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I want to empower your health with the steps that freed my life of chronic pain and medications.

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75 Comments

  1. I just made the filling. I had my doubts. Wow. I mean, just wow, this is good.

    Ok, you know how sometimes you just have to have something that is actually awesome and satisfying? Sweet. Rich. “And don’t come at me with any of that healthy-alternatives crud. I want to eat some real dessert.” Seriously, so many recipes are pathetic remakes of some magnificent delicacy.

    But THIS. If I am craving something totally decadent, THIS WILL WORK. Heck, it will knock it out of the ball park.

    I had to go back and edit out a lot of over-capitalization. Because I’m really enthusiastic about this. Thanks for this recipe. Ok, sticking it in the fridge. Haven’t tried the cocoa-coconut dip, yet.

  2. These are AMAZING!! I had to make slight variations because of ingredients on hand, but this is exactly what I needed to satisfy my sweet tooth for chocolate AND caramel right now 🙂 !!!

    NOTE: I figured out I can make coconut milk from coconut butter; mix equal amounts coconut butter with hot water.

    I also made the outer layer with cacao butter melted with maple syrup and coconut oil (which I will leave out next time, it took away from the sweetness so I had to make a double batch of chocolate, but no one complained).

    Thanks so much for sharing!!

  3. WOW-these are nothing short of absolutely, sinfully delicious!

    Last night I made the filling and when I taste-tested it I was floored at the flavor!! I yelled for my husband to come try it–tasted light a sweet cookie dough or candy bar.

    I just had the finished product after they refrigerated a while and popped down about 4 of them–oops!

    Do you have a recommendation for making the filling a little denser? 🙂

  4. I love dates and have made date paste many times, often soaking them first in a combination of water and pure vanilla, and adding a pinch of salt. I often add coconut oil, roll in balls, and chill, just like the “caramel” described. That being said… as a caramel lover, date paste is not like caramel at all. There is no chewiness, and it would lack that buttery sweetness. I would be really disappointed expecting caramel and having these! I just think the name does them no favors.

  5. Love your website! Thank you for taking the time! What about hypothyroid healthy recipes? Coconut oil is great for it, but let me know if you have any other ideas and I’ll post them on my site/blog. =)

  6. HI. Thanks for the recipe. I love dates and have been collecting recipes using them for a while. This is the first I have heard of soaking them. Can you tell me about this? I must have skipped class that day.
    Thanks.

  7. This recipe is just delicious! I had a problem with the filling being so sticky that i couldn’t form it into balls. Even after leaving the freezer overnight! When I dipped the crazy balls in the barely-warm chocolate, they really dissembled. Any suggestions on reducing the stickiness? Should i have added the coconut flour into the mix? I used it on my fingertips to try to roll the balls and that didn’t work so well. I’d love to bring these to an event but, while they taste amazing, they look hideous.

  8. Made these today — Yum!! Turned out great… although your chocolate looks like it turned out thicker than mine… maybe I didn’t wait long enough for it to cool and thicken …
    I also made ‘teaspoon’ full balls so it made 25 balls… Super good! Easy to make 🙂

  9. Would another type of date work also or does it have to be mejool dates? We bought some tunisian pitted dates at Costco the other day so I am wondering if those would work. Sorry if that is a silly question – I have never really used dated in recipes before.

    • I have substituted other types of dates (like California) in recipes calling for mejool with only slightly different texture/taste. From my own experience as a date-lover, mejool dates are simply the tastiest variety.

  10. These are amazing! Dates are my favorite dessert. BUT, help with the filling…could you clarify the “1 cup” dates? If I use about 13 dates as mentioned, they fill about two pint mason jars! Are you measuring one cup after they are puréed? I think I used way too many dates, so mine did not firm up at all. I noticed one other commenter had that problem-I bet we did the same thing! So should it be 1 cup whole, pitted dates? That would only be about 6 of my medjool dates. Thanks!

  11. Used this recipe to inspire a caramel dip, thank you!
    Use same amount of dates, plus 1/4 cup pecans, coconut flakes, coconut milk, 1/2 tsp celtic salt and 1 tsp coconut flour- mix together. Spoon into bowl, dip with apples or whichever you would use caramel dip for. My daughter thought is was cookie dough at first when I blind taste tested her 🙂 She loves it!

