Updated: Feb 10, 2019
First, I have to give credit where credit is due. @eatsbyames posted her vegan almond butter cups months ago. Ever since these dairy free, gluten-free chocolate and almond butter bites of heaven have been my go-to for quick and quasi-healthy deserts.
We entertain one to two times a week, so having a fun desert that can round out a meal and keep the good conversations going is a big priority to me. Plus, as a host, I do not think there is anything worse than feeling like your guests feel obligated to eat a sugar-packed desert that is going to reverse their entire week of good habits or leave them feeling bloated. So, this super special desert will leave your guests feeling satiated without regret and can be personalized to make your company feel like you put extra thought into the evening so they feel like they are right at home.
What you'll need:
1 cup melted organic coconut oil (about 1 1/4 cup unmelted)
4 tablespoons of organic cocoa powder (3 if you don’t like it quite as rich)
2 tablespoons of raw organic agave nectar
2 teaspoons of balsamic reduction
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper1 teaspoon organic sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
Roughly 3 tablespoons of organic almond butter or nut butter of your preference (heat to melt in microwave for 20 seconds)
Toasted cashews or nut of choice to top
How you'll do it:
Prepare a muffin pan by placing paper baking cups in each hole (typically 12-15)
Mix coconut oil and cocoa powder until the mixture is smooth
Add agave and balsamic reduction to the mixture until smooth once again (these two ingredients will naturally sink to the bottom, so make sure you really work it into the mixture)
Add cayenne pepper, sea salt and vanilla to mixture
Take a small spoon and coat the bottom of each baking cup with about 1mm of the chocolate mixture and let them cool in the freezer for approximately 2-3 minutes
Once the bottom layer is hardened, add about a teaspoon of almond butter to the middle of each baking cup
Pour the remaining mixture evenly amongst each baking cup so you can no longer see the almond butter.Place in freezer for 4 hours (fully hardened)
Top with nut or other topping of choice. Here I chose toasted cashews with cayenne, sugar in the raw & sea salt
Tip: Since this is a desert where you don’t have to deal with yeast, or flour or heat temps, make it your own! I have added almond extract instead of vanilla, used cinnamon, coconut butter instead of almond butter and I’ve experimented with every sweetener including honey, maple syrup and stevia! Let me know how you like this recipe and tell me how you made it your own! Can’t wait to hear!