Well today is the first day of my Master’s Program, though technically I don’t have my first class until tomorrow! I don’t know about you guys but when I get stressed out I get a nagging sweet tooth!
This weekend for some reason, I couldn’t stop dreaming about caramel pecan clusters, like I would have killed to get my hands on a vegan caramel cluster. Then I remembered, I run a food blog so when I have a craving for something I can just make it haha!
This recipe is adapted from the caramel recipe on minimalist baker. I also want to note that while I do oil-free maybe 80-90% of the time, I’m not 100% oil free and this is one of the recipes I’ve created that I use that does have a little bit of oil. Now that being said each cluster only contains about 1/4 tsp of coconut oil – so in moderation I don’t think it’s terrible!
Note: If you don’t want to use ANY oil you can use water in it’s place but it will affect the consistency a little bit!
These caramels are definitely going to become a treat in my life – they are delicious and they have no refined sugar! And as long as you use raw cocoa powder, and unrefined coconut oil these are 100% Raw Vegan – so it’s basically guilt-free dessert! Yeah it’s pretty awesome!
The photography is alight in this photo – but I need to learn how to make “boring pictures” more exciting! Just this morning I purchased Food Photography School from Minimalist Baker (that is an affiliate link, so if you buy through it – I get a little money to buy more food for recipes, but I fully endorse ANYTHING from Minimalist Baker haha). So in the next month I’ll be learning a ton and improving even more!
I think I’ve said enough about caramel clusters – here’s the recipe, ENJOY!
- 10-12 Medjool Dates, Pitted
- ⅓ Cup Pecan Halves
- 2 tsp Coconut Oil, Melted
- 1 tsp Hot Water
- ¼ tsp Salt
- Cocoa Powder for Dusting
- In a strong food processor add the dates, coconut oil, water, and salt. Blend until smooth, stopping periodically to scrap down the sides until you have a nice paste.
- Using a spoon, scoop out a rounded Tbsp of the raw caramel you've created. Press a few pecan halves into the the caramel to create a cluster. Then place the cluster on a piece of parchment paper.
- Repeat until you've used up all the pecans and caramel.
- Set clusters in the freezer for about 20 minutes to let the caramel set.
- Dust with cocoa powder and enjoy!
- Store in the fridge in a covered container for a few days.
These are sticky, and mess - embrace it and have fun cooking them! They don't turn out "pretty" but they taste delicious, so have fun!
Use hot water, trust me! If you use oil, it will stop it from turning solid - if you don't use oil it'll help with the mixing!