Wanna Feel Like a Nut?

My mother wasn't a peanut butter fan. In fact, she hated it which meant there was no peanut butter in the house. You know what that meant? I never ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

I had my first PB&J when I was in eighth grade and it did nothing for me. Absolutely nothing. But peanut butter and crackers, now that's a different story. Peanut butter and apples, peanut butter and bananas and peanut butter and celery--these do do it for me!

It's been decades since my love affair with peanut butter started, but lately I've found a new nut butter that I'm keen on--almond butter. If you haven't yet tried this healthy peanut butter alternative, I recommend you give it a try. (With so many food allergies--specifically peanut allergies, nut butters have become very popular.)

I like the Whole Foods roasted almond butter best. They grind it in-store and have it pre-packaged and ready for you in either a small plastic cup container or a bigger container. Just pick it up and go.

There are so many recipes we have been using almond butter in. This new find has been instrumental in creating new spins on "ice cream," banana pancakes and now this bite-sized treat that friends and family flipped over.

Yummy roasted almond butter mixed with crunchy shredded unsweetened coconut surrounding a raw almond. Topped with chocolate. I call them ABC Joys which stands for almond butter-coconut-chocolate joys. Yes, they are good. It's a modern combination of a Reese's peanut butter cup and an Almond Joy (Sometimes you feel like a nut...), but this is good for you and low in sugar.

I recently took these bite-sized treats to a dinner party which everyone devoured. They are rich like a chocolate truffle but not heavy. And yet they totally satisfy and make you think you're eating something decadent.

The dinner guests wanted more and when I asked them what they thought the ingredients were, they had no idea. All that mattered was that these ABC Joys disappeared.

I have no doubt they will also disappear at your house.

Buen provecho!
ABC Joys (Almond Butter-Coconut-Chocolate)
The Cowgirl Gourmet adapted this recipe from the Civilized Caveman

Print recipe

Almond butter is the new peanut butter. Really. If you like peanut butter, you're going to flip over roasted almond butter. Full of flavor and texture and mixed with unsweetened shredded coconut, this little ball is even better when dipped in chocolate. Yea, it's better than a Reese's cup, or an Almond Joy and way better for you!

Makes about 12-16, depending on the size of the balls

1/8 teaspoon ghee (clarified butter) or coconut oil
1 cup roasted almond butter
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
15 or more almonds, raw (these will go in the center of each ball)
1 cup vegan chocolate chips (Enjoy Life brand)

In a glass bowl, melt the ghee or coconut oil. Add in the almond butter, stir and microwave for 60 seconds. It should soften a bit. Stir and then place it back in the microwave for 30 more seconds. Add the salt, stir and then add the coconut. Mix until thoroughly combined and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

With wet hands, use a teaspoon to scoop a bit of the mixture and roll into 1/2 inch or 1 inch balls--about two bites.

Place a raw almond in the center and bring the mixture together to cover the almond.

Place on a parchment paper/aluminum foil-lined plate and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.
Melt the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, zapping it at 30 second increments, stirring after each 30 seconds. It took me three 30-second rounds. Those of you who (and we all should) eschew the microwave, just place chocolate chips in a double boiler over medium-high heat until melted.
60-seconds in microwave
90 seconds in microwave
When melted, begin dipping the chilled almond butter-coconut balls in the chocolate--either dunking them half-way or coating completely. Place back on the lined plate and refrigerate again for 30 minutes to an hour, or until chocolate hardens.

Serve and go ahead and get ready for the compliments. An adult-version of a healthy Reese's peanut butter cup/Almond Joy has arrived!

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