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Chocolate Caramel Cookie Cups

Today is the WORST picture day. Whenever I make a recipe in the evening, I wait until the next day to photograph it so that the sun is shining that beautiful natural light. Well, today is dark and rainy so thank goodness for a bright apartment light and Instagram filters! I made another epic no bake dessert and I'm pretty excited to share it

I'm officially running again and training for the Bronx 10 mile in September. I've lost another half pound and, even with a little rocky road after I came back from July 4th vacation, I've still managed to lose weight and consistently strength train. I'm working on cleaning up my eating, laying off a little bit more of the sugar and making myself clean, protein filled meals. PMS always has a different idea about what I should be eating (sugar and too much of it!) but that will soon be over this month.

This crust is made without dates. I think I told you before that dates send me off the rails as far as binge eating because they are so tasty and impossible to stop eating. I just don't buy them anymore and I've made a few desserts without them. These cups have a cookie bottom to them and I managed to make them without dates. This recipe features brown rice syrup as the liquid sweetener...yay!!

Bottom layer:
1 cup of quick oats
1/4 cup of brown rice syrup
1/2 cup of walnuts

1-2 tbsp of water

Middle Caramel Layer

1/2 cup of natural peanut butter
1/4 cup of brown rice syrup
2 tbsp of coconut oil, melted

Chocolate Layer

1/2 cup of full fat coconut milk
2 heaping tbsp of cocoa powder
2 tbsp of coconut oil
1/4 cup of brown rice syrup
Sea salt to top

In your food processor, process the crust ingredients until the mixture is a sticky crust. Press into a cupcake pan to make about 4-5 individual cups. Process the caramel layer until it's a thick, sweet caramel color. Scoop onto each cup of crust. Place in the freezer while you make the chocolate layer. Put all the chocolate ingredients except the sea salt in a small saucepan and turn the heat on low. Melt everything and stir often. It should be a smooth chocolate sauce when melted. Let it cool while the crust and caramel layer are in the freezer. When the chocolate topping is cool, pour on top of the caramel layer on each cup, sprinkle with sea salt and then freeze overnight. The next day, the chocolate caramel cups will be chewy and sweet and delish.

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