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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Walnut Butter Cups

GLUTEN-FREE | DAIRY-FREE


Looking for a healthy Halloween treat?

These Walnut Butter Cups are a healthy alternative to store-bought peanut butter cups. I used dates instead of sugar to add a little sweetness. The filling, made with walnuts, almond butter, and coconut, is is full of healthy fats. And instead of milk chocolate I used pure dark chocolate, an excellent source of antioxidants, so these walnut butter cups are low in sugar and dairy-free.

This recipe makes about 12 cups. If you want more, double or triple the recipe.

Ingredients:
  • 6 oz dark chocolate, 72% to 85%
  • ¼ cup pitted and roughly chopped dates
  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup raw walnut pieces
  • 1 to 2 tbsp raw almond butter

Equipment: 

Directions:
  1. Fill a medium saucepan with an inch or two of water and warm it over low heat. Place the dark chocolate inside a glass or stainless steel bowl. Place the bowl on top of the saucepan, cover, and heat until just melted. Do not overcook the chocolate.
  2. Add the dates, coconut, and walnuts to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Incorporate just enough almond butter for the mixture to stick together and form a ball. If this doesn't happen, add a little more almond butter, just enough to pull it together. Transfer the nut mixture to a bowl and set it aside.
  3. Once the chocolate has just melted, use a spoon to drip about a teaspoon of melted chocolate into the bottom of each cup. Shake the mold around gently to make sure that the bottom of each cup is completely coated with melted chocolate. Place it in the fridge to harden.
  4. Once the chocolate has hardened inside the mold, remove it from the fridge. Use a rounded teaspoon or mini-scoop to portion out a ball of the nut mixture. Roll it gently between your palms and form it into a ball. Place it inside one of the cups and gently press down to flatten it, filling up most of the cup yet leaving a gap around all edges for the chocolate. 
  5. Leave enough room for chocolate and don't over-fill the cups. If your nut ball is too big or too small, make any necessary adjustments. Repeat until you have filled all 12 cups.
  6. Spoon some melted chocolate over each cup, enough to cover the nut mixture and fill in the gap around the edges.
  7. Transfer the cups to the fridge to set for 2 hours or more. Take them out 20 minutes before you plan to serve them so they have time to soften a bit. Because chocolate melts at body temperature, handle them as little as possible to avoid leaving fingerprints behind.



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