Chocolate-covered peanut bites
This post was created in partnership with Califia Farms.
It's been a while since I've been up at 4AM to write a blog post but here I am, bleary-eyed and un-caffeinated - squished between Thom and the very edge of our bed - and kinda/sorta wishing I was still asleep. In the old days (HA), I used to wake up at 4AM on the regular and now I can't remember the last time I was up this early.. and I feel really good about that because starting the day at 4AM is totally fucking insane, you guys.
Anyway. Today is Halloween. And our Halloween plans consist of: Me making and drinking a boatload of coffee (and celebrating what would have been my Opa's 78th birthday) as soon as I publish this post. Waking Thom and starting the long process of encouraging him to get out of bed (dude is not a morning person). Driving down to Alchemy HQ to make and scoop and package our almond cacao bites.. which gave me a boatload of trouble early last week but thankfully I develop recipes for a living sooooo I figured it out (hot tip for anyone using a 45QT Blixer to make fruit/nut thingies: you can't just add everything at once and blend.. even though your sales rep will probably try convincing you otherwise) (I mean, it is a really great selling point). Hopefully coming home early to sort through my inbox and maybe taking a nap because I've got a sneaking suspicion I'm going to need one. And then, at some point, Thom's going to put on his Dwight Schrute as the Scranton Strangler costume and I'm going to put on my Todd Packer as a pregnant nun costume, and we're going to go over to our friends' place to hand out sugary stuff to small humans who will have no idea we're dressed as characters from season 7 episode 6 of The Office.. because they've probably never seen (or heard of) it before.*
Aaand because it's Halloween, I've got a nearly effortless sweet treat for you. I'm calling them chocolate-covered peanut bites but they're basically a lazy lady version of my crunchy dark chocolate peanut butter cups. They're freakin' delicious (I've been popping them into my face nearly every time I walk by our freezer) and not completely terrible for you and make for a totally acceptable breakfast, in my book (but not in Thom's book because all of a sudden it's like he's the breakfast police, or something). For presentation purposes, I scooped and rolled and dipped the little guys but if I didn't have to photograph the recipe for the interweb, I'd have pressed the peanut portion into a small baking pan then smothered it in all the chocolate and toppings. But you do you and have a fantastic Halloween. Even if you're hiding inside and binge watching the new Stranger Things (I'm jealous).
*I've got friends whose three year-old watches The Office and now she goes around saying I WANT TO PINCH YOUR TINY WEINER! and that makes me all sorts of happy. And kind of makes me want to have babies.** **Ha! JK JK JK.
Notes: Feel free to use any nut/nut butter your belly desires. I prefer pairing the peanuts with roasted cashew butter but peanut butter is a close second. If you don't have peanut powder on hand, you can substitute peanut or coconut flour. I know defatted peanut butter gets a bad rap ('cause fat is good!) but I LOVE using it in smoothies and recipes like this. This is the peanut powder I use and I love it because it's unsweetened and doesn't contain any additives (heads up: a lot of brands add sugar). If you can't get your hands on cacao butter, replace it with equal amounts (by weight) of coconut oil. The chocolate coating makes enough to double dip the bites; if single dipping, halve the recipe. If you don't want to take the time to scoop/roll/dip the bites, spread the mixture onto a 6x9ish baking pan lined with parchment paper then smother with chocolate and toppings.
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).
CHOCOLATE-COVERED PEANUT BITES
1/2 cup (120g) creamy roasted cashew butter
3-4 tablespoons (54-72g) pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons (28g) Califia Farms unsweetened almondmilk
1/4 cup (20g) powdered peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon (1g) fine sea salt
1 cup (120g) dry roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
50g unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
30g cacao butter, roughly chopped
1/4 cup (75g) pure maple syrup
Pinch of fine sea salt
2-3 tablespoons (24-36g) unrefined coconut oil
YOU'LL ALSO NEED
Sea salt flakes
Add the cashew butter to a small mixing bowl and whisk in the maple syrup (I use 3 tablespoons but add 4 for something a touch sweeter), followed by the almondmilk. Add the peanut powder, sea salt, and peanuts and - using a spatula - mix just until combined. Transfer the bowl to the refrigerator and chill mixture for about an hour. Once chilled, use a 1 teaspoon cookie scoop to drop the peanut mixture on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Freeze for 20 minutes then roll into balls. Transfer back to freezer to chill until solid.
While the peanut bites are chilling, melt the chocolate in a double boiler set over medium heat. Once melted, off the heat and add the cacao butter. Once that's melted, whisk in the maple syrup and sea salt, followed by the coconut oil (the amount you add will depend on how much you want to thin out the chocolate). When the bites are chilled solid, remove from freezer and dip in chocolate (twice for a thicker chocolate coating). Sprinkle with crushed peanuts, cacao nibs, and/or sea salt flakes then freeze until the chocolate is set. Enjoy cold or serve with toothpicks (the chocolate coating softens at room temperature). Store in an airtight container in the freezer - bites will keep for months (but they definitely won't last that long).
Yield: 50 bites