Raw Chocolate-Coated Caramel YOLO Balls

This candy recipe is inspired by one of my favorite store-bought candies growing up. I bet you can take a wild guess what they were! The buttery caramel made by Medjool dates will remind you so much of the real candy that your head will spin. People often tell me these homemade Yolos are better than the real thing! I would have to agree. Hey, you only live once!

Raw Chocolate-Coated Caramel Yolo Balls

Makes 20 Yolos

PREP TIME: 25 minutes

CHILL TIME: 40 minutes

gluten-free, raw/no bake, soy-free option, grain-free, nut-free option

Ingredients for the Caramel

  • 7 ounces (200 g) (1 cup/250 mL) pitted soft Medjool dates
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp. (7 mL) peanut butter or other nut or seed butter
  • Pinch of fine-grain sea salt

Ingredients for the Chocolate Coating

  • 1⁄4 cup plus 3 Tbsp (100 mL) dark chocolate chips
  • 1⁄2 tsp. (2 mL) coconut oil
  • Flaked sea salt or chia seeds (optional)

Directions for the Caramel

Process the pitted dates in a food processor until a sticky paste forms. Add the peanut butter and salt and process until combined. The mixture will be very sticky, but this is what we want.

Scoop the sticky mixture into a bowl and freeze, uncovered, for about 10 minutes. (Chilling makes the caramel easier to shape into balls.)

Line a plate with parchment paper. Lightly wet your fingers and shape the chilled caramel into small balls, making about 20 balls total. Set the balls on the parchment paper — lined plate as you roll them.

Place the finished balls in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up.

Directions for the Chocolate Coating

In a small saucepan, melt the chocolate chips and oil over very low heat. When two-thirds of the chips have melted, remove the pan from the heat and stir until smooth.

Remove the caramel balls from the freezer and dunk each ball into the melted chocolate, one at a time. Roll them around with a fork to coat. Tap off any excess chocolate coating and set the balls back on the lined plate. If desired, stick a toothpick in the top of each ball and sprinkle the balls with a tiny amount of flaked sea salt or chia seeds.

Freeze the balls for at least 20 minutes, or until the chocolate is set. Yolos taste best straight from the freezer and will soften at room temperature.

Tips: If your dates are stiff or dry, soak them in water for 30 to 60 minutes to soften them before use. Drain them well and blot off excess water before processing.

If you have leftover melted chocolate, scoop it onto a parchment paper — lined plate and freeze it. The chocolate will harden back up and you won’t have to throw any away. Break up the chocolate and store it for another use. Waste not, want not, as my mother always says!

For a nut-free option, use sunflower seed butter instead of nut butter.

For a soy-free option, use soy-free nondairy chocolate.

Reprinted from The Oh She Glows Cookbook by arrangement with AVERY, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © GLO BAKERY CORPORATION, 2014.

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