Makes: 18 caramels
7 ounces dates, plus water for soaking
1 tablespoon raw cashew butter
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
1 teaspoon coconut oil
Sea salt, for garnish
Optional: shredded coconut
1. Soak dates in a bowl of hot water for 15 minutes, then drain water.
2. Purée dates and cashew butter in a blender for about a minute, then freeze mixture for 15 minutes. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Measure out mixture by the teaspoon, roll, flatten to quarter-size bites, and lay on the prepared sheet.
3. Melt chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler, stirring frequently. (If you don’t have a double boiler, place a stainless-steel bowl on top of a pot of boiling water so that the bowl rests in the water but doesn’t touch the bottom of the pot, and melt the ingredients in the bowl.) If you want to add coconut, stir it into the melted chocolate here. Using a fork, dip cookies into chocolate to lightly coat and return to the cookie sheet.
4. When all cookies are coated, lightly dust with sea salt to taste. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer for 20 minutes, then move to the refrigerator. Serve cold, or at room temperature if you prefer them softer, but store in the refrigerator.