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Food | Recipes

Vegan Dessert Recipes: Guilt-Free Caramel Apples

My Texas friends and I have been discussing the lack of fall in our gulf coast town. Cooler weather does come eventually, but it's easy to feel a bit left out when the rest of the country seems to be donning cozy jackets and basking in colorful foliage--meanwhile, we're hoping that it doesn't break 90° on a given day. Our coping strategy has been to bring the fall fun to us by wearing sweaters (when we can get away it), going dark with our manis (but of course), and ordering cozy drinks just because.
These caramel apples are an extension of that festive spirit, and they're so easy to make! The secret is to start with chilled apples. Because both the caramel sauce and the chocolate sauce have a base of coconut oil, the sauces quickly set once they come into contact with the cold apple (because coconut oil solidifies around 76°F). This means that there's not a big drippy messy. (Okay, so there's a little mess involved...)
I didn't have any skewers handy, so I actually used my reusable bamboo chopsticks. I poked the bottom of each apple with a paring knife and slid a chopstick through the small hole. It felt genius at the time...
Anyway, I hope you like these guilt-free caramel apples. They're a reminder to me that you can live anywhere, but no amount of burning leaves can replace the company of good friends.
Vegan Dessert Recipes: Guilt-Free Caramel Apples

Vegan Dessert Recipes: Guilt-Free Caramel Apples

Recipe Type: Sweets
YIELDS2 caramel apples
PREP TIME
COOK TIME
TOTAL TIME
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  • For the caramel:
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (liquified)
  • 1/3 cup pitted dates
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of ground ginger
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • pinch of salt
  • For the nuts:
  • 1/4 cup cashews, chopped
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped
  • For the chocolate sauce:
  • 1.5 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 teaspoons cocoa powder
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Directions

1. Add dates, coconut oil, spices, and salt to a high-speed blender or food processor. Blend a bit. Add a spoonful of water. Blend some more. Add another spoonful of water. Blend, blend, blend. Repeat until the caramel sauce is (mostly) smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. Transfer caramel sauce to a bowl.
2. Place your chopped nuts on a small plate. Cover the skewered apples with caramel sauce (I used my fingers, but you can use a culinary brush if that's easier). Roll the sticky apples in the nuts, using your fingers to patch up any large gaps.
3. Place the apples top down on a plate or stand them up in a tall glass. Place them in the refrigerator.
4. Prepare the chocolate sauce by whisking the chocolate sauce ingredients together in a small bowl. Take the apples out of the refrigerator, and drizzle them with chocolate sauce. The chocolate sauce sets quickly because the apples are cold, so you should be able to enjoy your apples immediately!

Related: Vegan Stovetop Apple Crumble

Chai Spiced Almond Butter

Vegan Orange Scones

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Photos: Mary Hood Luttrell

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