Tag Archives: chocolate

Chocolate Peanut Butter Easter Eggs

Spring is by far my favorite season. Although New England tries hard to convince me otherwise, with too many springs of all mud and no snow, this year spring is back, baby! Even in the east, we’ve got snow on the mountain and sun (sometimes) in the sky. And in the west, you have 20x all that.

I also love spring because it means Easter and Easter means good things like happy kids, tons of candy and cute bunnies. AND it reminds me of my mom, Nina. She hated the effort, planning and hoopla of the big holidays, but Easter—which is all about creativity and messy fun, and no rules—Easter was Nina’s jam!

Let’s be honest here, the green light on eating chocolate throughout the day, starting at breakfast, was and is a big draw. As much as I wish I could buy up all the half price malted milk robin’s eggs and Reese’s peanut butter eggs at CVS the day after Easter, it’s just not a good life plan.

That said, if there was a healthy, yummy, easy-to-make alternative that I could mass produce and keep in my freezer year-round, I’d be all over it. Well don’t you know, there is such a thing, and this recipe straight from Minimalist Baker is it.

The interior taste and texture is spot on, but without any hazardous ingredients. For God’s sake they’re Vegan, gluten-free and grain-free. We’re talking peanut butter, almond flour, maple syrup and salt. And it’s all wrapped up in the chocolate of your choice so you can pick your own adventure there.

My Easter candy fantasy ship has come in, and I invite you to climb aboard. These may or may not forever change your life, but at the very least they’ll let you feel a lot better about eating candy for breakfast. Hippity Hop and Happy Easter to all!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Possibly Breakfast Easter Eggs

AKA Easy Vegan Peanut Butter Eggs from Minimalist Baker


  • 2/3 cup almond flour
  • 1/3 cup creamy, drippy peanut butter
  • 2 ½ Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (for Vegan/dairy-free Minimalist Baker suggests Enjoy Life)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil


  • Line a small baking sheet or plate with parchment paper and set aside.
  • To a small mixing bowl, add almond flour, peanut butter, maple syrup, and sea salt. Use a spatula or spoon to thoroughly mix together. If it seems too wet to handle, add more almond flour. If it seems too dry, add more peanut butter.
  • Use a tablespoon-sized measuring spoon to measure out 1 scant Tbsp of filling and roll it in between your hands to form an oval. Flatten it slightly to form it into an egg shape. Place on the parchment-lined baking sheet or plate. Repeat with the remaining dough.

A double batch of nekkid eggs, chillin’

  • Once all of the eggs are formed, place the baking sheet or plate into the freezer and freeze for at least 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, place the chocolate chips and coconut oil into a small microwavable bowl (small is better than large so that you can more easily dip the eggs into it) and microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between to prevent burning, until smooth and melted. You can also melt on the stovetop by adding chocolate and coconut oil to a small glass or metal bowl and carefully placing it over ~1 inch of simmering water in a small saucepan, then stirring until melted. Set aside.
  • When the peanut butter filling is set, remove it from the freezer and use a fork to dip an egg into the melted chocolate, turning it over to coat evenly. Shake off the excess chocolate and place the egg back onto the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining eggs.
  • When finished coating, place the eggs back into the freezer until set — at least 10 minutes. You can enjoy them directly from the freezer or store in the refrigerator. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Bringing It:

Channel your inner Easter Bunny and have at it!

Note: If you are at all nervous about your chocolate coating/dipping skills, I highly suggest following the instructions closely and watching the short video on the original post. I have a history of toddler-level chocolatiering but I followed the instructions and mine turned out perfectly first try.

     and voila!



Heart of Darkness Chocolate Cups

Come to the dark side, for the good of your heart and soul.

I hit the food stash jackpot, when Sister A rolled into town with a carry-on full of Trader Joes nuts. I already had a decent stash of raw walnuts and almonds, but she brought in the exotics: pecans, pistachios, pepitas, cashews, macadamias. My pre-holiday ship had come in!

This happy event coincided with the other fortunate circumstance of having a lot of really good dark chocolate on hand. It’s not a huge leap to imagine what happened next. Yes my friends, I had a Reese’s ah-ha moment. Maybe I could make a slightly more mainstream yet totally healthy version of Reese’s Redemption Cups.

The revelation here is homemade nut butter, ever-so-gently spiced up, but not sweetened…and dark chocolate…and a pixie dust sprinkling of flaky salt, but only if you dare. Dark chocolate is just plain better for you than a whole lot of un-fun things, and when the health police serve up an opening like this you run through it!

The below list of directions is daunting, but basically you are doing this: Making nut butter by roasting raw nuts and whirring them in a food processor with cocoa, cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Then you are melting chocolate, pouring a bit in the bottom of lined mini muffin cups, adding a blob of nut butter then spooning more chocolate on top of the whole shebang. With that vision, read on bravely, and know that you will end up with something delicious no matter what it looks like.

