Almost Raw Chocolate Caramel Shortbread

Indulgence doesn't have to be bad for you. Better yet, it can be packed with straight-up goodness; we're talking heart-healthy cashews, nutrient-dense cacao, coconut oil, and Almondmilk.

Case in point: these almost-raw chocolate caramel shortbread bites from our girl Oh, Ladycakes. They're just the thing to nourish your body and soul — and tastebuds.  (And if you're looking for more Califia recipes hot out of the kitchen, peep OLC's blog.)

Oat + coconut crumbs

1 cup (90g) rolled oats
1 cup (75g) unsweetened shredded coconut
Pinch of fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean powder
4-6 (60g) medjool dates
, pitted
2 tablespoons (24g) unrefined coconut oil
2 tablespoons (28g) Califia Farms Unsweetened Almondmilk

Cashew caramel cream

1/2 cup (68g) raw cashew pieces, soaked 4+ hours or overnight
10-12 (160g) medjool dates, pitted and soaked 15 minutes
1/4 cup (55g) Califia Farms Unsweetened Almondmilk
1/2 cup (120g) roasted cashew butter
1/4 cup (45g) unrefined coconut oil, melted
1.5 ounces (43g) cacao butter, melted (see notes above)
Pinch of fine sea salt

You’ll also need:
Maple ganache
Toasted coconut flakes
Cacao nibs
Sea salt flakes

In a food processor fitted with the S blade, blend the oats, shredded coconut, salt, and vanilla bean powder into a super fine meal (this should take 1-2 minutes). Add the dates and pulse for 25-30 seconds, until evenly distributed. Add the coconut oil and Almondmilk and process until fully incorporated. Divide and firmly press the crumbs into the cavities of a 12 cavity mini cheesecake pan; set aside.

In a high powered blender, such as a Vitamix, blend the cashews (drained), dates (drained), Almondmilk, cashew butter, coconut oil, cacao butter, and sea salt on high speed until smooth and creamy; about 1-2 minutes. Divide the cashew caramel cream between the cavities then level with the back of a spoon. Tap the pan on the countertop to remove any trapped air bubbles. Transfer the pan to the freezer and chill the shortbread for at least eight hours. Once they’re frozen solid, pop them out of the pan and transfer to an airtight container until you’re ready to serve.

Just before serving, top shortbread with a spoonful of ganache then sprinkle with toasted coconut flakes, cacao nibs, and sea salt flakes. Leftover shortbread can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for at least a few months (though they won’t last that long). I prefer to eat the shortbread straight from the freezer but, if you want to serve them at a party, you’ll be pleased to know they’ll keep their shape at room temperature (thanks to the cacao butter).

Yield: 12 shortbread

Notes: If you don’t have cacao butter for the cashew caramel cream, you can replace it with 1/4 cup (45g) of coconut oil (making for 1/2 cup of coconut oil total). The roasted cashew butter can be replaced with raw cashew butter, almond butter, etc. but the roasted cashew lends a really delicious flavor to these things. If you don’t want to make ganache, use magic shell and pour it on top of the shortbread once the caramel cashew cream is frozen solid. If you’d prefer to make the shortbread in bar form, knock yourself out. Just make sure you double the recipe so you have enough to fill the pan (I’d use an 8″ square pan). This recipe was inspired by all the Livia’s Kitchen millionaire bites I ate in London last spring.

How’d your bites turn out? Let us know by tagging @CalifiaFarms, @ohladycakes, + #CalifiaFarms.