Faux Cheesecake Bites with a Finger Lickin’ Good Caramel Sauce

The blonde moments I have sometimes are un-freakin-believable. Occasionally, I’m able to truly laugh at myself…and that usually turns into a cry, but this one just angered me. Ok, moving on… I’m a firm believer in giving honor to whom honor is due and I totally would IF I could remember where I found this recipe I printed off a few weeks ago.  I’m pretty sure it came from Pinterest.  God bless the person who came up with Pinterest.  I mean really!  I vaguely remember life before it.  Because of Pinterest I rarely even use cookbooks anymore.  Sad, but true.  So… to whomever it was that created this masterpiece of a recipe, I salute you!  This recipe was so good I didn’t want to change a thing. (THAT almost never happens.)  The caramel sauce to this recipe is so good…I could seriously just eat it with a spoon…OR…pour it over ice cream.  OMG.  It’s delicious!  It takes a little bit of time to make… But it’s totally worth it.

I LOVE bite-size desserts!  Especially when they’re PALEO and don’t have all that bad, sugary, processed junk that makes your stomach ache and feel bloated.  A couple little bites of this, your sweet tooth is cured, and you have nothing to feel guilty about! I may not even run tomorrow… That’s a lie.  I will run.  BUT only because I want to, NOT because I feel like I have to.  There’s a HUGE difference!  🙂

Now for the recipe…

Yields: 24 servings

Ingredients for the Crust:

  • 1 heaping cup raw pecans
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp creamy almond butter
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • a couple pinches of kosher or pink Himalayan salt

For the filling:

  • 1 heaping cup raw cashews (soaked for at least 4 hours… overnight is better)
  • 1/2 cup organic zucchini, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tbsp canned coconut milk, full fat, room temp
  • 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp coconut palm sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt (Pink Himalayan or Kosher)
  • juice of 1 lemon

For the caramel:

  • 1/2 cup coconut milk, full fat, room temp
  • 3/4 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • few pinches of salt (Pink Himalayan or Kosher)

Directions:

1. Prepare the crust by placing the pecans in a food processor and grind them into fine meal. Add the rest of the crust ingredients and process again until well combined. Line the bottom of a mini cupcake pan with mini cupcake liners, then press the crust evenly into the bottom of the liners. I used my thumb to make an indention in the middle of each one. Place the pan in the freezer to set, while you prepare the filling.

pecan crust

pecan crust2

2. In a high-powered blender, process the raw cashews until they are blended. Add in the zucchini, coconut oil, coconut milk,
maple syrup, coconut palm sugar, vanilla extract, salt, and lemon juice. For the lemon juice go by taste as not to overdo it with lemon flavor. I started by juicing half of the lemon, mixing and tasting, and adding more. Add as needed to your preference. Then blend again until a super smooth and creamy batter is formed. If your batter is too thick try adding a little more almond milk or coconut water until the desired smooth creamy batter consistency is reached.

faux cheesecake on top

3. Pour the cheesecake batter into a decorating bag or ziplock bag, cut a hole in the corner and then pour the filling on top of the crust almost to the top, leaving some room for the caramel. Allow to set in the freezer for at least an hour. While the filling is setting go ahead and make your caramel.

faux cheesecake on top3

4. To make the caramel, combine coconut milk, butter , and coconut sugar over low heat in a medium saucepan, whisking gently until the mixture reaches a soft boil, about 5 minutes. Add vanilla extract, and salt and whisk until combined. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Let boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and whisk gently until the mixture becomes a smooth liquid again. Place back over heat and boil for an additional minute to thicken further. Remove from heat, whisk until mixture becomes smooth liquid again. Let cool. As the mixture continues to cool it will thicken. At this point it should be the consistency of a thick soup and taste incredible. The caramel will continue to thicken as it cools. Refrigerate to cool completely.

caramel sauce

 

finished caramel sauce

5. Once your cheesecake bites are hardened, fill a decorating bag or a ziplock bag with the caramel and cut off the tip. Squeeze a dollop of caramel on the top of eat cheesecake bite and use the flat side of a spoon to evenly spread over the top. Once the caramel has set sprinkle pink Himalayan or Kosher salt on the tops. Store cheesecake bites in the freezer in between eating sessions and remove about 15 minutes or so before serving so they can thaw a bit. Enjoy!

finished cheesecake bites

finished cheesecake bites2

just one...

 

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