Chocolate-Almond Butter Bites – a healthier candy

chocolate almond butter bitesThose checkout aisles at the grocery store can be a nightmare. Not only do we have to negotiate tempting pocket-money magazines with eye-catching headlines (“Is Pippa MIddleton Engaged?”; “25 Worst Beach Bodies”), but also serried rows of come-hither confectionary. Ahh, those crispy, colourful packages containing a black hole of happiness. Mmm, it’s only little. Just rip off the wrapper and dive on in: to over a third of a days’ worth of added sugar and fat.

And that’s if you stick with one modestly-sized bar or bag. Kinda makes the trolley-load of kale and quinoa a bit redundant. *Wince*chocolate almond butter bites

It’s not so bad if you have eaten beforehand, and perhaps don’t give a fig about celebrity shenanigans, but still. If you have gotten in the slow queue (always), you can be stuck with these twin totems of temptation for minutes. Whole minutes. What’s a person to do?

Well, if you can hold out just a little while, a scintilla really, today’s recipe can be your post-checkout treat. It is super quick, five ingredients and utterly delicious. It makes about 20 candies, and you can store them in the fridge or a cool room. The recipe is easily doubled or tripled so you can make enough to give away if you like (!).

I can’t do anything about the celeb gossip (*yawning*) but a “well done you for surviving the weekly shop without buying rubbish,” that I can do. You even get to put them in little peelable wrappers like REAL candy. Cos it is. Just healthier.  Take that, Hershey’s.

chocolate almond butter bitesChocolate-Almond Butter Bites

Last year: Baked Marinara-stuffed Risotto Balls (Arancini)

Two years ago: A Homemade Deodorant That Really Works

Miss R’s track of the week: Sam Smith’s Nirvana – a sexy, smooth silky song – kinda like chocolate!

A wee bit like the famous brand of US peanut butter and chocolate candies, but better! Don’t worry, despite the food to glow whole foods touch, these tiny bites are still decadent – but with a whole lot less sugar and added fat. Use peanut butter or cashew butter if you like – or whole nuts rather than the nut butter. Sometimes it is easier to get whole raw nuts than get good quality nut butters

Still not tempting enough? Chopped toasted almonds and a flurry of flaky salt complete the decadence. These not-too-sweet nuggets are perfect for ‘afters’ with coffee, as a little pick-me-up snack, or lunch box treat.

Makes about 20 petit four-sized bites (easily doubled/tripled)

150g best quality dark or plain chocolate (or a mixture of the two), chopped – many quality chocolates are vegan, but check the label for added milk powder

50g pitted dates, chopped

50g almond butter OR 50g raw almonds (toast for 5 minutes in a 180C/350F oven)

1 tsp real vanilla extract (I like Nielsen-Massey and Ndali brands) OR vanilla powder/paste

1/4 tsp fine salt (more, to taste)

Flaky salt and lightly toasted chopped almonds for tops

Special equipment: small shallow baking tray or plate; double boiler or similar; petit four cases or candy cases (mini muffin cases are larger but use these if you like – makes about 14 candies)

1. Melt the chocolate gently in a double boiler/bain marie/microwave. Remove from heat and keep warm (pop a tea towel on top to absorb any condensation).

2. Add the dates, almond butter/almonds, vanilla and fine salt to the small bowl of a food processor/mini chopper. Process until mostly smooth and forming a sticky ‘dough’. If you are using almond or other nut butter, provided the nut butter is at warm room temperature, you can just mix it all up in a bowl. I live in Scotland so that’s not usually an option :D

3. Spoon a small amount of melted chocolate in each petit four case – about ¼  tsp – tilting to bring the chocolate up the sides a bit. I put in too much and it formed a thicker layer than I wanted (but seriously, who minds more chocolate?!). Pop each coated case into the baking tray or on a plate and place in the freezer or fridge until hardened – about 10 minutes.

4. Roll small balls – about 1/2 tsp – of ‘dough’ and flatten to make a little disc. Push a disc into each cooled case; pour over the remaining chocolate, swirling slightly to distribute and completely cover the almond-date mixture.

5. Pop the filled cases back in the fridge/freezer until almost set. Sprinkle over the chopped almonds and salt; return to the fridge. Once set, keep covered in a cool place.

Suggestions: for coconut lovers, add 2 tbsp of toasted desiccated coconut to the date and nut mixture when processing, adding a tbsp of water to keep it from getting too dry. You may like to use a flavoured chocolate, like an espresso one, or one with sea salt (adjusting your own salt if doing so). If you like it sweeter just add more dates, date syrup or honey, although the mixture may be a bit stickier. It will still work just fine.

