Almost Raw Vegan-Friendly Chocolate Caramel Shortbread

There are few delights that come close to the creamy indulgence of caramel. And though you might think this treat requires inordinate amounts of sugar, you would be surprisingly incorrect. This recipe offers the decadence of caramel, chocolate and shortbread without the guilt. Making spectacular use of anti-oxidant-rich cacao, coconut oil and nature’s toffee, medjool dates, this dessert is the stuff of vegan-friendly dreams.

1 cup (90g) rolled oats
1 cup (75g) unsweetened shredded coconut
Pinch of fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean powder
4-6 (60g) medjool dates, pitted
2 tablespoons (24g) unrefined coconut oil
2 tablespoons (28g) Califia Farms unsweetened almondmilk
1/2 cup (68g) raw cashew pieces, soaked 4+ hours or overnight
10-12 (160g) medjool dates, pitted and soaked
15 minutes 1/4 cup (55g) Califia Farms unsweetened almondmilk
1/2 cup (120g) roasted cashew butter
1/4 cup (45g) unrefined coconut oil, melted
1.5 ounces (43g) cacao butter, melted (see notes above)
Pinch of fine sea salt
Chocolate ganache
Toasted coconut flakes
Cacao nibs
Sea salt flakes

In a food processor, blend the oats, shredded coconut, salt, and vanilla bean powder into a super fine meal (this should take 1-2 minutes). Add the dates and pulse for another 25-30 seconds. Add the coconut oil and almond milk and process until fully combined. Divide and firmly press the crumbs into the cavities of a 12 cavity mini cheesecake or cupcake pan and set aside.
In a high powered blender blend the cashews (drained), dates (drained), almond milk, cashew butter, coconut oil, cacao butter, and sea salt on high speed until smooth and creamy; about 1-2 minutes. Divide the cashew caramel cream between the cavities then level with the back of a spoon. Tap the pan on the countertop to remove any trapped air bubbles. Transfer the pan to the freezer and chill the shortbread for at least eight hours. Once they’re frozen solid, pop them out of the pan and transfer to an airtight container until you’re ready to serve.
Just before serving, top shortbread with a spoonful of ganache then sprinkle with toasted coconut flakes, cacao nibs, and sea salt flakes. For more fabulous recipes, click here.