Hubs loves peanut butter cups. Those were the go-to candy I always bought him for Valentine’s Days, birthdays, bad days, and plenty of other random days when we were dating. It was a sure-fire way to get him to smile! And I like it when the man smiles.
Last summer, I was put on a really strict elimination diet to see if certain foods could be causing all my weird symptoms. Now, when I say strict, I mean that I wasn’t allowed to eat:
- Artificial Sweeteners
- Processed or Highly Refined Foods
- Any foods that I was allergic to
So yeah, pretty strict. You get the idea.
And Hubs, who is amazing for this (and many other reasons), did the elimination diet with me. Talk about supportive! (Can I get a whoop whoop for all those spouses, family members, and friends who do whatever it takes to support you, even if it means giving up yummy treats?)
He gave up his beloved Reese’s, along with tons of other foods that had long been a staple in his life. In the end, the diet helped us both lose some weight, but didn’t do much else. So while we do still adhere for the most part to a diet that looks similar to this, we’ve relaxed a bit.
This recipe was one of the very first treats we allowed ourselves after easing up on our restrictions. I’d gone looking for something yummy that would make Hubs happy as a way to say “thank you!” for being so encouraging while I was on that crazy diet, so to find a recipe for something that I knew he loved so much was perfect!
He really enjoyed these Cashew Butter Cups, and they have since become one of our favorite treats! We have to be careful not to make them too frequently though, because it’s easy to scarf them all down at once because “they’re healthy.”
This recipe was inspired by Dr. Axe’s Salted Paleo Sunbutter Cups.
A few quick notes about ingredients:
Dates—If you’ve never used dates before, and you’re looking at this recipe and thinking “um, no,” do yourself a favor and try it. I had never used dates for anything before in my life, because they look like giant raisins, and I hate raisins. But this recipe made a fan of dates. Do it. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Cashew Butter—Really, any nut butter works well, but I really like the consistency of the cashew butter best!
Chocolate Chips—You can use normal chocolate chips for this if you don’t have a dairy sensitivity, but I’ve used Enjoy Life’s nut, dairy, and soy free mini chocolate chips to minimize my dairy intake. Pro tip (and by pro tip, I mean a lesson I learned the hard way)—The Enjoy Life chocolate chips do not melt down the same way as normal chocolate chips! Melt them slow and steady. If you overheat them, they start to dry out and get grainy and will eventually turn into a giant blob with the consistency of a fudgy brownie. Still delicious, but not what I was going for here.
For the Shell
- 1 (10 oz) bag Enjoy Life chocolate chips, or whatever your favorite chocolate chips are
- 4 tsp. coconut oil
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
For the Filling
- 4 TBS. cashew butter (unsweetened)
- 3 whole pitted medjool dates
- 1 tsp. coconut oil
- Pinch of sea salt
- Line a mini muffin tin with mini baking cups and set aside. Note: I wish I could tell you how many baking cups you need, but I honestly come out with a different number of cups every time I make this, generally around 20.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, add half the bag of chocolate chips, 2 tsp. coconut oil, and ¼ tsp. vanilla extract. Microwave on half power for 30 seconds. Stir. Repeat until chocolate is melted completely. Do not overheat it! If candy-making is your thing, or you just happen to have a double-boiler and want to use it, go for it! I don’t own one, and truthfully, it looks like a lot of extra effort anyways. The microwave works for me!
- Spoon enough chocolate to fill the bottom of each wrapper, about 1 tsp. Place muffin tins in the freezer while you prep the filling.
- In a food processor, combine dates, cashew butter, coconut oil, and sea salt. Blend until smooth, stopping to scrape the sides several times.
- Pull the muffin tins out of the freezer and add cashew butter mixture on top of the chocolate base. Pop the trays back in the freezer.
- Repeat step two with the other half of the chocolate shell ingredients.
- Take the muffin tins back out of the freezer and top the cashew butter mixture with the melted chocolate. Top with sea salt.
- Freeze them for at least 30 minutes, and then try not to eat them all in one sitting!
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