I’m obsessed with Salty Nut Butter Cups. Each holiday season I find myself making a version of them. This year I want to share my favourite version with you.
The recipe, below, is dead easy. It’s also full of real food ingredients, just five to be exact. Each and every one of those ingredients is real food.
What’s wrong with my peanut butter cups?
The o.g. nut butter cups that you find at the convenience store are loaded with sugar, nasty preservatives, emulsifiers and genetically modified ingredients.
- Added sugar is derived from corn in the forms of corn syrup solids and dextrose. Corn syrup solids are made by treating cornstarch with enzymes and acids and then drying the mixture. The Center for Science in the Public Interest has put corn syrup and corn syrup solids on the “Cut Back” list, yet consumption is increasing. According to the Corn Refiners Association, in 2008, the average American consumed 11.2 teaspoons of high fructose corn syrup per day (compared to 0.1 tsp in 1970). Additionally, corn is one of the most commonly genetically modified ingredients. Aside from the environmental concerns around GM crops, we don’t know the long term effects of consuming them. My advice: stay away.
- Polyglycerol polyricinoleate (PGPR) is an emulsifier made from castor bean oil. It’s used instead of cocoa butter to keep costs low.
- Tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), an antioxidant that is derived from petroleum that is used as a preservative. Disgusting, right? And I love what Michael Pollan says about TBHQ in An Omnivore’s Dilemma: “According to A Consumer’s Dictionary of Food Additives, TBHQ is a form of butane (i.e. lighter fluid) the FDA allows processors to use sparingly in our food: It can comprise no more than 0.02 percent of the oil in a [chicken] nugget. Which is probably just as well, considering that ingesting a single gram of TBHQ can cause “nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, delirium, a sense of suffocation, and collapse.” Ingesting five grams of TBHQ can kill.”
Wouldn’t you rather show up to a holiday gathering with something that you’ve lovingly made with healthier ingredients?
Here’s the recipe:
Salty Nut Butter Cups
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/3 cup rice or almond milk
1 cup nut butter (my favs include almond, hazelnut or peanut, but just make sure that they are all natural), refrigerated until a little hard
Sea salt (my favs include Celtic or Himalayan)
Paper muffin liners (16)
1. Add the chocolate chips, coconut oil and rice or almond milk to a saucepan placed over a larger pot of hot water that is not quite boiling. Stir over medium heat until melted.
2. Line two muffin tins with paper liners. You’re aiming for 16. When the chocolate has melted, spoon 1 tbsp into the bottom of each paper muffin liner. Allow to cool for around 5 minutes.
3. Next, spoon 1 tsp dollops of nut butter onto the centre of each chocolate discy blob. Generously sprinkle with a good quality sea salt. Cover with remaining chocolate, taking care to really cover the nut butter in a nice blanket of chocolate. Sprinkle with a little more sea salt, and decorate with a half nut if you like. Bang the muffin trays to get rid of any air bubbles and allow to cool for five to ten minutes. Then put into the fridge to firm up.
I find that the Salty Nut Butter Cups are best when they’ve been pulled out of the fridge or freezer and have been given a few minutes to soften. Mmmmm. xo Andrea