Mint Chocolate-Caramel Chews


Preparation info

  • Makes


    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Plant-Based Cookbook: Vegan, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free Recipes for Lifelong Health

The Plant-Based Cookbook

By Ashley Madden

Published 2021

  • About

These caramels were inspired by after-dinner mints. Unlike traditional caramels made with uber-processed ingredients and lots of sugar, these caramels are made with brain-healthy walnuts and creamy Medjool dates. They’re minty, chewy, and mildly addictive. My favorite way to eat these delicious chews is right out of the freezer.


  • ½ cup walnuts, soaked in warm water for 2–3 hours
  • ½ packed cup pitted, soft Medjool dates
  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa or cacao powder
  • ½ teaspoon pure peppermint extract
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt



  1. Drain the walnuts, discard the soaking liquid, and place the drained walnuts in a food processor with the pitted dates, cocoa or cacao powder, mint extract, and salt.
  2. Process continuously. The mix will first turn into crumbles but will eventually stick together and start rolling around in a ball. Scrape down the container a couple of times throughout. The dough should be smooth with no chunks of nuts. This may take a few minutes. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons water to help the mix stick together if it’s not coming together.
  3. Transfer the “dough” onto a piece of parchment paper and shape into a rough square. Cover with another piece of parchment paper and use a rolling pin to shape the dough into a 4-inch square that’s about ¾-inch thick. You can also do this with your hands. I like to dampen a chef’s knife and press the side of the blade against the edges of the square to create straight, clean edges.
  4. Place the dough in the freezer for one hour to set. Remove from the freezer and use a sharp knife to cut the dough into 25 caramels, wiping the knife clean between each cut. Separate the caramels and place them on a plate or in a container in a single layer and keep them in the fridge, uncovered, for 12 to 24 hours. They’ll dry out and firm up. Keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week or keep them in the freezer for 3 months.