Happy belated Halloween!
Halloween can be a tricky time for people with food allergies or restrictions. This is especially true for me, since I am both gluten intolerant and vegan! There’s hidden gluten and dairy in so many Halloween treats. So, I sometimes feel a bit left out at this time of year.
This feeling is extended to the dreaded holiday parties at work. My coworkers are really great at accommodating me. They are so considerate and always want to make me feel included. But I do worry. Not everyone is as knowledgable about what foods are gluten free or vegan. This makes me pretty anxious, which doesn’t really make the event enjoyable. And I never get to have any of the desserts or treats!
I know, I know. This sounds really unappreciative. But it’s just how I feel at these times, and it’s hard to avoid. This year I decided to make a delicious vegan treat for everyone to enjoy. And it made me a little more comfortable knowing I could finally enjoy a vegan and gluten free dessert with my coworkers!
I decided to experiment and make caramel cups. Vegan caramel is tricky, but these caramel cups are delicious! The caramel is made from dates. This makes it sweet and creamy without overpowering the flavor of the chocolate. Speaking of chocolate, I use Equal Exchange chocolate chips. These are vegan, organic, and fair trade. They also have very minimal ingredients, so I feel much better about eating them!
This treat is super simple to make too! All you need are just a few ingredients: vegan chocolate chips, dates, vanilla, almond milk (or another plant-based milk), and sea salt. That’s it! I hope you give these Caramel Cups a try. Maybe you’ll even bring them to your next holiday party!
Quick & Easy Caramel Cups
- 1 cup dates, packed and soaked in hot water for at least 1 hour
- 1 tbsp almond milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 cups dairy-free chocolate chips (I use Equal Exchange)
Pit the dates and add them to a small bowl. Pour boiling water over the dates so they are submerged. Let the dates sit for at least one hour to soften.
Once softened, drain the dates. Then add the dates, almond milk, vanilla, and sea salt to a food processor. Blend so a creamy paste forms.
Add the chocolate chips to a small pot and carefully melt them over low-medium heat.
Meanwhile, prepare a muffin tin by adding cupcake liners to each muffin cup.
Add a spoonful of melted chocolate to the bottom of each cupcake liner, just enough so the bottom circle of each liner is covered.
Place the muffin tin in the freezer so the chocolate firms up, about 10 minutes.
Add a spoonful of date caramel to each liner, covering the bottom chocolate layer. Smooth the caramel so it forms a smooth, even layer.
Add another layer of chocolate on top of the date caramel, covering it completely. Then add a sprinkle of sea salt to the top of each cup.
Place the muffin tin in the freezer again so the chocolate and caramel firm up, about 15-20 minutes.
Serve immediately or store in the fridge for a week. Remove the caramel cups from the fridge 15 minutes prior to serving so they soften up!
What’s your favorite treat to bring to holiday parties? Let me know how you cope with the holidays as a vegan! I need to know all your trips and tricks to make it through unscathed!