I love this time year– the sense of family and cozying up with candles lit, warm food, family. Recalling all my holiday memories and watching my kids make their own; it reminds me of all my blessings.
There was always a lot of baking and some fudge-making when I was growing up. And for years we always had those orange chocolate balls that you smash into sections in our stockings. I love those things (and so do my kids.) However, we are paleo-izing our holidays this year and so we ( and my husband gets more than just taste-tester credit this time!) wanted to make some kind of special treat and recalling the joy of smashing those orange chocolate things we came up with these. They are chocolatey deliciousness with a fudge-like texture and a hint of orange. Most importantly, if you feel as overwhelmed with preparations (even with our fairly minimal celebrations) as I do, super easy. In all these take less than 20 minutes to put together. Plus, once you have your basic recipe you can make a million variations.
Here we go!
Ingredients and Supplies
- 1/2 c raw cacao (such as this: http://amzn.to/19VuBBn)
- 1/4 cup raw honey (or to taste)
- 1/2 cup almond butter (or other nut butter)
- 3/4 cup coconut oil
- pinch sea salt
- 1/4 tsp organic pure orange extract (such as this: http://amzn.to/19Vs9dT)
- silicone candy molds or mini muffin tins l(ike this: http://amzn.to/1gOmaj9 Or, like this: http://amzn.to/1gOme27 )
Melt your coconut oil in saucepan over low to medium-low heat. When it’s melted, add the cacao, honey, and almond butter. Mix well until the consistency thins a bit. Don’t let it bubble or boil–you are just melting and mixing here, don’t think of this as making traditional candy. Add a dash of sea salt and your orange extract and mix well.
Remove from heat and pour into your candy molds or mini-muffin tins. Pop them in the freezer for about an hour then release them from molds. (If you used muffin tins you should be able to flip them over and give them a few hits to remove the chocolates or you can line your tins with cupcake papers.) Guys–that’s it! You’re done. You have festive chocolate!
Other Fun Chocolatey Ideas
Add nuts, coconut, raisins, cranberries or other dried fruit and pour the chocolate over them. You can also use different kind of extracts (the orange is my favorite by far.)
Or, omit the orange oil and thaw some frozen organic cherries. Place a cherry or two in your candy mold and cover with chocolate and then freeze freeze. (Confession: I was once addicted to those cherry cordials and would eat at least a box at Christmas.) These are way better and I now think those cherry cordials are gross.
We’ve also made chocolate covered raisins by dipping a sieve into the warm chocolate, spreading the covered raisins on wax paper and then freezing.
And…wait…bacon chocolates. I know, I should’ve led with the bacon! You can make bacon chocolates by making your basic chocolate recipe (omit the orange extract), adding some cooked, chopped bacon to your candy molds pour the chocolate on top and freeze. When we made these we also omitted a couple tablespoons of the coconut oil and added some of the bacon grease for an extra bacon-y touch. So.Good. Bacon. That’s all.
Remember, these chocolates will melt since they are based with coconut oil. Store in the fridge or freezer. I will be keeping mine in the freezer so when I put them out on Christmas they can stay out for awhile before they turn gooey. I’ve found if they are frozen for a day or so in advance they will last a couple of hours sitting out (as long as it’s not too warm!).
So have a merry, merry holiday you all and go eat some chocolate!
PS We are working diligently on adding some new things to the blog so you will be seeing those soon–after we enjoy the holiday with our families!