Dark Chocolate Vanilla Maple Almond Butter Cups

June 20, 2013

in Nut Butter, Other Desserts

Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups
Sea-salted dark chocolate vanilla maple almond butter cups.

I’ll give you a minute to process that.

Raw Cacao Butter
Aaron’s 30th birthday was this past weekend and I knew I had to come up with something for dessert that would wow him. It had to involve chocolate and some sort of nut butter (his favorites), and should probably pair well with bourbon, which tends to be his drink of choice on special occasions.

I’m new to the wonderful world of homemade chocolate, probably in part because it took me a little while to work up to spending the money on good quality, organic raw cacao butter (I use this brand). However, let me tell you – that stuff is money very, very well spent. The chocolate it creates is ridiculously silky and smooth and oh-so-decadent.

Organic Raw Cacao Butter
And the vanilla maple almond butter filling…it’s just incredible with the dark chocolate and a generous sprinkle of flaked sea salt. If you’ve made homemade nut butter before, you’ll know that it gets fairly solid after being refrigerated, and this makes it perfect for molding between layers of rich chocolate.

Homemade Almond Butter Cup
I gave the almond butter cups to Aaron after we celebrated his birthday at dinner. I thought they were good, but I’m always a little anxious to see how other people will react. He was completely silent for a good twenty seconds as he took his first bite. Then another bite, and more silence. And finally, after a small sip of bourbon, he declared them to be one of the best things I’ve ever made.

I’ll let you in on a little secret though: it’s mostly all about the ingredients, and that cacao butter is magical.

Sea Salt Chocolate Almond Butter Cups
These are pull-you-in-the-moment, make-you-lose-your-words, bites of pure bliss. You absolutely must make these.

Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Vanilla Maple Almond Butter Cups
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 almond butter cups
 
You may never want to buy pre-made chocolate again.
Ingredients
  • 140 grams cacao butter
  • ¾ cup raw cacao powder, sifted
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons coconut sugar, ground into powdered sugar using a high-speed blender
  • pinch of fine sea salt
  • ½ cup vanilla maple almond butter (see recipe link in post)
  • flaked sea salt for finishing
Instructions
  1. Line a muffin tin with 12 silicone baking cups and set it aside.
  2. Add the cacao butter to a medium saucepan and melt it over the lowest heat setting.
  3. While the cacao butter is melting, whisk together the cacao powder, powdered coconut sugar, and pinch of fine sea salt in a separate bowl.
  4. Once the cacao butter has melted, whisk in the dry ingredients until well-combined.
  5. Turn off the stove and spoon approximately ¾-1 tablespoon of the chocolate into each muffin tin.
  6. Place the muffin pan in the freezer for 10 minutes to allow the chocolate to firm up slightly.
  7. Next, spoon about ½ tablespoon of the nut butter into each of the muffin tins. I used my hands to form it into flat patties so that the next layer of chocolate would go on smoothly.
  8. Cover the nut butter with another ¾-1 tablespoon of the melted chocolate and return the pan to the freezer for another 5 minutes.
  9. Finally, sprinkle the almond butter cups with a few flakes of sea salt and place them back in the freezer for 15-20 minutes, or until the chocolate is completely solid.
  10. Pop the almond butter cups out of the silicone muffin liners, transfer them to a container, and store them in the fridge.

 

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

J / *sparklingly June 20, 2013 at 5:07 pm

Whoa.
Mind. Blown.

I’m also with Aaron on this: “It had to involve chocolate and some sort of nut butter (his favorites), and should probably pair well with bourbon, which tends to be his drink of choice on special occasions”, so clearly I need to make this pronto.

(Funnily enough, my Amazon.com order just came in earlier this week with my own stash of Tisano cacao butter! Woop woop!).

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Amanda June 20, 2013 at 6:05 pm

Nice! So now you have to make these. ;)

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Abby June 20, 2013 at 10:43 pm

holy. moly.

I think these peanut butter cup making leads one to superstardom. I’d love to get a hold of some cacao butter to make some too!

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Amanda June 21, 2013 at 8:43 am

You have to try making chocolate with cacao butter. I can’t even put into words how awesome it is!

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Nicole June 20, 2013 at 11:31 pm

I love love love raw cacao butter! Do you have my ebook? There are lots of recipes using it :)

I love your filling in these though! Chocolate, vanilla, maple and almond – you really can’t go wrong with that combo.

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Amanda June 21, 2013 at 8:44 am

I don’t have your ebook and I have no idea why! I remember thinking “I need that”. :)

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thomas tay June 21, 2013 at 7:13 am

This is definitely a healthier recipe. No dairy butter and the use of coconut sugar instead of cane sugar lowers the GI.

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Amanda June 21, 2013 at 8:41 am

That’s usually my goal – something that tastes just as good (if not better!) that’s not going to make me or whoever else eats it feel like they need to take a nap. :) I’m loving the coconut sugar in place of cane sugar!

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Cadry June 21, 2013 at 9:03 am

Happy birthday to, Aaron! What a lucky man! These sound amazing!

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Cadry June 21, 2013 at 9:04 am

Oops! I don’t know how that wayward comma got in there. Blame Friday sleepiness.

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Amanda June 21, 2013 at 9:54 am

haha I know the feeling!

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Shannon June 21, 2013 at 10:06 am

Yum!
These look wonderful. I love salt sprinkled on almost all of my sweets, so I’m sure these would knock me out of the park too.

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Amanda June 21, 2013 at 10:41 am

I agree – sea salt + sweets is such a great combo!

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Belinda @themoonblushbaker June 21, 2013 at 12:56 pm

These are the great alternative to peanut butter ones. I am salty sweet addict, so these will go down a treat. I can not wait for the cocoa butter order to come!

