Wicked Dark Almond Butter Cups
Vegan, Gluten-free, Paleo
Is there anything better than the combination of nut butter and chocolate? I don’t think so. I know I have a soft spot for those infamous peanut butter cups. But have you ever read the ingredient list on those? Two of the ingredients are just sets of letters…that can’t be good. Not to mention that one package has a whopping 22 grams of sugar.
How about a nut butter cup with ingredients you can pronounce and have in your kitchen and less of a sugar hit?
Dark chocolate is my favorite sweet snack; I always have at least 3 bars in my fridge. Not all dark chocolates are created equal. Taza Chocolate makes dark chocolate that has a fruiter flavor; it is not that sharp bitter flavor that you can get from other bars. And all the ingredients are organic (no soy lecithin or emulsifiers).
Let’s talk nut butter cups.
First, the chocolate. Wicked Dark has 95% cocoa content; talk about chocolate bang for your buck. It is the perfect companion for the almond butter. If you don’t have this bar at home, look for a dark chocolate bar that is dairy-free and has at least 70% cocoa content.
Now the almond butter. I like to use a runnier, natural almond butter. Typically the runnier almond butters only have 1 or 2 ingredients: almonds and salt. The thicker ones can contain palm oil, which is not great for you and can be sourced in unethical ways.
You don’t have to use almond butter; you can certainly use peanut butter, cashew butter or sunflower seed butter. Whatever nut or seed butter you like. Depending on the consistency of it, you may need to add more or less of the flax meal or the maple syrup.
Sweeten and Thicken
Some nut butter cups can be thickened with starches or other emulsifiers. Not these. Ground flax seeds (aka flax meal) is a great way to thicken the runny nut butter and you get an added nutrition boost. Flax seeds are full of healthy Omega’s and fiber.
When it comes to the sweetener, I like maple syrup. You can also use agave nectar, date syrup or honey. Whatever syrup you like will work here. These can even be made super low sugar by using a Monkfruit syrup from Lakanto (linked below).
This recipe is really a blank slate. Feel free to play around with it; try adding a little cinnamon to your nut butter. Maybe a little orange extract to the melted chocolate? Go wild.
2 bars Taza Chocolate Wicked Dark Chocolate, chopped (or roughly 5oz super dark chocolate)
1 tbsp virgin coconut oil, solid
3oz smooth, unsweetened almond butter
1-2 tbsp maple syrup (you can use Lakanto Monkfruit Maple Syrup too for Keto cups)
1-2 tbsp ground flax seed
Pinch of sea salt
Line a standard or mini muffin pan with liners (this recipe makes about 10 minis and 6 standard size)
In a heatproof bowl, toss in the chopped chocolate and coconut oil. Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second spurts (you can also set the bowl over a saucepan of an inch of barely boiling water). Stir between each microwave session to make sure the chocolate does not burn. Once melted set aside.
In a small bowl set over a zeroed kitchen scale, measure out 3oz of almond butter (if you don’t have a kitchen scale, this is roughly a 1/2 cup). Add the maple syrup, salt and ground flax seed. Stir together with a spatula. You want it to be thick (think about the center of that famous peanut butter cup). If it is too thick, add a little more almond butter. If it is too thin, add a bit more flax meal. Once mixed, set the almond butter mix in the freezer for 5 minutes to solidify a bit more.
To assemble the cups, fill each muffin well with 1 tablespoon of melted chocolate. Take the almond butter mixture out of the freezer. Pinch off 1-2 teaspoon size balls of dough and shape them into a mini hockey puck and place on top of the melted chocolate in each muffin well.
Once each well has chocolate and almond butter, pour the remaining chocolate over each of them. Make sure to cover the almond butter fully. Top with a little flaky sea salt (optional, but the salt makes the flavor of the chocolate pop).
Place the finished almond butter cups in the freezer for 15 to 30 minutes. After they set, store in an airtight container in the fridge. Enjoy straight from the fridge or freezer (try not to eat them all at once!)