KIND Snacks Recipe Collaboration: Chocolate Caramel Crunch Cups (Gluten-Free & Vegan!)

I'm a big fan of KIND Snacks, so when they reached out to ask if I'd collaborate with them and use their Healthy Grains in a new recipe, I was thrilled! 

I love their Oats & Honey Clusters with coconut milk and berries for breakfast or a snack, but I wanted to do something unexpected for this collab so I turned to my favorite meal and my strong suit- dessert!

Their Healthy Grains come in lots of yummy flavor combos but I decided to work with the Cinnamon Oat Clusters because I knew the flavor would marry well with the chocolate and vegan "caramel" that I had in mind. 

One of the things I love about this recipe is that you can make it any pan or container that you have on hand. I made it two ways for you here- in a cupcake paper liner, and in a silicone heart shaped mold (hello, Valentine's Day treat for your sweetie!). You could also use a foil loaf pan, small cake pan, or anything else you have in your kitchen. 

The ingredients are really simple and nutritious. You'll stir together raw cacao powder, coconut oil, and maple syrup to make a simple raw chocolate.

Then toss some dates, water, almond butter, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon into a food processor or blender to make the "caramel". And PS, this stuff is crazy good. I eat it by the spoonful. Yum!

Layer those two bits together with your Cinnamon Oat Clusters and you're done. I like to top the cups with extra Oat Clusters as a hint to what's inside. Easy-peasy and super delicious. 

Here we go, recipe below. And remember, this is gluten-free, vegan, and truly nutritious. Cacao is one of the healthiest foods on the planet, so get after it, and enjoy!

Chocolate Caramel Crunch Cups 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups pitted dates

1/4 cup water

1/3 cup raw almond butter

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1-2 tablespoons maple syrup, to your taste

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

pinch fine sea salt, optional but really brings out the flavors

1 cup raw cacao powder

1/2 cup coconut oil

2 tablespoons maple syrup

KIND Healthy Grains Cinnamon Oat Clusters

Instructions:

  1. Combine dates, water, almond butter, coconut oil, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, and sea salt in a food processor or high speed blender and process until a smooth paste forms. Taste the mixture and add more maple syrup if you want it sweeter.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the cacao, coconut oil and maple syrup to form a raw liquid chocolate.
  3. Pour a thin layer of chocolate on the bottom of your container(s), about 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle oat clusters over the chocolate and press then down into the chocolate. (TIP: pressing the clusters into the chocolate insures that they stay crispy crunchy and don't become softened by the caramel)
  4. Spread a thin layer of caramel over the chocolate and clusters. Top with additional chocolate and sprinkle with more clusters if you want to have a garnish on top (like my cups). If using a candy mold like my heart mold, do not sprinkle with clusters, instead smooth the tops with a straight edged knife for a clean finish.
  5. Refrigerate the chocolate until completely firm, about 30 minutes, you can freeze them if you're in a rush. Once they are firm, remove them from your containers or molds and store in an airtight container. Chocolates will keep at room temperature for 3 days, in the refrigerator for 1 week or in the freezer for 2 months. Allow to come to room temperature before eating for best flavor.

Hope you enjoy! If you make these be sure to take a photo and share it on your facebook or instagram, and tag me so I can see. Cheers!

Posted on January 24, 2015 .