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Amanda June 21, 2013 at 3:58 pm

I hope you like them, Belinda!

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Raechel June 23, 2013 at 6:32 pm

It’s my partners birthday this week too, and I’ve been trying to figure out what to make him! He loves whiskey and spicy chocolate…I wonder what some spice would do to these…..Either way, I’m going to make them because they sound amazing!

PS: I’ve been a fan of your blog for a while, but I’m even more excited to keep following it because I just got a job outside of Boston and I’ll be moving to the Somerville area in August! I started poking around to see if I could find some Boston-featuring posts, and was glad to see you mentioned some cute places to go. If you have any great tips for navigating the city as a vegan, I’d love to know!

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Amanda June 26, 2013 at 4:05 pm

Happy birthday to your partner! I bet this chocolate would be amazing with some spice thrown in! Let me know if you end up giving that a try.
Also, congrats on your new job! That’s very exciting! There’s a vegan, more fancy restaurant in Somerville called True Bistro that you should check out. I’ve only been once, but my food was excellent. I also recommend Life Alive and Veggie Galaxy in Cambridge, Fomu Ice Cream in Allston/Jamaica Plain…those should be a good start. :)

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Colette @ JFF! June 24, 2013 at 8:06 pm

Why should peanut butter have all the fun?
I love almonds more, anyway.
These are irresistible, Amanda.
Can’t wait!

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Anna {Herbivore Triathlete} June 24, 2013 at 8:54 pm

Yup. Mind blown. I need some of these in my life.

Aaron is one lucky guy!

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Richeal June 28, 2013 at 6:31 am

Homemade chocolate is definitely the bomb. Have you tried making it with coconut oil yet? I think coconut oil is less expensive than cacao butter. At least it is in Ireland anyway!
Anyway, give it a try just cause it’s delicious :)

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Amanda June 28, 2013 at 8:51 am

Coconut oil is also a good option and definitely a lot less expensive, but (and this is just my opinion) it has nothing on cacao butter. That stuff is dreamy! :)

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Melanie Chisnall July 9, 2013 at 6:28 am

I’ve never thought about making my own chocolate, mainly because of the price and because I don’t think we get ingredients like that here in South Africa. We must though…maybe I just haven’t been looking properly. But now I know I have to hunt these ingredients down…this recipe looks and sounds divine!!!

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Amanda July 9, 2013 at 10:23 am

I hope you can find the ingredients! If not locally, I bet you could order them online. :)

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Andrea @ Vibrant Wellness Journal August 1, 2013 at 9:01 pm

These look amazing, indeed. Salty, maple almond wonder. I’ve been making my own chocolates for years, and I agree with you– the texture of pure cacao butter is priceless. I also make my own lipbalm and other raw treats with it! Happy to have found your blog.

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Amanda August 2, 2013 at 6:26 pm

I really should try making my own lipbalm – it sounds so good!

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Andrea @ Vibrant Wellness Journal August 3, 2013 at 2:53 am

Hey Amanda- It’s pretty fun and super easy to do: http://vibrantwellnessjournal.com/2012/09/06/homemade-body-care-products/ (looks like some of the photos got lost in the blog transfer… eek, will update those soon!)

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Amanda August 3, 2013 at 8:56 am

Thanks for the link, Andrea!!

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Paul February 13, 2014 at 11:28 am

Hi, great recipe. Currently I am making chocolate with Coconut oil and cocao powder. Thinking about using cocao butter instead. Do you you think I show swap it in for coconut oil or keep the oil as well. Also today I used maple syrup as my sweetener but you seem to be a real fan of coconut sugar. Would you suggest switching. Thanks.

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Amanda February 13, 2014 at 11:48 am

Hi Paul, I’ve made chocolate with coconut oil and cocoa powder in the past and it’s good, but I personally prefer to use (what I think is) the more authentic-tasting cacao butter instead of coconut oil. It’s totally up to you – play around and see what you like best. Same goes for maple syrup. I tend to use coconut sugar because it’s lower glycemic and also in recipes where I want to use a dry sweetener as opposed to a liquid. That said, I’ve made chocolate with maple syrup and it’s awesome! Just depends on the recipe I’m making and whether I want a maple flavor. Hope this helps!

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Paul February 13, 2014 at 1:16 pm

Wow thanks for such a quick reply. I have been making chocolate with coconut oil for a while now and in an effort to step up my game I have been researching cocao butter. Like you said I think it would offer a more authentic chocolately tasting treat. I was mainly currious if I should use coconut oil as well as coca butter. But according to your recipe I suspect not. Sounds like cocao butter does the trick on its own.
As for maple syrup I used to use honey but didn’t like the flavor so I moved to maple syrup. Also I thought the liquid sweetener made sense. Can I ask about coconut sugar. Does it melt well, does it make the chocolate gritty at all or does grinding it into a powder really help that. I really like the low glycemic point. Enough to make me switch really.
Lastly I was curious about the brand of cocao butter you buy. I clicked the link you had in your post but it goes to an Amazon page which says the product is not available right now. Can you recommend anywhere else to purchase this.
I really appreciate your feedback. I am new to this chocolate making.

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Amanda February 13, 2014 at 4:25 pm

No problem! Yes, cacao butter will do the trick all on its own. Grinding coconut sugar into a powder definitely helps it dissolve better in the chocolate, but it will still be slightly more grainy than maple syrup, for example. I personally like the texture because it reminds me of Taza chocolate. As far as cacao butter, I’m currently using Sunfood brand because the Tisano has been out of stock. I buy from iHerb and if you use my code, AGU446 you can get $5-10 off your first order (plus free shipping).

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