Don’t over think this one. Just make up a bunch when you’re feeling it, and enjoy them as needed. You will not regret having this stash on hand.

Heart of Darkness Chocolate Cups

Adapted from betterwithcake

Makes 14-16 mini cups of joy

First, you’ve got to make your nut butter. See below. From there it’s just a matter of melting chocolate. Again, whatever darned chocolate you feel like. The darker the chocolate, the higher percentage the cocoa, so the slower it will melt and the more temperamental it will be to work with. If you’re going way dark, add some coconut oil. You can also use vegetable oil, but it will thin the chocolate more and you will have fallen off the superfood wagon. Don’t worry. You won’t be lonely there.


  • 1/2 cup or so of homemade, chocolate hazelnut almond butter (or store bought chocolate hazelnut butter if you must. The texture will be gooier)
  • 1 bag (10-12 oz) good quality dark-as-you-dare chocolate chips, Vegan if needed.
  • 2-3 tsp coconut oil (optional, but it makes your life easier)
  • Flaky sea salt
  • Optional toppings of choice: toasted shredded coconut, finely chopped toasted nuts, dried fruit, crushed peppermints, leftover candy corn, etc, etc, etc. 


Line a mini muffin tin with 16 paper or silicone liners.

Melt chocolate, with coconut if you are using, by your preferred method. I do mine in a small, retro double boiler over simmering water. If you are among the tens of millions of people with a working microwave, you can try that method.

Use a teaspoon to drizzle some melted chocolate into each the muffin liner. Don’t use all your chocolate; save at least 1/3 of it to spread on top once your chocolate cups are filled. Adjust the number of cups you make accordingly.

(At this point, if you are making big cups (not mini), or if you going for perfection, put them into the freezer for a few minutes to set up. If using mini ones, you’re good to keep going.)

Drop a very scant (ideally a slightly flattened oval) teaspoonful of your nut butter into each cup (if you went pro and froze the first layer then go ahead and press down on the nut butter to level it).

Once all your cups are filled with the nut butter, use your designated chocolate spoon to cover the filling with the rest of the melted chocolate. Give the cups a sprinkle of salt and/or your garnish of choice and place them into the fridge to set, or the freezer to store longer term. They will keep in the fridge for several weeks and in the freezer for 3-6 months. Riiiiiiight.

Chocolate Hazelnut Almond Butter

The not very perfect but oh so delicious cross-section

~Vegan, Dairy Free, Paleo Friendly, Shazaam!

The beauty of this nut butter is that it’s easy, and the spices add cha-cha without any sweeteners. I go with cocoa and cinnamon but you can do a chai spiced one with cardamom, or a chile spiced one. Get creative and dream big here people. Once you’ve got the nut butter made you are totally set up for success.
Makes approx 2 cups of pretty darned healthy chocolate-hazelnut almond butter. This is way more than you need for a bag of melted chocolate chips, so you’ll be enjoying this on apples and toast, in smoothies and sandwiches, etc.

Ingredients –

  • 1 cup of raw almonds
  • 1 cup of raw skinless hazelnuts* (or use all almonds or sub hazelnuts with raw cashews or macadamias)
  • 1 Tablespoon of vanilla bean extract
  • 1 Tablespoon of cocoa (or cacao if you’re fancy)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt flakes


Preheat your oven to 350

Line a large baking sheet with baking/parchment paper (or a non stick silpat mat) and pour your raw nuts on, making sure they are spread evenly and not crowded.

Roast your nuts for 10 mins, until lightly roasted and slightly golden.

If you are unable to get skinless hazelnuts you’ve got an extra step here. roast them on a separate tray and once they are roasted, place on a clean dry hand towel and fold it in half. Rub it gently between your hands and the skins should come loose. Once the hazelnuts have shed their skins, discard the skins and proceed with the recipe as normal.

Pour your roasted almonds and hazelnuts into the bowl of your food processor or blender and process until smooth and creamy (or your desired consistency). It takes a minute or two to transform from ground nuts to creamy butter. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally as you go.

Once you’ve gotten the desired consistency, add the salt, cocoa (or cacao, whatev) and vanilla then process until combined.

Taste and adjust flavors accordingly – this is where you make you’re personal statement, adding extra salt or vanilla or maple syrup or whatever floats your boat. You can also lube it with a bit of coconut oil if you like.

Scrape that deliciousness into an air-tight jar and keep it in the
fridge for several weeks.

Bringing it:

My suggestion here is to keep a stash of this nut butter at the ready, and then, whenever you have a window of time and some extra chocolate lying around, make up some of these. With a stash of them in the freezer you are never without a healthy dessert, a peace offering, a hostess gift or just a little love bomb of chocolate.






Reese’s Redemption Cups


Go ahead...you deserve it. Take a bite of creamy, chocolatey, nut buttery goodness with loads of crunch and nothing at all spooky.

Go ahead…you deserve it. Take a bite of creamy, chocolatey, nut buttery goodness with loads of crunch and nothing at all spooky.

