It is best to buy fresh, well packaged dates. They should be pitted, plump, and moist. If they are not, then soak them in warm water for 8-10 minutes. Remove and gently pat with paper towels before proceeding.
Place dates in a food processor, add vanilla and 2 tablespoons of coconut milk. Process until smooth (or to the texture of your preference). Add more coconut milk if the mixture is too gummy. It should be paste like, but not too dry or too wet. Once blended, stir in salt.
Transfer mixture to a jar or bowl. Store covered in the refrigerator until ready to serve. The mixture will keep for up to 10 days after preparation when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.