I’m almost loathe to thank the various bloggers that pointed me in the direction of these cups. They are delicious, and the perfect size for a little snack. But they’re so healthy — I mean, coconut oil? Dutch process cocoa powder? Raw organic honey?? — that it’s hard to justify eating only one, meaning that it’s too easy to justify eating them all. Nonetheless, thanks to Alison at Mama’s Weeds for turning me onto these homemade chocolate cups by Lisa at Thrive-Style. There you’ll find a zillion variations on the homemade peanut butter cup, including ones made with sunbutter, added coconut and other goodies.
I made my first batch with almond butter and they were scrumptious — also they were gone in two days. Whoops. I decided to try a non-nutty variation on the theme, using homemade coconut butter as my base, mixed with a little more coconut oil and vanilla extract, and topped with some raw coconut oil “chocolate.” I sweetened my first batch of almond butter cups with maple syrup, and I tried a couple tablespoons of raw unfiltered honey with the coconut butter batch — the sweetener you use all depends on your taste, as I’ve seen these made with stevia and xylitol and everything in between.
You may be thinking something along the lines of: why is eating oil healthy for me? Why should I be ingesting FAT?
Certain types of fats are really, really good for us. Coconut oil in particular is a form of saturated fat, which all comes down to how the lipids are arranged in the oil’s chemical composition. Saturated fats, when safely and correctly derived from natural sources, provide the nourishment our bodies need to feed our brains, keep our cells intact, and moisturize from within. Additionally, coconut oil is a great source of lauric acid, which has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that help fight infections, clear up skin, and generally improve our health. For more information on what a ballin’ superfood coconut oil is, check out the research and peer-reviewed papers on this website. And, according to Dr. Mary Enig, an expert on lipids and a pioneer of lipid research, eating fats like coconut oil can actually help you lose fat.
I like these little coconutty-chocolate bites in the afternoon, as a little dessert treat after lunch. They’re also a great pre-workout snack, as the coconut oil provides a source of sustained energy for physical activity without weighing your stomach down with carbs or sugar. Plus, I think they’re pretty cute, and I imagine I’ll be making some of these for Valentine’s day in little heart-shaped molds.
Speaking of Valentine’s day, I’m beginning to understand that I love this holiday more than I ever thought I did. It’s not because I get to express my love for my husband, my family, etc. — I get to do that every day. It’s not because of the chocolate or the roses because, to be honest, that doesn’t really happen on my version of Valentine’s day. I think it has to do with all of the fun heart-shaped things and the red and pink and the option to make your own cards. I’m getting really into heart-shaped things lately, and I’m looking forward to letting the obsession loose come February 14th. Who’s with me?
Chocolate Coconut Butter Cups
homemade coconut butter
6+ Tbsp. coconut oil
4 heaping Tbsp. cocoa powder
2 Tbsp. raw honey
splash of vanilla extract
small candy papers, like those you’d find with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
To make coconut butter, simply grind the heck out of shredded unsweetened coconut flakes in a food processor until smooth and creamy. For the candy cups, combine about 4 Tbsp. coconut butter with 2 Tbsp. melted coconut oil and mix until combined. Stir in 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract. Spoon out a dollop into the bottom of each paper wrapper and place in the freezer until hardened.
Meanwhile, melt an additional 6 Tbsp. coconut oil and stir in 4 heaping Tbsp. Dutch process cocoa powder (I used Droste’s brand). Mix in 2 Tbsp. honey or sweetener of your choice, to taste, and another little splash of vanilla extract. Spoon into paper wrappers over the hardened coconut butter layer, top with cocoa nibs/coconut/hemp seeds/sprinkles as desired, and put them back into the freezer until hardened. I find it works best to use a small tray or a flat plate to keep the candies from sliding all over the place. These harden quickly in the freezer as coconut oil is a solid at room temperature, but because of that fact it is also best to store them in the fridge or freezer after the initial hardening.
Thanks to Thrive-Style for the inspiration!