  12. Dear Lauren,
    I’m really enjoying your website and all your great recipes. I think you are an amazing young woman and am so glad you share your autoimmune research and experiences with us all. The two best things about your recipes are the simple ingredients and easy directions you give us! I’m not a big fan of cooking but your recipes and hints have made it easy for me!

    I must tell you I’m feeling like a pro tonight and wanted to share this tip with you! I made your Decadent Date Caramels this evening and was pressed for time. I didn’t want to wait the three hours for the “caramel” mixture to cool in the freezer before I shaped them into balls, so I put the mixture into a freezer baggy. Then I cut the tip off the baggy and was able to squeeze perfect little balls onto a cookie sheet and put that into the freezer to cool. I was able to cover them with the chocolate in 15 minutes! Saved myself a lot of time and from a sticky mess! I just threw the bag away!

    Thanks again for sharing your knowledge and inspiration with us!

    Cathey

  13. What more can I say, yum! Bought medjool dates as I seen them in another recipe then couldn’t find it, stumbled across these little balls of deliciousness. Can’t believe the dates made this lovely caramel, although couldn’t leave the mixture in the fridge for that long so managed to make them BUT they are still quite soft. Will definitely make them again (and properly this time) – I’m too impatient! Thanks for a great tasty recipe.

  14. Hi, This recipe looks great, but I am extremely sensitive to sugar, I cannot even enjoy a fruit/veg smoothy, it causes such a spike in my blood sugar. I am hypoglycemic, and am having a hard time balancing my blood sugar. Wasn’t sure if these treats would bother me.

  15. Oh my giddy aunt, I made these for the first time at the weekend and can’t believe how delicious they are. I’m making another batch now…what I actually did was to add a tiny bit of organic almond extract into the mix…and then the filling becomes like marzipan, only without all the refined sugar. With the chocolate coating, the result reminds me of the Mozart balls I love so much (but which are not so good for me). Many thanks for this recipe.

  16. These look so delicious! I’m trying to develop a cupcake with a caramel frosting…so this is definitely inspiring! Also, thanks for the nutritional info on the ingredients…very well done.

  17. I’m happy to say I have all the ingredients and will make these later today. I know in advance I will love these. Thank you. Awesome that you are on-board cooking/eating healthy–and at such a young age. Way to go!

  18. I just made this recipe and my coconut oil was liquid before I even started. After hours in the freezer the filling was still too sticky to make into balls. So I just scooped out little piles of the filling and rolled in coconut flake since I didn’t have coconut flour. But then when I tried to melt the honey with the cocoa and coconut oil it was a total disaster. First, how long should it be on the flame? Again, my coconut oil started out liquid. I also used honey I was given by a friend from her bees, nothing more raw than that, right? I put it in the fridge and then stirred, no luck. Heated again, for longer, but did not get to a consistency to put the ball in, especially in their super soft state. I’m in a very hot climate, for what that’s worth. I’d love to hear some feedback for help.

    • I’m getting ready to make these myself but after reading some comments about the dough being too sticky a thought occurred to me. Really fresh dates are super soft to begin with so probably the added soaking in hot water makes them TOO moist for some. I have some older dates that could benefit from soaking but my new ones are as soft as a ripe peach so I’m going to skip the soaking. Just an idea!

  19. We recently started paleo and this recipe showed up on pinterest just at the right time! When making these today, I didn’t have the heart to toss the water the dates were soaked in…I figured I could use it for something. Turns out, once it cooled a bit it was delicious to drink! I had used a fine sieve to strain the dates, so the date water wasn’t chunky. It was slightly sweet and refreshing. Now if the filling would just hurry up in the freezer…

  20. Try making these with Barhi dates instead of Medjool. There are many different varieties of dates and the flavours vary a lot! Medjool is what is commonly found in stores. Barhi dates are chewy (not dry sticky like other dates) and Barhi taste like caramel all by themselves. The flavour would be perfect for this recipe.

    Another great treat is to pit Barhi dates and insert a Brazil nut inside the pitted date.

  21. I made these yesterday and they came out great! The caramel is absolutely delicious. I was in a bit of a rush so couldn’t leave the mixture in the freezer for the full 3 hours, so they were a little tricky to work with… but I’ll be making them again ! Delicious – thanks!

  22. Hey I just made these and they were fantastic! THe one problem is though that the chocolate mix didnt coat the date balls to the consistency that you have above. They looked atrocious and no where near as appetising as yours. Should I add coconut milk or more oil?

