I’m not a big fan of candy. I can easily walk by candy aisles or stores without giving it a second look. For my kiddos, them passing the candy store is like a moth to a flame. An uncontrollable need for sugar takes over their bodies and before you know it, they’re in the store tasting samples…kinda sounds like me at the bakery 😉
Although I love chocolate, I’m usually not a huge fan of chocolate candy. I have a friend who keeps a chocolate bar hidden from her family. Every so often she goes and takes a nibble which calms her craving for a while. There are, however, a few exceptions—anything that combines chocolate, caramel, nuts, and salt, and also most chocolate with peanut butter (and salt) candy. Yes, I have a bit of a salt problem. But I can’t help the fact that chocolate and salt go so well together. There’s some sort of scientific explanation behind why we enjoy such combinations and while I can’t remember exactly what it was, I’m happy that it at least proves I’m not a weirdo. 😉
I have some flaked sea salt, which I use mostly for desserts, like on these Salted Mocha Cupcakes and Salted Caramel and Chocolate Popcorn Clusters. It compliments sweets, especially chocolate, very well. I sprinkled a bit on top of the candy before the chocolate dried. If you don’t have flaked sea salt, you can also use coarse salt or omit the salt altogether.
These are a version of one of my favorite chocolate candies from Hawaii. You can find macadamia nut chocolates everywhere in Hawaii, although the caramel version was always my favorite. I use a simple date “caramel” instead of the typical sugar/corn syrup version. I also used dark instead of milk chocolate and the pinch of flaked sea salt is, of course, my own addition as well. 🙂
There are no special tools needed to make these and trust me when I say that they taste amazing and are totally worth the effort. I hope you give them a try!
- 1.5 cups pitted Dates
- warm water, if needed for blending
- Place your dates into a food processor and pulse until broken up. Continue to blend until it becomes a smooth paste. If it's too thick and won't blend, add warm water a tablespoon at a time until smooth, though it should still be thick enough to form a ball (see photo above.)
- Scoop mixture by the heaping tablespoon and place onto a tray lined with a piece of wax or parchment paper. I got exactly 18 caramel rounds, but amount may vary based upon how large you scoop them. Make them as big or as little as you'd like!
- After you have the caramel scooped out, cover the top with chopped macadamia nuts. I like macadamia nuts, so I add a lot.
- Place pan into the fridge or freezer for 30 minutes or until chilled and slightly firm. At this point you can make the mounds pretty and shape them into a ball or leave them in a disc shape. It's all personal preference.
- When the caramel/nut bites are chilled and ready to be dipped, begin melting the chocolate. Place chocolate in a double-boiler over boiling water. Stir the chocolate consistently until melted and smooth. Alternatively, you can microwave in a heat-safe bowl on medium power in 30 second intervals until melted. Be careful not to overheat or you can ruin the chocolate.
- As soon as the chocolate is melted and smooth, begin dipping the caramel mounds into the chocolate and use a spoon to cover the top with chocolate.
- Lift the chocolate covered caramels out of the bowl with a fork and tap the fork against the bowl to drain any excess chocolate before placing back on the parchment paper. Repeat until all the caramels have been dipped.
- Sprinkle a bit of flaked sea salt on top and place into the fridge to cool. Store in a container in the fridge to keep fresh. Let come to room temperature before serving.
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