Do you LOVE cheesecake or what? I know I do, but it is SUCH a splurge. Well, if you love it as much as I do, you will ADORE these AMAZING PALEO CHEESECAKE BTIES. They are seriously TO-DIE for and are both gluten-free and dairy free. WHAT?? How is that possible?? And here is a question for ya: who invented the salted caramel combination? Peas and carrots, peanut butter and jelly, green eggs and ham…those are all great, but give me SALTED CARAMEL anytime, any day and you have a friend for life. I know what you are thinking: there is no way these taste ANYTHING like cheesecake. Ok, I dare you to try them! Also, I am curious if you like these or the CHOCOLATE bites I posted a couple of months ago (see post HERE) better. Let me know what you think! If you love this recipe, please share the recipe with your friends via the social media icons at the end of the post. xoxo
Paleo Salted Caramel “Cheesecake” Bites
For the crust
1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup almonds
5 pitted Medjool dates
2 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes
Pinch of salt
*Lindsey’s TIP: Add in a little maple syrup to sweeten this up a bit*
For the filling
2.5 cups raw cashews (soak overnight or for at LEAST 2 hours if in a hurry)
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt (I usually salt it to taste. It’s better with more salt!)
2 tbsp almond milk
*Lindsey’s TIPS: Homemade almond milk makes these even better! Also, do NOT substitute the coconut oil with a different oil. The coconut oil is KEY in making these taste oh so fabulous! LASTLY, and MOST IMPORTANTLY: do NOT dump the lemon juice in all at once. Slowly pour this in as you taste the batter. I honestly probably only use 1 tbsp at the most.
For the caramel
3/4 cup coconut cream (the cream at the top of a can of coconut milk)
1/4 cup ghee
1 cup palm sugar
3 tbsp honey
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup palm shortening (Whole Foods has this)
-Place the cashews in a bowl of water. Cover and soak overnight, rinse, and then drain.
-Place the dates in a bowl of water and soak for 10 minutes. Rinse and set aside.
-To make the crust, line an 8×8-inch baking dish with parchment paper. Place the walnuts and almonds into a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add the dates, coconut flakes, and salt and blend until combined (add in the maple syrup here is you choose). Press the mixture into an even layer in the pan. Place in the freezer to chill while the filling is prepared.
-To make the filling, place all of the filling ingredients into a blender or food processor (I use a food processor here…it makes the consistency very creamy) and blend until it reaches a smooth, batter-like consistency. Pour the mixture over the crust in the baking pan. Place back in the freezer for at least one hour to harden.
-Meanwhile, make the caramel. Whisk together the coconut cream, ghee, palm sugar, honey, and salt in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a soft boil, and then reduce the heat to simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens and is a rich golden brown.
-Allow the sauce to cool for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the palm shortening until dissolved. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer and cut into bars. Add a dollop of caramel onto the top of each bar and use a spoon to spread over the top. Sprinkle with sea salt. Serve immediately or store in the freezer.
Servings: 12 bars
Difficulty: Medium-Hard (because of the caramel)
By Rebecca Bohl (http://paleogrubs.com/caramel-cheesecake-bar-recipe)
More Lindsey TIPS:
-For a quicker, easier version, leave off the caramel. I know, that sounds crazy, but I wanted to give you the option.
-Sprinkle the top of the bites with sea salt. YUM.
-If you do not add the caramel, add a little bit of honey + sea salt to the finished bite for an even healthier option.