Nut Butter Cups for the Holidays

You can use any nut butter that you prefer. I used homemade peanut butter made from organic peanuts. There is also no gluten, dairy, or white sugar!

This is a relatively easy recipe to follow, if you have all the ingredients! You can even get your friends and family involved, i.e. a cooking party!

 Homemade Peanut Butter

Yields ¾ cups

  • 1 cup organic peanuts
  • 3 Tbsp. sunflower seed oil
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  1.  In a food processor, grind the peanuts into a course powder.
  2. Add the oil of choice, honey, and salt. (if using coconut oil, set aside to cool for 10 minutes after melting)
  3. Blend until it becomes a smooth consistency. Add more oil if needed.
  4. Remove to a glass container. It will keep for 4 days. It is just enough for 12 nut butter cups. You can also just use it as a spread!

 Nut Butter Cups

Yield 12

Total Time: ~ 1.5 hours

Ingredients for the Chocolate –

  • I use 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips or you can opt-in 2 bars of 70% dark chocolate
    • I prefer to use Fair-Trade, organic chocolate (not already sweetened)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1-2 tbsp. honey or maple syrup (the real stuff is also the best bet!)

Ingredients for the Filling –

  • ~3/4 cup peanut butter or preferred choice of nut butter
  • 3 Tbsp. coconut flour
  • 1 tsp.vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. sea salt

Directions –

  1. In a double boiler* combine the coconut oil and chocolate, and add the sweetener of choice. Stir continuously until it is a dark creamy texture. 

  2. Set it aside to cool slightly.
  3. Meanwhile, line a muffin tray with  muffin liners. Pour a spoonful of chocolate sauce into each muffin liner. Place the tray in the freezer or fridge for 5-10 minutes, until the chocolate has hardened.
  4. While the chocolate is chilling, prepare the peanut butter mixture. In a small bowl, combine about a ¾ cup of peanut butter, coconut flour, and vanilla extract until it has a thick creamy firmness. Divide into 12 small pieces, and roll each into a small ball. 

  5. Place each PB ball on top of the hardened chocolate, and flattened so it covers the chocolate. Pour the remaining melted chocolate over the PB and place back in the freezer,until completely hardened. You can make these a day ahead for your holiday party! Enjoy!
  6. Optional – Before placing back into the freezer for the second time, sprinkle a pinch of course sea salt over top of the chocolate.

*Put a small glass bowl into a medium saucepan allowing there to be space for steam to escape.

Almond Cake w/ Chocolate Ganache


This cake recipe is inspired by Jenny Fajardo’s Almond Cake, featured in Provence: A Country Almanac by Louisa Jones. It is a gluten free dessert, made with almond flour. The flavor is not dominated by the almond aroma or taste, rather it is a light alternative to wheat flour. In lieu of a  berry frosting, which the recipe calls for,  I replaced it with a chocolate ganache. I modified the Basic Chocolate Sauce recipe from Epicurious. I did not add sugar to the sauce, however, it could use at 1 tsp. of granulated or confectioner sugar to give it more sweetness. If you prefer to have a tart chocolate frosting to counter balance the sweetness of the the cake, I advise you to not add sugar. The cherries add a fruitful presentation in balance to the nutty and cocoa presence of the concoction.

Serves 8

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

1 cup ground almonds – 4 eggs, separated –  1 cups granulated sugar – 1 stick of butter (4oz.) at room temperature – 2 Tbsp. Cornstarch; 2 tsp. – Baking powder –  Pinch of Salt

For the Chocolate Ganache: 

8 oz. dark unsweetened (70%) baking chocolate –  2 Tbsp. Baking cocoa –  1 oz. of butter –  4oz.  milk and 4 oz. heavy cream (or 8 oz. whole milk) –  1 tsp. granulated sugar

Directions:

For the Cake:

In the food processor, ground almonds in food processor to make flour.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Beat egg yolks. Gradually add sugar and beat until mixture is a lemon color. Add butter.

In a separate bowl, combine the cornstarch and baking powder. Add to egg mixture.

Add the ground almonds. Mix until combine.

Whip the egg whites. When beginning to be frothy, add a pinch of salt, and continue whipping until peaks form.

With a spatula, spoon the batter into a buttered cake pan. Bake for 35-40 mins.

Let cool for a few minutes.

For the Chocolate Ganache:

Chop the chocolate into medium size chunks.

In a double boiler, heat the milk (or combine the milk and cream.)

When at a bare simmer, add the chucks of chocolate, and let it sit for a few minutes. Stir occasionally, until chocolate is melted.

Stir in the butter.

Add the baking cocoa. Stir until combined.

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or until congealed.

When cake is cooled and placed on a plate, spread chocolate sauce.

Sprinkle a handful of chopped nuts over the frosting (optional.)

Enjoy!

~Abby B.

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