I fully intended to take a week off from this space. There's a lot going on around here, (very exciting updates coming soon!) and I've been trying to spend more time outside than in. Then inspiration, or rather a craving, struck. I was back home in Rhode Island this past weekend celebrating a friend's birthday and soaking up all the sunshine and salty air. On my drive back to VT my thoughts fixated on chocolate chunk cookies dunked in salted caramel (I could try and play this off as something that doesn't happen very often, but then I'd be lying :)).
When I got home I made my go-to dairy free chocolate chunk cookies, but subbed the whole wheat or spelt flour I usually use for oat flour and rolled oats. Oat flour (just rolled oats ground up in the food processor or blender) is really delicious and gives the cookies more nutty flavor then your typical oatmeal chocolate chip.
While the cookies were baking, I made salted date caramel for dunking. I ended up drizzling for aesthetic purposes, but you better believe there was cookie dunking going on post photo shoot. Date caramel is reeeeeallly good, so good I bet you could fool the majority into thinking it's the real deal cream laden stuff. You simply send dates, water, vanilla, and a small amount of melted coconut oil for a whirl in the blender. Once smooth, add a little salt, and you've got yourself a delicious topping for ice cream, cakes, apple wedges, and oatmeal chocolate chunk cookies!
oatmeal chocolate chunk cookies with salted date caramel drizzle (dairy + gluten free)
makes approx 20 cookies and 1 ½ cups of salted caramel
for the cookies
½ cup softened coconut oil
¼ cup agave
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups oat flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup dark chocolate, chopped into chunks
for the salted date caramel drizzle
1 cup medjool dates, pitted and tightly packed
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbs melted coconut oil
3 cups water
¼ -1/2 tsp salt (I used sea salt but kosher would work fine too)
Preheat oven to 375.
Heat 3 cups of water in a saucepan until it is warm. Place the dates in a bowl and submerge them with the warm water. Allow them to sit for 15-20 minutes.
Place coconut oil, agave, pure vanilla, and eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl and mix in the stand mixer or whisk by hand until well combined. Slowly stir in oat flour, oats, and baking soda. Mix in chocolate until equally spread throughout the dough.
Place heaping tablespoons of dough on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
Meanwhile drain the dates, reserving the soaking liquid. Place the dates into a high-speed blender with 1 cup of the soaking liquid, vanilla, coconut oil, and 1/4 tsp salt. Blend on high until very smooth. If it is not a ‘drizzleable’ consistency add more soaking liquid until it is your desired consistency. Taste the caramel, if it is not salty enough add a bit more salt. I found my desired saltiness in between 1/4 tsp and 1/2 tsp of salt. Enjoy!