I love chocolate.
|Lizzard Loves. Ingredients for Dark Chocolate Cashew Coconut Cups|
It seems like the most obvious thing you could love, right? As much as I am tempted to be suspicious of those who do not like chocolate.....I can't fault my best friend in the world just because she & all things chocolate do not play nice :) I will admit I am thoroughly surprised when a friend (new or old) admits that they just don't love chocolate. They may as well be speaking to me in Chinese; it is incomprehensible!
|Lizzard Loves filling like a blob :)|
|Lizzard Loves...Making the filling|
As an indication of my intense love of chocolate, I currently have the following in my pantry milk chocolate, dark chocolate, 72% dark chocolate, semisweet chocolate, bittersweet chocolate, baking chocolate, cocoa powder, white chocolate, and in my fridge.....my mom's delicious homemade chocolate sauce. What? I told you I love chocolate!
|Lizzard Loves cups waiting for the 2nd layer of chocolate|
I have been cultivating my love of Pinterest lately too and the recipe I am sharing is adapted from one I found through Pinterest! I made the recipe for Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups from Sprouted Kitchen's blog & I really enjoyed their recipe- but I figured there were a few ways I could tweak it & make it better for me! These made a perfect Easter gift for my Dad - who has the biggest sweet tooth of anyone I know personally. I put 6 in a clear plastic gift bag & tied it shut with baker's twine. Delicious & cute - which is perfect for me (my Dad probably didn't care or notice the cute part.....but whatever :)
I hope you enjoy it the recipe below, let me know in the comments what you think of it- or if you have any additions/adjustments or questions!
Dark Chocolate Cashew Coconut Cups
18 oz dark chocolate (i used 9oz Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate & 9oz Trader Joe's 72% cocoa Dark Chocolate)
1/2 cup natural cashew nut butter (feel 100% free to sub in peanut butter, almond butter, soy nut butter- whatever you like best!)
1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1/2 teaspoon fine grain/table salt
1/2 teaspoon (or to tastes) fancy schmancy salt - for sprinkling on top *see note below*
24 toasted cashews (approximately 1/2 cup) for topping
1. Break/chop the chocolate into pieces that will fit into your favorite microwave safe bowl.
2. Melt the chocolate in the microwave, in 1 minute increments at 50% power until it is totally smooth. Stir in between each burst in the microwave to ensure it is smooth.
3. Line a mini muffin tin with 24 paper liners (don't worry - you don't bake these- the pan is there to ensure a nice shaped candy :)
4. Spoon a generous teaspoon of the chocolate into 3 of the paper liners, then tilt/rock the pan back & forth/around in a circle to help the chocolate coat the sides of the paper. Repeat until you've filled all the cups.
5. Now its time to make the delicious filling! Combine the cashew butter, shredded coconut, honey, powdered sugar, vanilla & coconut extracts, & fine grain salt in a bowl until well mixed.
6. Scoop out a generous teaspoon of the mixture and roll it between your hands to make a little ball. Press down slightly to form a disc & place one in each paper liner (that is now lined with dark chocolate!) Repeat until each cup has a flattened ball of the filling in it.
7. At this stage, you may need to give your chocolate another 1 minute blast in the microwave at 50% power. Do so if the chocolate is not easy to scoop/pour.
8. Time to cover the filling with more chocolate! Another generous teaspoon of teh chocolate should be enough to cover your filling completely- but add more chocolate if you need to!
9. Sprinkle your fancy schmancy salt over the top of your pan, so each chocolate has just a smattering on it.
10. Press 1 cashew into the top of each candy before the chocolate has time to firm up!
11. Allow the chocolates 20-30 minutes to harden, and then enjoy the homemade chocolates!
|Lizzard Loves the almost finished product!|
I've found that these freeze perfectly well. Put them in a tupperware (or double bag in a ziploc) and freeze for up to 2 months (this is as long as I've been able to wait to eat them....they may keep longer.....but not in my house!). If you're going to eat them within 5-7 days, leave them in a tupperware/ziploc at room temp.
*A note about salt: OK, I realize that sounds so silly- but use whatever the nicest salt you have in your pantry.......I was lucky & received a gift set 2 Christmases ago of 6 different specialty salt- so I use Maldon - a deliciously flaky salt- but sea salt, kosher salt, gray salt, pink salt, in a pinch use the regular table salt- but the texture is vastly improved with your fancy schmancy salts - I promise! You can often find fancy schmancy salts at Homegoods & TJ Maxx at a serious discount.....and since salt by its very nature isn't perishable- I often do that!)
|Lizzard Loves - the final product! Sneak attack- I also tested an almond version!|