Almost raw white chocolate bites
This post was created in partnership with Califia Farms.
Can you believe that Christmas is only three days away? THREE DAYS, you guys. I'm having a really difficult time wrapping my mind around it but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that it's only because we haven't spent a single Christmas in Denver since we first moved here back in 2009. It feels kind of weird to be home. Weird to not be in Ohio. Weird to not be waking up every morning and schlepping my laptop into the coffee house in my tiny hometown (fun fact: my tiny hometown is where KitchenAid stand mixers are manufactured). But it also feels good. Good to be able to avoid the chaos of the airport and the shitty weather in Ohio (oh, and a certain - uhh - political climate that plagues small-town USA). Good to be staying in the Mile High City and to finally (fiiiiiinally!) be starting traditions of our own. Traditions we've dreamed about for years, and traditions we're making happen thanks - in part - to a certain big brother who moved out here a few months ago. Because without him, I'm pretty sure we'd be eating Chinese takeout and spending Christmas Eve alone. In a bar.
And I don't even like to drink.
Anyway. I know I said I'd be here with truffles but with the big day being only three days away (two if you go big on Xmas Eve, like we do), I decided ain't nobody got time to be rolling truffles. Also, after spending upwards of an hour rolling truffles for Thom's birthday cake, I'd rather not waste anymore precious moments warming gobs of chocolate between my hands and rolling them into perfectly round balls. However, if that sounds like a fun time to you, put on your favorite holiday tunes, pour yourself a glass of holiday nog (do yourself a solid and add a splash of SNAP), and make the damn truffles because I've provided the instructions (for the truffles) (and fudge, too) at the end of this post. I've also provided instructions for a handful of flavor variations so if plain ol' white chocolate isn't your thing, perhaps peppermint or peanut butter or tahini or matcha white chocolate will do?
Welp, that's all from this end because I've got a laundry list of things to do. One that starts with banging some bread in my pint size powerhouse and ends with driving out to the 'burbs to see Rogue One with the fam-o. If you're into it, I've got a little giveaway happening over on Instagram (it ends at 3:20PM MST, BTW) (print is available here) and there's another one heading that way tomorrow, too.
Wishing you all the happiest of holidays. However you spend it, I hope you're surrounded by laughter, good food, and folks who adore the shit out of you. <3
Notes: If you can't get your hands on better half, feel free to use full fat coconut milk or any unsweetened creamer of choice. If you'd prefer sweeter white chocolates, you can swap as much of the better half with equal amounts of maple syrup. Not all cashew butter is created equal, and this is the only brand I trust/use. It's super smooth and creamy, which is crucial when using cashew butter to make chocolate. If you're not into cashews, you can use coconut butter with success but it does alter the texture and make for chocolate that is just slightly crumbly. I have no problems storing these chocolates at room temperature but if you keep your house super warm, I'd store them in the fridge.
More holiday goodness: salted chocolate truffles, mini coconut oil gingerbread folk, and coconut oil sugar cookies with naturally colored icing.
This post is sponsored by Califia Farms, maker of my favorite non-GMO + carrageenan-free almondmilk (amongst other delicious beverages). All opinions are my own (and I think Califia rules).
ALMOST RAW WHITE CHOCOLATE BITES
1/4 (55g) Califia Farms unsweetened better half
3/4 cup (210g) pure maple syrup
8 ounces cacao butter, chopped into small chunks
3/4 cup (180g) raw cashew butter (see notes above)
1 teaspoon (4g) pure vanilla extract
Heavy pinch of fine sea salt
YOU'LL ALSO NEED
Sea salt flakes
Peppermint sticks, crushed
Freeze dried raspberries
In a small saucepan set over medium heat, bring the better half and maple syrup to a boil. Boil for two minutes then off the heat and toss in the cacao butter. Cover the pot with a lid and set the timer for five minutes. After five minutes, add the cashew butter, vanilla extract, and sea salt; whisk to combine. Set aside and let mixture cool for 20-30 minutes.
While the mixture is cooling, prep your toppings and sprinkle them into the cavities of two small silicone ice cube trays. Once the chocolate mixture is cool, transfer it to a squeeze bottle (not 100% necessary but does result in less mess/more uniform chocolates) and pipe into the silicone molds (I filled mine ~1/8" below the max fill line and had just enough to fill both trays). Transfer the trays to the refrigerator and chill for up to 24 hours, or until the chocolates are solid. Pop out of molds and store in an airtight container. Will keep at room temperature for one week or in the refrigerator indefinitely.
Yield: 48 chocolate bites
Peppermint white chocolate bites - Replace the vanilla extract with 1 teaspoon of peppermint flavor.
Peanut butter white chocolate bites - Replace the cashew butter with roasted peanut butter.
Tahini white chocolate bites - Replace up to 1/4 cup of the cashew butter with tahini (raw or roasted).
Matcha white chocolate bites - Replace the almondmilk with 1/4 cup concentrated matcha almondmilk (boil the bottle down to 1/4 cup). Finish with matcha powder.
To make truffles - Increase the cashew butter to 1 cup and the maple syrup to 1 cup, too. Chill until solid then let sit at room temperature for an hour before scooping/rolling the truffles.
To make fudge - Increase the cashew butter to 1 cup. Boil all ingredients together, until melted. Let cool for 30 minutes then whisk vigorously and pour into a large pan lined with parchment paper. Chill until solid.