Salted Chocolate. Date Caramel. Ginger Snaps. Talk about salty and sweet yumminess.
This recipe is too easy! We aren’t baking cookies here, I decided to make it even easier. I bought some organic ginger snap cookies the other day because they were on sale. And yes they were vegan!
I also bought a big tub of pitted medjool dates from Costco. Medjool dates are perfect for so many desserts and are naturally sweet with a caramel taste. Perfect for making your own easy and healthy caramel! And for a quick yummy snack too. So far, the Enjoy Life – Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips are the only vegan chocolate chips that I have seen in local grocery stores. They taste just the same as regular chocolate chips! I swear, you wouldn’t know the difference.
You can use any kind of cookie you want for this recipe. Chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal raisin, whatever you please. Anything would taste good. I ♥ ginger snaps and always have. Marty thinks they are weird-tasting (oh well, more cookies for me!) And he doesn’t like the salty-sweet combo. I happen to love it. I want this blog to inspire you and make your life easier, not have you running to the store, so use whatever cookies you have on hand! Or if you are like me and love ginger snap cookies then use those. Basically we are spreading date caramel over cookies, freezing them for about 15 minutes, then melting chocolate chips and pouring it over the date caramel, sprinkling sea salt over and freezing again until the chocolate is hardened. That’s pretty much it! Then you have your Easy Date Caramel Crunch Cookies. I keep them in the refrigerator or freezer so the chocolate won’t melt everywhere.
I know this recipe isn’t exactly “plant-based” but it’s also not filled with any animal products so, once in a while, it’s alright to indulge! With the ooey-gooey caramel and the rich chocolate coating, all you need is one cookie anyway and your chocolate cravings will be fully satisfied. I am happier when I don’t restrict myself. Restricting can lead to major problems down the road so I allow myself to have whatever I want, in moderation. I have always looked up to Bethenny Frankel (hello Skinnygirl Margs) and my favorite saying of hers is: “You can have it all, just not at once”. I also mentioned it in My Vegan Story. That saying has always stuck with me. I used to really stress out about meal times and what you should be eating and when and making sure you have 6 small meals a day or 3 large meals with snacks but that can even be confusing and restricting. I have found that listening to my body is all I need to do. Our bodies are powerful and if we are in tune with them, we will be able to tell what we need at all times. Some days I am starving, some days I am not as hungry as usual, some days are just “normal” but not one day is the same. The vegan lifestyle has helped me better understand my body and it’s cues. Exercise plays a large part along with hydration and sleep. All factors work together. I don’t think there should be any rules or calorie counting. If we pay attention to our bodies instead of focusing on what we should/shouldn’t be doing, food won’t seem as complicated. Simplify and use your best judgement and it will change your life! The plant-based lifestyle honestly allows me to feel whole and healthier than ever before. I never think in terms of “Oh I can’t eat that…”. This lifestyle has NOTHING to do with deprivation. I think in terms of “Food is fuel which will provide me with sustained energy throughout the day so I can chase my dreams” if that makes sense. Haha. I definitely eat more on this lifestyle. That’s just how it works. My goal is not to be super skinny, it is to be strong and as healthy as I can be. You feel me? 😉 So have a cookie and don’t hate yourself. Love your body and your journey.
- 10 small ginger snap cookies (or cookie of choice)
- 12 medjool dates, soft and pitted (If dates are hard, soak in water for 30 min)
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips (I like the Enjoy Life brand)
- pink sea salt (optional)
- On a plate or platter with a piece of parchment paper, lay 10 cookies, flat. Set aside.
- In a food processor, combine pitted dates, water, vanilla extract, and coconut oil. Blend until smooth with a thick caramel consistency. You may have to scrape down the sides at times.
- When the date caramel is ready, grab a spoon or small spatula and spoon over each cookie. Spread it out evenly so each cookie has the same amount of caramel.
- Place in freezer for about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, clean up and start preparing chocolate chips.
- You can melt the chocolate chips in a small pan over the stove or in the microwave, which is the easiest.
- Remove cookies from freezer and pour melted chocolate over them with a spoon, it can be a little messy!
- Sprinkle a little sea salt over the chocolate (optional)
- Place back in freezer for 10-15 minutes until chocolate is hardened.
- I usually keep the cookies in the refrigerator or freezer or else the chocolate will melt after a while.