Nutrition Per Bite (14 grams): 72 calories; 5g fat; 4g total sugars; 1g fibre

Entering this in the Made With Love Mondays roundup over at Javelin Warrior’s Cookin’ W/Luv, as well as to Sowmya of Nivedhanam, a new-to-me blog vegetarian blog, and to Priya’s Easy and Tasty Recipes. I am entering Priya’s Healthy Diet – Lunchboxes challenge – hosted this month by Sowmya -as this recipe certainly fulfils the remit. Loads of entries over there to peruse.

Oh, before I go, here is a link to food to glow subscriber Amy at junkfoodjournal‘s entry to the Jamie Oliver Search For The Next Food Tube Star. She has made a short video about how to make Mexican Horchata. If you have time, click on her link and vote for her. She would really appreciate it. All the best Amy!chocolate almond butter bites

 

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58 thoughts on “Chocolate-Almond Butter Bites – a healthier candy

    • Yes, I have made a version with a layer of mooshed dried apricots that I am sharing in one of my classes. That was delish! Lovely that it had a little tang to it. I bet you could come up with some great flavours, Nazima.

    • They seem to add the right amount of sweetness for us, but a little honey with the dates would perhaps more authentic. Although I guess the ‘real thing’ would have loads of glucose syrup or similar. Haven’t bothered to look at a label. The nutritional info is always conveniently small on confectionary.

    • Now Niki, you know how lazy I am. If you could just organise a book proposal for me, do the negotiations, push me onto the computer from before dawn until the wee hours, and yes I would do it! Thank you for the incredible compliment though. Maybe one day I’ll pull my finger out and give it a go :D

  1. You’ve outdone yourself, Kellie! These tasty treats sound like the perfect way to fight off the cravings for a peanut butter cup (one of my favorites although never eat them anymore)! I probably would make these with peanut butter as it’s my favorite “butter”, but what a great and quick reward!

  2. Yum! I came up with a Paleo/Vegan Almond Butter Chocolate for my blog the other week and use the same method for my fillings eg. with Hazelnut etc. I might have to try this flavour combo as it looks so relish! Man! Just after I thought I was out of my “healthy” chocolate phase!

    • Just checked yours out – luxe! It is certainly similar but with some crucial differences in ingredients and method. The dulce de leche version is truly decadent. And why go out of your healthy chocolate phase??

      • I just meant the filling! I will have to try your filling in my chocolates haha :) Going out of my “healthy” chocolate phase because they’re not so healthy with the dulce de leche which is my favourite ;) Gobbling up a whole batch of that is still going to be naughty no matter how good the chocolate on the outside is! ;)

      • I have to agree! Small batches and lots of friends should sort that ‘dilemma’. Mine is stripped down, that’s for sure. Some might find it not sweet enough but hopefully they will taste and adjust. Thanks for sharing your version with me – much more dinner party than mine ;D

      • Mine are quite similar, except for the dulce de leche version they are not very sweet- but I have always liked dark chocolate so it doesn’t bother me! I had over 100 for a wedding snow-trip which didn’t quite go to plan so instead of having 30 or so people to share with, it was down to a group of six of us…. they all were devoured :/ You’re welcome! Thanks for sharing yours, I am going to try your filling next time I am brave enough to go near “healthy” chocolate! (And next time I have an assured supply of friends to help me eat them!) Keep up the awesome blogging :D

  3. Reblogged this on and commented:
    We all know how hard it is to stay away from treats all the time, actually it is basically impossible, but with this recipe at least you can indulge your craving without feeling TOO guilty ;)

  4. I have the best solution to the checkout sweetie blues, I just don’t go shopping. Steve does it ;). Still can’t find the headphones and even though both of the dogs have decided to get up with me it’s only 5.53am and Steve is fast asleep…I will check out Miss R’s selection later in the day. As usual this recipe is drool-a-licious and something that you would have to wrestle with your conscience to share…mine usually wins…sorry Steve…

  5. Hi Kellie. Thank you so much for linking up to my new party and sharing these amazing (healthier) chocolate treats! They sound de-lish! I love dark chocolate, dates and almonds!
    Hugs,
    Heather
    MySweetMission.net

  6. Kellie, just stopping by to tell you that you were one of my top 5 featured posts from my Sweet Wednesday Link Party last week! Congratulations and stop by to get your Featured button, you deserve it!

    Hugs,
    Heather
    MySweetMission.net

  7. Reeces Peanut Butter Cups used to be my weakness before I decided to eat healthier. How fantastic is this recipe! I can’t wait to try it, but I might use my organic peanut butter in place of the almond butter :)

  8. Pingback: Sunbutter Chocolate Bites | A legal sweet treat | strictlydelicious

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