Maple Nut Butter Cups

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We all know that the one thing I really love making in my kitchen is food that tastes like indulgence, but is secretly good for you. These nut butter cups fit the bill with their silky smooth, decadent chocolate and salty, nutty filling. Can I also tell you that they are healthy? No joke! When I set out to make these chocolates, I wanted to make sure I could eat more than one of them and feel good about it because I believe that is how eating should be.

The wonderful thing about this recipe, is that you will learn how to make a basic raw chocolate that you can turn into anything. Candies, bars, syrup, chocolate coating, whatever! Even if you just want to eat the chocolate all on its own you can do that too. It’s super simple to make, only requires a few ingredients and is so much healthier than the regular kind of chocolate you buy at the store and melt down yourself. It’s totally raw, full of superfood antioxidants and energizing enzymes.

Food to love that loves you back!

Basic Raw Chocolate
Makes about 1 ½ cups
Ingredients:
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
3 Tbsp. melted cacao butter
¾ cup raw cacao powder plus 2 Tblsp.
1/3 cup maple syrup
¼ tsp. sea salt
extra sea salt for garnish, if desired. A good, flaky salt is best. 

Nut Butter Filling:
1/2 cup almond butter (or any nut butter: cashew, pecan, hazelnut…)
1 Tbsp. Justamere Tree Farm Maple Syrup
sea salt to taste

Directions:
1. In a double boiler (or a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water) melt coconut oil and cacao butter. Add maple and whisk to combine. When completely uniform, remove from heat and sift in cacao, and add sea salt. Taste for sweetness and saltiness, and adjust accordingly.
2. In silicon or miniture paper muffin cups, spoon enough liquid chocolate to cover the bottom (about 1/4 filled). Place in the fridge or freezer and cool until solid, about 15 minutes. Remember that you are only using about 1/3 of the chocolate at this stage.
3. Make the nut butter filling by combining all of the ingredients until a “dough” is formed. If too soft stick in refrigerator till firm. This dough should be quite salty, but if you are using store-bought nut butter with added salt, don’t go overboard.
4. Spoon the nut dough into ½ tablespoon amounts, roll into balls, and flatten between your palms to just under the size of the chocolate in the cups.
5. Add nut butter filling to each cup on top of the solid chocolate and drizzle the remaining liquid chocolate on top, making sure to cover the filling completely. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt if desired. Place in the fridge to harden for at least one hour.
5. When you have patiently waited, try removing one of the forms from the nut butter cups. If the chocolate sticks at all, return to the fridge until completely solid.
6. You can keep the chocolates in their forms or remove them, but either way store the nut butter cups in the fridge in a sealed container. Enjoy!