Made with just three simple ingredients, these dark chocolate mini almond butter cups with sea salt are irresistibly easy! Read on for the full recipe.
Anyone else still addicted to Trader Joe’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups?
I’ve always loved peanut butter cups, especially the mini one’s. Halloween and Easter were peak mini peanut butter cup eating holidays in our household. For some reason, I liked them best at Easter as the wrappers were these pretty light blues and pinks for spring.
But regardless of the wrapper, there was a system to eating them: I’d carefully bite off the top, making sure not to get any of the peanut butter center. I’d then scrape off the sides of the remaining chocolate with my teeth, leaving behind just the peanut butter center with a little chocolate on the bottom. Finally, I’d take small bites of the peanut butter filling, letting each bite melt in my mouth.
While I tried this method with the full-sized Reese’s cups, it just wasn’t the same. The chocolate cracked more easily and the peanut butter center wasn’t as thick.
But then I was introduced to Trader Joe’s cups and my whole world changed. Instead of too-sweet milk chocolate that had a slight wrapper taste, TJ’s cups were made with slightly bitter dark chocolate that somehow enhanced the flavor of the peanut butter center.
So instead of carefully breaking them apart, bite by bite, I found they tasted best eaten in one (or two) fully bites. While you look less strange eating them this way, I will admit that I end up wanting to eat way more in one sitting.
These dark chocolate almond butter cups are more of a Trader Joe’s cup than a Reese’s. The chocolate is rich and dark, complementing the sweeter almond butter filling. To get the right consistency, I added a little coconut oil to the almond butter, resulting in a creamy but not too liquidy center.
While you can purchase disposable mini liners, I highly recommend these reusable silicone one’s. Besides being super cute, they are also easy to wash and, most importantly, keep the chocolate from sticking to the liner.
To balance out the bitterness from the dark chocolate and the sweetness of the almond butter, I used a chocolate bar with sea salt.
Personally, I can’t think of a better combo, but if you already have regular dark chocolate go ahead and use that instead. But I still recommend adding a sprinkle of sea salt on top.
Milk chocolate will melt differently that the dark, and I think would be much too sweet with the almond butter. Instead, I recommend choosing a dark chocolate that’s 65-70% cocoa to help cut down on the bitterness a bit. (The higher the % cocoa, the darker and less sweet the bar will be.)
Absolutely! Any natural nut butter can be substituted for the almond butter.
I feel like there’s an ongoing debate over whether almond or peanut butter is the healthier option.
Personally, I believe variety is key so including both in the diet is a “healthy” option. However, if you’re curious about the nutritional breakdown, they come pretty close to one another.
Comparing natural peanut and almond butter without any added sugars, both contain approximately the same amount of calories and sugar.
While both are high in fat, almond butter contains 25% more monounsaturated fat than peanut butter; whereas peanut butter is higher in saturated fat than almond.
Almond butter is also higher in vitamin E (an antioxidant), iron, and calcium, but peanut butter is still a good source of all three of these. For fiber, almond butter is also higher with 3.3 grams per 2 tablespoons, with 1.6 grams in 2 tablespoons of peanut butter.
Both butters are a good source of protein, with peanut containing 7.1 grams per 2 tablespoons and almond butter coming in slightly lower at 6.7 grams.
Bottom line: while almond butter does have slightly more vitamins, minerals, fiber, and monounsaturated fats, it’s not a huge difference. As I said above, I recommend using both in the diet. However, if you really only like one or the other then just go with the one you like best!
Step 1: Measure out ingredients and bring a small pot of water to a boil.
Step 2: Place a heatproof bowl on top of the pot of boiling water to form a double boiler. Add chocolate to bowl, being careful not to splash any water onto the chocolate. Stir until melted, about 3 minutes.
Step 3: Set out 10 mini liners and pour ½ teaspoon of melted chocolate into each. Using a spoon, gently push the chocolate ¼ of the way up the sides of the liners to form a cup shape.
Step 4: Place chocolate-filled liners in the freezer for 10 minutes, or until chocolate has set. Meanwhile, keep remaining melted chocolate warm over the double boiler (you can reduce the heat to low).
Step 5: While the chocolate hardens, stir together almond butter and coconut oil until smooth. If your coconut oil is on the harder side, briefly microwave it for 15-20 seconds, just to soften but not melt it. Set aside.
Step 6: Once chocolate has hardened, remove from freezer and place 1 teaspoon of almond butter mixture into each cup.
Top each with ½ teaspoon of remaining melted chocolate. If you didn’t use salted chocolate, sprinkle a little sea salt on top of each cup. Place in the freezer for 1-2 hours, or until set.
Step 7: Store almond butter cups in the fridge for 5-7 days.
How do you eat nut butter cups? All in one bite? The chocolate first? Or simply biting in half? Share how you get your chocolate and almond (or peanut) butter fix in the comments below! And don’t forget to tag @TheHealthyToast_RD on Instagram on pictures of your creations!
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