Changing for the better, one bite and (deep) breath at a time.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Dairy-free Chocolate Cashew Butter Cups

I love having frozen chocolatey desserts on hand when a sweet craving strikes, and my usual go to is healthy fudge. In efforts to mix up my routine, I tried cashew butter cups from Dr. Ben Kim's website - and they are divine. I had made them before, but this time around I added the optional cocoa nibs to the filling, and their crunch and texture made this recipe one I will make time and time again. My husband, an ice cream fanatic, satisfies his sweet tooth with half of one of these dense, flavorful treats and doesn't need to head to Cold Stone.

If you have never used cocoa nibs, I urge you to give them a try. You will find them at Whole Foods or other health food stores. I especially enjoy Navitas Naturals brand. Cocoa nibs are made from the cocoa bean; they're pieces of dried, fermented and crushed bean that have a strong cocoa flavor and are chock full of flavonoids, antioxidants, and blood pressure-reducing power. Read more about cocoa nibs and how to use them here. I personally love to put them in my flourless banana bread (coming to the blog soon!), smoothies, and other healthy desserts.

These chocolate cashew butter cups are great because they're made with the nutrient powerhouses listed below:

Cashew butter - rich in healthy fats, iron, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and zinc
Coconut oil - high in heart-protective medium chain triglycerides and has antiseptic qualities
Cocoa nibs/cocoa powder - heart healthy chocolate without added sugar or soy lecithin
Honey - a natural sugar that also contains minerals and fights germs

Note: I doubled this recipe to make 12 large cups, which I cut in 1/4 or 1/2 for each serving.


Chocolate ingredients
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup honey (you can sub some liquid stevia here if desired)
1/4 cup coconut oil

Filling ingredients
1/2 cup cashew butter
1 T cocoa nibs (optional - I'd recommend more, perhaps 2 T)
1/2 T honey (I used stevia)


Mix the ingredients for the chocolate together. Make sure to mix well.

Use a spoon to spread this mixture on the bottom and up the inside of each cupcake liner (note: I was out of liners so just placed these directly in the pan; not as clean but works just fine). It helps to spoon a large glob of the mixture into the liner and then spread it in a thick layer.

Put these prepared liners in the muffin pan (to help each cup maintain its shape) and place in the freezer.

Set aside the chocolate mixture that's left over; you'll use it in a few minutes.

While the cups are resting in the freezer, mix the filling ingredients together. Make sure to mix well.

Once your filling is ready, take the muffin pan out of the freezer and fill each cup with the cashew filling. Make sure you leave enough room at the top of each cup for a final layer of chocolate.

Place the cups back in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Once the 10 minutes are up, bring the muffin pan out and top off each cup with the rest of the chocolate mixture. Place the muffin pan back in the freezer for 20-30 minutes to let the cups harden. Then peel the cupcake liners off and enjoy!

Here's my iPhone camera attempt to show you the cocoa nibs in the center:

Please note: These chocolate cashew butter cups get harder and more enjoyable with each passing day, so consider saving a few to enjoy as an after-dinner dessert a day or two after making them.

Make sure to keep these puppies frozen; otherwise, they get messy as they melt!

Tell me, what's your favorite dessert ("healthy" or "play")?



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