Happy Valentine’s Day, friends! What are you doing this weekend?
I’m just a little chilly and looking forward to the weekend before we travel again all next week.
This time I’ll be in Kansas visiting friends and family and tackling a freelance gig while John jumps into New Zealand with a close friend. Lots of adventures in February for us Minimalist Bakers.
Let’s get to the good stuff: dessert. If you need a last minute treat this weekend, try this simple one, Naturally sweetened Dulce de Leche Pops made only with 5 ingredients. (Bourbon is optional, but come on).
It all started with the magic of coconut cream (or milk) and sultry dates.
The Origin of Dulce De Leche
Dulce de leche is a sticky caramel ingredient usually made of milk, sugar and vanilla. It is believed to date back to the 19th century, but who gets the credit is a hot topic of debate! Dulce de leche is popular in Uruguay and Argentina and a similar delicacy with a different name is enjoyed in Colombia and Peru.
These popsicles are inspired by the flavors and ingredients of dulce de leche, but natural sweetener and made with vegetable ingredients.
I can eat dates all day every day – OK, I pretty much do. They do some serious magic in this recipe, giving it a caramel swirl that is truly reminiscent of dulce de leche.
The process is also simple. Simply blend your dates into a smooth “caramel”, add half of them to the coconut milk, and stir. Then add the remaining caramel dates back into the mixture, stir, and freeze! Easy as that.
The result is incredibly delicious and naturally sweetened vegan and gluten free popsicles that are like ice cream on a stick. You may want to eat them all at once – trust me. This is why you need a friend who is ready to help (both control and sampling).
What does it taste like? So glad you asked. They are:
& So dreamy
This would make a delicious dessert any time of year, but especially when you want something creamy without ruining the ice cream maker.
If you don’t have a popsicle mold, use a large ice cube mold instead! They make fun shapes and they can easily be mixed into a milkshake with added coconut milk (and/or bourbon – come on). Live a little – that’s what I say.
We hope you like this recipe! If you try it, let us know: Leave a comment, rate it or take a picture and tag it #worthyrecipe on Instagram! I’m also joining the Snapchat revolution (all kids do), so you can send me photos there too (username: worthyrecipe). I’m a super beginner though so naked with me.
Happy Valentine’s weekend, friends! We send you all John + Dana’s sandwich-style giant hugs (even you, Rhonda). Cheers!
Dulce de Leche Pops Cream
- 14 intact medjool date (pitted // 15 dates equals ~253 g or 1 1/4 cups // if dry, soak in warm water for 10 minutes, then drain)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 14 ounces can be thick coconut milk or full fat coconut milk (if using full fat coconut milk you can add 1 tablespoon of liquid coconut oil)*
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1-2 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon Bourbon Alcohol Drink (optional)
Add the pitted dates to a food processor or high-speed blender and puree until a caramel-like paste is achieved. If you’re having trouble blending, add 2-4 tablespoons of warm water (the amount according to the original recipe // adjust if changing batch sizes) to help achieve the right texture – thick and easy to spread. Scrape the sides as needed and stir until a thick, caramel-like consistency is achieved.
Once the date caramel is smooth and soft, add 1/4 – 1/2 tsp (amount according to original recipe // adjust if changing batch size) sea salt depending on how salty you want it. Taste and adjust as needed.
Take the caramel and set aside. Then add the coconut cream (or coconut milk + coconut oil), vanilla, 1/2 cup caramel dates, and 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup or agave nectar for extra sweetness (amount according to original recipe // adjust if changing batch size). Blend until soft and smooth and taste and adjust flavor as needed. Bourbon is optional, but recommended for taste.
Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl, cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours (or freezer for 1-2 hours) for best results. (If you’re impatient and can’t wait, skip this step. The popsicle won’t swirl the way you let the dough cool.)
Once cool, add the remaining caramel back into a small spoonful and stir gently until combined / swirled.
Spoon/pour into popsicle molds or ice cubes (approximately 10, depending on size // as written in the original recipe) try to smooth out the caramel swirls, and tap to remove air bubbles. Add ice cream sticks and freeze for at least 6 hours or until firm.
Once set, remove from freezer and let sit for 5 minutes to soften. Then gently pull it out of the mold and enjoy. Pops stay covered in the freezer for up to 1 week, although they are best when fresh.