    Anyone else have similar experiences?

  23. I happened upon your link just yesterday and i couldn’t go to sleep, dozed off at 2 am, still unfinished reading.

    Just had to ask you more about your autoimmune issues since my 13 yr old is experiencing a painful time with arthritic like symptoms to the point she cant attend regular school and has difficulties staying on task.. We know she has allergies with wheat & dairy, some of your information made sense. Others have mentioned “leaky gut” to me, but i wasn’t sure how it all connected. When my husband was alive he couldn’t eat the night shade plants for many years-made his arthritis flare.
    Any more info or links on this to help her would be appreciated.

  24. Awesome recipe! I made it my own by adding semisweet chocolate and cocoa powder to the filling. Freezing them right now, can’t wait to try one. Strong coconut flavor, but I still love them!

  25. Hi Lauren,
    As a Nutritional Therapist, I appreciate all that you are sharing here on your site. One concern that I have ::
    cocoa and chocolate are hard on my digestion, so I will try this recipe with carob. I’m hoping that it will be a win-win substitution.. Dates are a big favorite of mine. Thank you for your on-going creative ideas with healthy food.

  26. Wow. I know everyone else has said it, but wow!

    My prince (allergy central) was just lamenting the lack of caramels, reminiscing about a batch of honey caramels I made him several years ago (that I’d entirely forgotten). When I finally unearthed the recipe, it called for dairy. He can’t have that anymore. So I went looking for options. He can’t have the chocolate, but dates (no-name dried), coconut milk/coconut oil & salt are still safe, so I gave that much a try. He hasn’t been wild about other date recipes, so I wasn’t holding out too much hope. Then I tasted it.

    My eyes popped.

    The depth of flavor, the richness, is incredible! I figured I was safe–if my prince didn’t care for it, *I’d* happily polish it off ;).

    He loved it! He said it was better than the previous (cooked) honey caramels he’d been so fondly remembering. And it’s so *easy*!

    Thank you so much for posting this!

  27. Just to update, the caramels are good in cookies too!

    I pinched off chip-sized pieces of the date mixture & gently folded them into an oatmeal cookie dough (adapted from a recipe for butterscotch chip cookies). My prince said they actually reminded him a little of chocolate chip cookies! (Which is a BIG deal, since he can’t have chocolate or carob).

    Thanks again for the inspiration :).

  28. YUM!

    Since I can have dairy, I substituted grassfed cream for the coconut milk & I did a combo of ghee and coconut oil. It seriously tastes like caramel…the ghee adds a rich buttery flavor.
    My dates were super soft, so I didn’t have to soak them.

    Thanks for posting this again, I had wanted to try it before and never did, I’ve been missing out!

  29. Date mix is amazing to taste but I had the too soft problem so will skip the soaking next time. The chocolate dip was my biggest problem. The balls were very cold so the coating dried before I could add salt. So hubby helped there. Put them in the winter cold garage to chill. Brought them in the next morning to plate them for gifting. after about 30 min the balls & chocolate were gooey. I think it all goes back to the over soaked dates. To save them this time I will re coat them with melted chocolate.

  30. Hi! These look FANTASTIC. I am serving as a volunteer in Colombia with Peace Corps, and it’s hard to come across all the right ingredients for these delicious recipes. I found prunes, would that be an okay substitute?

    Thank you,
    Lexi

  31. This candy is delicious. I was in a hurry, so I just ground up the dates in a food processor (without soaking) and added the remaining ingredients, stuck the little balls in the freezer and melted some 74% chocolate. They have a wonderful, creamy texture and the flavor is yummy. This is my new favorite sweet, thank you!

  32. These were absolutely wonderful. I love medjool dates and I thought they emulated soft, chewy caramel perfectly. I had a bit of trouble getting the last half to look pretty; the chocolate started to cool and I didn’t want to overheat it. I may try your advice of adjusting coconut milk/coconut oil ratio so they’re dense enough to stay on a toothpick for easy dipping. Overall I’m so pleased with these, thank you for sharing!

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I’m Lauren Geertsen, an author and Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. When doctors told me that surgery and medication were the only answers to my chronic health issues, I decided to use the power of nutrition and a natural lifestyle instead.
My mission at Empowered Sustenance? To show you the simple steps on your path to vibrant health.

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