You guys know how much I love dark chocolate. I frequently finish dinner with a square of dark chocolate dipped in almond butter. Not the healthiest habit, but it could be worse! It could also be better…
These candy cups are amazing because the sugary dark chocolate is diluted with coconut oil. The rich chocolate coating still tastes perfectly sweet, but the candy cups get an extra ounce of decadence from the addition of some fat, rather than extra sugar! Finding ways to eat more fat and less sugar is central to the paleo diet. But the chocolate isn’t even the main attraction of these treats! The almond butter center is so creamy and reminiscent of caramel. Adding coconut oil to the almond butter makes the center melt in your mouth, and it is minimally sweetened with a touch of honey. But the grand finale of these candy cups is the addition of the coconut cream to the melted almond butter center… it is absolute magic! Just wait until you make this recipe and see what I mean!
Dark Chocolate Coconut Caramel Almond Butter Cups (paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan friendly)
2/3 cup coconut oil, divided, plus more for greasing muffin tin
12 oz dark chocolate, chopped
2/3 cup almond butter
2 tablespoons honey (use maple syrup or agave for vegan)
1/3 cup coconut cream
Pinch of salt
Divide coconut oil among two saucepans, with 1/3 cup oil in each. Place each pan over low heat. Once the coconut oil has melted, add chopped dark chocolate and a pinch of salt to one, and almond butter, honey, and pinch of salt to the other. Stir or whisk the contents of each pot frequently until melted, then remove from heat. Combine coconut cream with coconut oil, almond butter, and honey mixture. This is where the magic happens! As you stir, the mixture should take on a thick and shiny caramel-like texture.
Grease a 12 cup muffin tin with a paper towel or piece of wax paper dipped in coconut oil (or if you have a spray can of coconut oil, that is super handy!). Place about a tablespoon of melted chocolate mixture into each muffin cup and put in freezer until solid, or about 5-10 minutes. Scoop almond butter mixture on top of the first chocolate layer for each cup. You should have enough for about two tablespoons of almond butter mixture per cup! Return pan to freezer until solid, or about 10-15 minutes. Lastly, divide the remaining chocolate mixture evenly among the cups. There should be just enough to cover the almond butter layer with a thin coating! Freeze until solid. Candy cups can be removed from the muffin tins by leaving the tin at room temperature for a minute or two, then running a butter knife around the edges of the cup. Mine popped right out! Store candy cups in an airtight container in the freezer.