Chocolate Chews

A couple of weekends ago, Trip and I went to a Chocolate Festival.  They gave you tickets, and you got to go to all the different vendors and try their products in exchange for a ticket.  And here is what I took away from the festival.  (I still have chocolate yummies left 2 weeks later!  I am savoring this!)

 

My Haul

My Haul

 

It was hard to not get inspired when trying these different treats.  Like this Snickers bar!  Wish I could make this!

A "snickers" bar

A “snickers” bar

 

Last week, I got this great idea.  I have been snacking on Bark Thins lately.   I was like, “I can do this!”  All I have to do is melt chocolate and put nuts in it and I am good.  Right?

Sounds so easy in theory……..

Ingredients:

  • 24 ounces of dark chocolate chips (I used this because I got them on sale for 20 cents a bag!)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4c almond milk
  • 1c chopped pecans
  • coarse sea salt for sprinkling on top

First thing is to melt the chocolate.  You are *supposed* to do it using a double broiler.  BUT…..since I don’t have one, I just melt it on really low and constantly stir.  Place chocolate, butter, vanilla, and almond milk in a pot.  Put on low (or use a double broiler) and constantly stir until melted.

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It should look smooth when it is ready.   Take the chocolate off the burner and add the pecans.  (You could also use any other type of nut that you like, or mix it up!)

Pour the chocolate nut mixture evenly out over two parchment lined cookie sheets.  This is where I messed up.  I thought that one cookie sheet would be enough…..boy was I wrong!  When I only used one sheet, the chocolate didn’t get “thin”.  It was a pretty thick mixture.  So, make sure that you use at least two to get it thinner.  But if you don’t mind the chocolate not being thin, you can use one sheet.  (Either way….it will come out great!)

 

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Sprinkle sea salt over the chocolate.  Put in freezer until the chocolate is set.  Which is about 45 minutes.

Using a sharp knife, cut the chocolate.  Store the chocolate in the fridge or freezer.  It needs to be kept cold when not eating it, or else it gets really soft.

Chocolate Chews

Chocolate Chews

 

As you can see, the chocolate pieces are not thin like the Bark Thins.  However….they taste amazing!  I liked how soft they are even with being in the freezer.  I still store mine in the freezer.  It did not harden up like you think it would.

You shouldn’t cut them in really big pieces though.  It tends to be rich, even though it was dark chocolate.  The salt does help cut down on some of the sweetness while enhancing the chocolate flavor.

Just one of these squares hits the spot for me when I have a chocolate craving!  It has even been approved by several people at work and by the boyfriend!  Hope you enjoy it too!

Chocolate No Bake Cookies

I have been craving cookies recently.   And Trip’s Oreos have been looking really tasty, I have been resisting.  So, last night I whipped up these “No Bake Cookies”.  I remember loving these in elementary school, but wanted to see if I could make them a bit healthier without so much added sugar.

I think I succeeded.  Unfortunately, these are not Paleo, but they are gluten free.   And the best part, they only take 15 minutes to make!

Ingredients:

  • 9 ounces of dark chocolate
  • 1/2c coconut milk
  • 1.5 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 big spoonfuls of almond butter
  • 1/2c coconut flakes
  • 1/3c chopped pecans
  • 1c gluten free quick oats
  • sea salt (optional)

 

Put the chocolate, coconut milk,and coconut oil in a pot and melt over low heat stirring constantly.  When the chocolate is almost melted, add the almond butter and continue to stir until it is mixed.  Once it is all mixed, add in the coconut flakes, pecans, and quick oats.   Stir until all the ingredients are coated with chocolate.  Remove from heat.

Cover two cookie sheets either with parchment paper or aluminum foil.  Take a spoon and drop spoonfuls of cookie mixture onto the covered cookie sheet.  (I sprayed my covered cookie sheets with some coconut oil cooking spray.)   If you want, you can top the cookies with a bit of sea salt. The salt will help cut down some of the sweetness.

 

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Put the cookie sheet into the freezer or refrigerator.  Leave in the refrigerator or freezer until set.  I put one sheet in the freezer and one in the refrigerator.  The cookies will be ready faster if they are in the freezer, but they set just fine in the refrigerator.  Both work, so it just depends on how fast you want to eat your cookies!!

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What I like about these cookies is that you can make them really small.  A lot of the time I don’t want a big cookie, I just want a little bite of something sweet.  These quick “cookies” are just enough to satisfy those chocolate cravings!

 

 

Chocolate Cupcakes

I’m back!  Sorry for being MIA!  I have been busy!  Finished moving in with my boyfriend into his house.  It’s still a mess!  Just because we moved all of my stuff in, doesn’t mean that my stuff is organized.   Actually, the master bedroom is now where all of my furniture is until we renovate the master bedroom and bathroom.  As you could probably tell, this means that we have a lot of things to do around the house before we officially settled.

I did try several new recipes in my absence from blogging……but……they were total failures and I haven’t had time to rework them.   So, to keep your taste buds occupied, I wanted to share with you this tried and true recipe for Chocolate Cupcakes!

I found this recipe through one of the blogs I follow.  The original recipe is for a Chocolate Bundt Cake, but I made these into cupcakes instead for a party.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 c unsweetened, full fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Put cupcake liners in muffin tin.  I lightly sprayed them with a coconut oil spray.  In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and set aside.  In another bowl, whisk the eggs, coconut milk, syrup, and vanilla.  Stir into the dry ingredients.  Pour batter into the cupcake liners in the muffin pan.  I used a 1/2c measuring cup to put the batter into each liner.  Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

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Now, if you want to get fancy…..which I did with these cupcakes….I ended up making a caramel sauce to “fill” the cupcakes with.  I ended up using this recipe.  I tried to make the caramel sauce from Life Made Full, but I have yet to perfect it.   But the recipe from A Calculated Whisk, was easy to make and so tasty!  I couldn’t stop eating it, even days later I would find things to put it on so I could have more.  If I can’t get the Paleo caramel to work, this will be my go to caramel sauce.  No more store bought caramel for me!

Look at that beautiful caramel sauce!  Yum!

Look at that beautiful caramel sauce! Yum!

 

Take a cupcake and create a small hole in the center of the cupcake.   I used a potato peeler.

IMG_1749Put a spoonful of caramel into the hole.

After you have filled your cupcakes, you can ice them.  For the party, I did a simple chocolate cream cheese icing.

Frosting:

  • 4 ounces of softened unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces of cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (to taste)
  • 1-2 tsp vanilla (to taste)

Mix the butter and cream cheese together.  Then add the powdered sugar and cocoa powder in gradually.   Those are just some starting measurements that I gave you.  Depending on how sweet you like your frosting will determine how much of the powdered sugar and cocoa that you put in.  I tend to make mine less sweet.

Once you have the icing to your liking, ice your cupcakes and decorate!

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Our friends at the party couldn’t believe that these were gluten free!  I even let a coworker try one the next day, and he still does not believe that there is no traditional flour in them.  🙂

Hope you enjoy this tasty treat!