Ahhh, Valentine’s Day. I think I can speak for everyone in saying that renaming to the day to “Eat Fancy Chocolate Day” would be more appropriate. Unless you live in Chicago, and today is actually, in fact, the anniversary of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. (In school in Chicago, we really did learn about the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Talk about some heavy elementary curriculum.)
Anyway, I would like to share with you a fun, chocolaty Paleo-approved recipe. I decided to try to make these after realizing that I really really really missed eating Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, my favorite Valentine’ Day treat. If you’re like me, almond butter will never be able to replace peanut butter, but almond butter is still pretty great…and after making these lovely Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups, I proceeded to eat all of them over the course of two days. (Along with an entire batch of kale chips. It’s called a balanced diet, people.)
I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!
Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups
Makes about 15 mini cups, or 6-7 large cups
For the almond butter base:
· Just over ¾ cup almond flour or almond meal
· ½ cup almond butter, crunchy or smooth (You could also substitute peanut butter for you non-Paleo followers, or another nut butter of choice. I would imagine that cashew butter would be great in these.)
· 2 tbsp. liquid coconut oil
· 2 tbsp. raw honey, melted (add more honey to taste if you want this base to be sweeter)
· 2 tsp. alcohol-free vanilla extract
For the chocolate topping:
· 3 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
· 3 tbsp. raw honey, melted
· 2 ½ tbsp. dark chocolate cocoa powder
· 1 tsp. instant ground coffee or espresso granules
Variations: If you would like to add additional flavors, I think adding sea salt, raspberries, or strawberries on top of the chocolate layer would be excellent. If you would like to make these cups into an almond butter-mocha variety, add up to 1 ½ tbsp. of the instant espresso or coffee granules into the chocolate mixtures. The possibilities are endless!
1. Combine all ingredients for the almond butter base in a bowl and set aside. Make sure that this mixture is well combined and sticks together without crumbling.
2. Combine all ingredients for the chocolate topping together in a small bowl. You can omit the instant coffee if you would like, but adding this intensifies the chocolate flavor. (When cooking with coconut oil, I find that often the coconut flavor from the oil can overtake everything else. What better way to combat this by making the chocolate taste stronger? Exactly.)
3. Line a cupcake or mini cupcake pan with paper liners. (Or you can do what I did and stick mini cupcake liners in a normal cupcake pan.) Add a small ball of the almond butter base into each liner and press to evenly fill the bottom of each one.
4. Spoon a thin layer of the chocolate mixture over each almond butter base. Start with a thin layer first, and then go back and add more chocolate evenly until the chocolate mixture is completely gone.
5. Cover with plastic wrap and place the pan in the freezer for about 45 minutes until set.
6. Remove and eat them all in one sitting J
*Remember that since these almond butter cups will melt if in a warm enough environment. So if you have the willpower to save these for later, keep them covered in the freezer, fridge, or a cooler location.