No-Bake One Bite Vanilla Almond Butter Cups from Almonds Every Which Way

Allergic to dairy or just taking a breather from it, Almonds Every Which WayMore than 150 Healthy-Delicious Almond Milk, Almond Flour and Almond Butter Recipes (Da Capo Lifelong, March 2014) by Cheeky Kitchen Brooke McLay offers alternatives.

This second excerpt (first was Creamy Almond Butter and Honey Apple Dip ) will work if your food profile is dairy-free, gluten-free, paleo, vegan, vegetarian...long list...

One-Bite Vanilla Almond Butter Cups

(Dairy-free, gluten-free, paleo, vegan, vegetarian)

These no-bake almond butter cups are super for Christmas cookie plates and for gratifying your chocolate cravings in a healthier way. The original version, inspired from a recipe in Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Diet, is made with peanut butter, but I think this almond butter rendition is better. Vanilla bean seeds can be expensive but lend such intense gourmet flavor to this recipe that I couldn’t help but add them. However, feel free to substitute 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract, if you’re feeling particularly happy about having money in the bank, instead of spending it in the baking aisle.

½ cup butter or Earth Balance
¾ cup almond butter
¾ cup graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup raw honey or maple syrup
Seeds of 1 vanilla bean
1 cup dark chocolate chips (for vegan, must be labeled “dairy-free”)
¼ cup coconut milk
¼ cup chopped pecans (optional)

Special Equipment: Muffin tin; cupcake liners

Almond Bites

1. Place 12 parchment cupcake liners in a muffin tin. In a microwave-safe bowl, cook butter and almond butter together until melted, about 60–90 seconds. Stir in the graham cracker crumbs, honey, and vanilla bean seeds. Spoon the mixture into the bottom of each cupcake liner.
2. In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips and coconut milk. Heat in the microwave until the chocolate chips are melted, about 60–90 seconds. Remove from microwave and stir until smooth. Spoon it on top of the almond butter mixture. Top with chopped pecans, if desired.

TIP: Make It for You!
Go paleo:­Swap­the­graham­cracker­crumbs­for­finely­shredded­coconut. Use honey as the sweetener and add coconut oil instead of butter.
Go Vegan: Use graham cracker crumbs, Earth Balance Butter, and maple syrup or maple sugar. Grain-sweetened, no-dairy chocolate chips will make this recipe totally vegan.
Go Gluten-Free: Gluten-free graham cracker crumbs will keep this recipe celiac-friendly.

Makes 12 Almond Butter Cups

Per serving (1 Almond Butter Cup)
Calories: 286
Calories from Fat: 202
Total Fat: 22.5g, 35%
Saturated Fat: 8.6g, 43%
Total Carb: 20.2g, 7%
Dietary Fiber: 1.2g, 5%
Sugars: 12.4g
Protein: 4.7g
Cholesterol: 20mg, 7%
Sodium: 102mg, 4%

(Recipe from Almonds Every Which Way by Brooke McLay. Reprinted with permission from Da Capo Lifelong, © 2014, Photo Credits: Brooke McLay, Franklin Bennett, and Melanie North.)

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