks!

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Dana Zia October 24, 2012 at 7:29 pm

These look amazing! l will have to make them. If you want them grain free you can substitute the cornstarch with arrowroot powder.

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Izy October 25, 2012 at 12:41 am

Thanks! That is very true! I’ll add it to the recipe :)

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Sarah October 26, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Oh yum! I’ve been craving chocolate for days now (eating it doesn’t seem to help :P ) and these look sooooo good. Just discovered your blog and love it!

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Izy October 28, 2012 at 12:46 am

haha, yes, it’s a slippery slope; I normally find that my chocolate cravings increase exponentially once I eat some! Thank you :D

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Erica October 29, 2012 at 9:50 pm

SASSY PANTS!!! cracks me up every time…

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Izy October 31, 2012 at 1:35 pm

ahahah, I’m glad :’)

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Alexa October 30, 2012 at 7:23 pm

I think this would be great with raisins as well as dates!

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Izy October 31, 2012 at 1:36 pm

yeah, it probably would :)

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Kelly February 26, 2013 at 8:06 pm

Do you think these would travel well through the mail, or would they need to remain cold the whole time?

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Izy February 26, 2013 at 9:30 pm

I think they should be okay if you pack them in tightly so the don’t get all smashed up in the box :)

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Ayesha March 13, 2013 at 1:57 am

I was wondering, could i just use the metal mini muffin liners without the mini muffin pan? would something happen? like the liners break apart? :/ thankies! and I just discovered your blog! its so amazing! :) THANKS <3

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Meira March 20, 2013 at 4:09 am

Hi – this look really yummy and I’m looking forward to making them.
Question: why do you specifically say to have non-pitted dates. Do you take the pits out at some point?
Thanks! and I’m really impressed with your blog, good job and continue the gr8 work:)

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Izy March 20, 2013 at 7:42 am

Thanks! I say ‘not pitted’ in the ingredients list because you need to measure them when the dates still contain pits. Then yes, you do remove the pits later on before turning them into caramel

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Rossi @ A Baking Girl June 2, 2013 at 1:41 am

I totally have the same problem every time I get home from school- I open the front door and head straight to the kitchen. I usually don’t have treats as goods as these lying around though, but after finding this recipe, I probably will soon!

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