I’m definitely not a chocolate-lover; sometimes I feel like I’m the only girl in the world who doesn’t “ooh” and “ahh” and drool over the idea of a box of chocolates or brownies, no matter what time of the month it is. I’ve always been more of a marshmallow, caramel and vanilla girl! The more sugar… the better!! In fact, my favorite chocolate was always white chocolate, which is basically pure cocoa butter/fat with loads of sugar.
Well, since re-introducing myself to the Paleo lifestyle, my tastes are changing to be much simpler than they once were. Sure, I may have had a McDonald’s Shamrock Shake this weekend (and felt very ill afterwards), but the super-sweet doesn’t really entice me as much. Even the sugary things I love - ice cream, fruit, caramel, marshmallow - are very, very easy for me to say “no” to. And it isn’t even like, “I want it, but I’m saying no;” instead, it’s more like, “I don’t want it, so I can just walk away and not even bother saying anything!”
Way back when, in mid-2012 when I first discovered Paleo, Primal and Grain-Free living, I started to cut the junk and get to the source, even with desserts. I tried dark chocolate - the thing I always swore I hated with a passion - and much to my surprise… I actually liked it! Color me shocked. And, even more amazingly, I now know how to make a chocolate confection in my own kitchen using very few ingredients.
NUT BUTTER CUPS
Primal. Paleo. Gluten-free. Grain-free. Vegan.
Makes 6 cups.
- 4 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 4 tbsp cocoa or cacao powder
- 1 tbsp coconut flour or grated coconut (flour will be smoother in the end)
- 1/8 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
- Whatever fillings you want - nut butters, seed butters, jelly/jam/preserves… get creative!
- Whatever toppings you want - sea salt, coconut, dried fruit or berries, mint, etc.
- Whatever mix-ins you want - cinnamon, cayenne pepper, seeds, nuts, flavorings, etc.
If you have silicone muffin cups, these work great for making these. Remember: you need six of them. If not, just get your muffin tin out and line six wells with cupcake liners. Set aside.
Whisk together the melted coconut oil and cocoa/cacao powder until completely combined. This is surprisingly quick and easy to accomplish! Add the vanilla, maple syrup (if using), coconut flour and your mix-ins (if using). The maple syrup, if cold, will make your chocolate start to harden; if so, just microwave for 10 seconds and stir again.
Pour about 1-2 tbsp of the liquid into each your muffin cups or liners. Use a small spoon to push some of the liquid about 1/2 inch up the sides. Tap them on your counter or table to make sure the base is completely covered in chocolate.
Put your filling in the center, making sure there’s space between it and the wall of chocolate. Top each with the remainder of the chocolate, spreading gently if you need to. Tap on the counter again to make it level.
Put your cups in the refrigerator. After 5 minutes, they should be hard enough to remove from the cups/liners.
In my photo, the top one is almond butter and jelly. The bottom on is just almond butter topped with dried coconut chips. I gobbled these up in record time and just made another batch: regular almond butter filling, topped with sea salt; almond butter & jelly topped with crushed almonds.
Alternatively, the chocolate base can be used to make regular chocolate bars, chocolate bark, or other chocolate treats.