Last year, the day after Halloween I posted a recipe featuring a giant bowl of kale. I know. Mean. This year I’m going to be much nicer. This year you got a day of hedonism and now the Halloween step down program. Gradual detox comes in the form of a no-junk-in-the-trunk version of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups featuring your nut butter of choice along with creamy chocolate, coconut butter and as much healthy crunch as you dare. I was going to call them Luscious C Cups—creamy, crunchy, chocolatey, coconutty—but kind of worried how that would pan out on a search engine.

Kale or no kale, I urge you to step away from the leftover Halloween candy and the booty your kids naively believe they have hidden from you. None of it will make you feel good. That said, you deserve something wonderful. Oh yes you do.

So get on out to the store, stock up on some healthy stuff that needs  a spot in your kitchen anyway, and make yourself a stash of luscious choco-coconutty crunch cups for your freezer or fridge. They are easy and quick to make and actually make a good, healthy energy boost for that exercise regime that you are so going to stick to as a pre-holiday health insurance policy.

Some notes, as ever: I got these from Mama’s Weeds who got them from Thriving Lisa so they have had some tweaks along the way, but the basic method and ingredients stay the same. I am hardcore on the crunch factor, so I make mine with all three crunch agents—coconut, hemp seeds and chia seeds. If that’s a bit too groovy for you, I recommend at least doing the coconut. But you know yourself and your people, so do what feels right.

I have tried this with almond butter, peanut butter and even sunbutter (which was a way to sneak in some extra sugar), and they’re all good. So use what you’ve got, swap away and love the one you’re with, baby. I do believe this is the perfect dessert after a nice bowl of kale.


2/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup almond butter or nut butter of choice
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup maple syrup or agave
1/4 cup chia seeds (optional)
1/4 cup hemp seeds (optional)
1/4 cup shredded coconut (optional, but not really)
pinch of salt


  • Melt your coconut oil however you like—put the container in the microwave or in a pot of warm water stove top.
  • Mix your melted coconut oil, nut butter, maple syrup/agave and cocoa powder.
  • Stir in your crunchy mix-ins.
  • Add the salt. Remember the salt!
  • When all your ingredients are combined, corral 12 regular sized cupcake wrappers or many more mini ones in a flat container or dish.
  • Spoon mixture into the wrappers, making them whatever the heck size you want. (Know that cutting one in half or even quarters will not decrease your likelihood of eating the entire unit. The science on this is legit.)
  • Once your wrappers have been filled, put them in the freezer until firm (20-30 minutes).
  • Unwrap them at this point or right before you eat them. It’s all good. Move them to an air tight container and store in the freezer, or in the fridge if you like a softer texture.


Mint Chocolate Milk

Mint chocolate milk

The first of many satisfied and non-paying customers for mint chocolate milk.

Oh to hell with it. I know Sue just posted the ridiculously decadent Peanut Butter Krispy Fudge Bars, and that we all need something super green and good for us right now. But it’s still snowing outside, and when I made this batch of chocolate milk syrup my son took one sip and said, “MOM! You should sell this!” to which I responded, “Ok, that’ll be one dollar please.” He slurped it down without a flinch.

The next day his friend came over and had at it with much approval. So, I made another batch and the rest of the family got wind of it so that, too, disappeared. By the time I was making my third batch I had the bright idea of doubling it. (Yeah, yeah…I’m not the quickest bunny). But the point is, this stuff is good! And it’s probably way better than a green smoothie for washing down a Peanut Butter Krispy Fudge Bar.

Strangely enough, this too (like the crazy-good bars) comes from Joy the Baker. I guess I am fixated on joy right now. All joys—the person, the state of being, the act of mixing chocolate in milk, which is always pure joy.

I promise—the smoothies will come in due time, as will spring. But for now and until then, let there be plenty of chocolate. Incidentally, I have not received one dime from my children, but I think they love me more than they did before this all started. 

Mint chocolate milk

A nice, cold, swirling glass of mint chocolate milk–the antidote for a late spring.

Mint Chocolate Milk

Makes about 1 1/2 cups chocolate sauce


3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I have used natural, Dutch process and a combo of both)Pinch of salt
1 cup water
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract (real,real,real!)
1/2 tsp pure peppermint extract (did I mention real?)
Whole or reduced fat cow’s milk, soy milk, or almond milk


In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugars, cocoa powder, and salt.  Place saucepan over low heat and add water.  Whisk until thoroughly combined and no lumps remain.

Bring the chocolate mixture to a low boil, whisking frequently. Whisk for 8 to 10 minutes, until mixture is thickened.

Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla and peppermint extracts.  Allow to cool to room temperature.

Transfer to an airtight jar and refrigerate until ready to use.

To make chocolate milk, stir together 2 tablespoons of chocolate syrup per one cup of cold milk.  Stir and enjoy!

chocolate milk vs green smoothie

Chocolate milk vs green smoothie. Two yummy earth tones, two forms of therapy. Which would you choose?