Salted caramel is definitely a staple flavor, don't you agree? It used to be that you would find this sweet and salty combo in gourmet stores or fine dining experiences. Now, it's everywhere and in many formats. So what is the appeal with this sweet and salty pair? Most people love sweet flavors because they bring comfort and pleasure. The salt enhances the flavor when used in the right amount.
Even though the salted caramel flavor originated in France, this popular American food trend is here to stay! And people just can't get enough of it. I found a way to enjoy it right here at home in a bite sized format...bliss balls of course! Because who doesn't love a ball of bliss every now and then? I love them because they are the perfect size for a healthy snack, when you need something with a little flavor that is satisfying as well. To make them even better, they are filled with ingredients you can feel good about.
You may notice in the caramel ingredients that I use cashew butter. I like cashew butter because it has a mild, sweet flavor that is hard to detect in recipes where you don't want a nut or seed butter to be the dominant flavor. So if you are thinking of swapping the cashew butter for another nut or seed butter, just be aware that it could alter the taste a bit. I'm sure they will still be delicious treats though.
A little secret...you can set some of the caramel balls aside and not use the outer coating on them. That will leave you will little bites of caramel for whenever you want a bite of something sweet. So yummy! Something I really love about these bliss balls in particular that sets them apart from other bliss balls is their "double layer" affect. The two textures add something extra special while at the same time, you are feeding your salted caramel craving! Enjoy :)
For The Caramel:
10-12 medjool dates, pitted
1/4 cup cashew butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbs coconut oil, softened
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 & 1/2 cups raw cashews
7-8 medjool dates, pitted
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1. Make the caramel balls first by placing all of the caramel ingredients into your food processor. Process all of the ingredients until you reach a smooth consistency.
2. Form small caramel balls, about one rounded teaspoon in size, and place them into your freezer to firm up.
3. While the caramel balls are in the freezer, mix the outer coating. Process the cashews alone first until they are coarsely chopped. Then add the rest of the ingredients and process until the mixture is uniformly combined. It should be a coarse mixture, not pasty like the caramel.
4. Remove the caramel balls from the freezer once they are firm. Gently coat them with the outer cashew mixture keeping their round shape. Place the bliss balls back into your freezer or refrigerator to firm up again. Makes about 15 bliss balls. Store in your freezer for longer storage or refrigerator for enjoying now. They will stay delicious in the refrigerator for at least a week or so.