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salted caramel shortbread cookies veggiekins
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5 from 1 vote

Salted Caramel Cookies Recipe (Vegan and Gluten Free)

Beautiful salted caramel cookies made with rich salted caramel date paste sandwiched between buttery shortbread cookies. You will love the crunch of the cookie with the chewy texture of the caramel– the perfect balance that makes the best cookies!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Course: desserts
Keyword: baking, cookies, desserts, gluten free, healthy, oil free, refined sugar free, valentine's day, vegan
Servings: 12 -14 cookies
Author: Remy

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup Gluten Free 1-1 Flour Blend can also use oat flour, more as needed
  • 1/3 cup tahini as an alternative, use cashew butter or sunflower seed butter
  • 1/2-1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • salted caramel date paste
  • 12 pitted medjool dates soak in hot water beforehand if not soft and gooey
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup warm water or coconut milk more as needed
  • optional pinch of maca powder
  • optional pinch of lucuma powder

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350F while you prepare your cookie dough
  • In a large bowl, whisk tahini, maple syrup, vanilla and baking powder until smooth. Sift in gluten free flour and use a spatula to stir until cookie dough forms. Dough should be workable and not sticky.
  • Transfer dough onto a nonstick surface and roll about 1/4 of an inch thick using a rolling pin or bottle. Use a circular cookie cutter to cut out cookie shapes (make sure to make an even number of circles).
  • Next use
    a heart shaped cookie cutter to cut out a small heart in the center of half of the cookies, then transfer onto a baking tray and bake for 9-12 minutes, or until edges are lightly golden brown. Cookies will continue to bake while cooling so don't overbake!
  • Allow cookies to cool completely, and while you wait, start by preparing your salted caramel date paste. Drain soaked dates, transfer to a food processor and process to break down into a paste. Scrape sides down in between as needed, add vanilla, maca and lucuma if using and stream water or coconut milk into the processor as you continue to blend until completely smooth. Finally, add salt to taste.
  • Once cookies are completely cool, fill with about a tablespoon (or as much as your heart desires) with salted caramel paste*

Notes

Secrets to Success

  • If you're into the heart-shaped cookie sandwiches I created, you'll want to use a small heart-shaped cookie cutter. I used this small cookie cutter, and for the circular shape, just used the mouth of a jar I happened to have in the kitchen.
  • It's best to use a nonstick baking mat to bake these cookies as they are oil-free and can be a little delicate. You don't want to scrape them off the baking tray with a spatula, because there's definitely a risk of ruining the shape. As an alternative, use a cookie sheet or baking sheet lined with parchment paper, which is also a great way to roll this dough out mess-free.
  • When making your caramel date paste, I recommend soaking your dates in advance if they aren't super soft already. I would also really recommend using Medjool dates as they naturally have a subtly caramel-like flavor, and are the softest variety in my opinion. To make the paste, you basically process your dates with hot water or if you'd like, coconut cream. I personally prefer to use splashes of water until a paste forms as I find it's a lot more flavour neutral. Salt it to your liking, or don't! Totally up to you.
  • ​​I highly recommend filling cookies just before serving. The moisture in the salted caramel paste can soften the cookies if stored after filled. It's actually quite delicious soft, so if you like a soft cookie, then fill all the cookies, and store them in an airtight container. Otherwise, to keep cookies snappier, fill them before enjoying them.
  • If you don’t opt for the cutout version, feel free to add chocolate chips or chocolate chunks to the batter and make them like regular cookies. Sprinkle some flaky sea salt on top of the cookies if desired. Regular table salt will also work just fine. 

Storage Tips

Store your salted caramel cookies in an airtight container for up to a week in the fridge. 
See the secrets to success above for best practices on filling and storing the cookies. Make a double batch because these chewy caramel cookies will be gone in a flash!