Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups.

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Hey there chocolate. I’m into you. I’m not even going to try to hide it.
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I mean, I could play it coy, but let’s be real-what’s the point? You like me, I like you. You want me, I want you. Sure, I can be taunted for wanting you incorporated into my everyday life, but I don’t even care. You are that good, and I’ll wear my heart on my sleeve for you.Also, flowers from the Hubs on Valentine’s Day. Man oh golly gee, I am one lucky lady.
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When I was growing up, every Valentine’s Day my dad would buy each of us kids a small, red cardboard heart with four chocolates inside.  He would scribble a love note to each of us on a post-it note, and stick it to the front of the appropriate box. He would then place them all on the dining room table early in the morning, ready for us when we awoke. This wasn’t just something he did when we were small, but all growing up. If I lived in the same city as my family, he would continue this tradition. I kinda loved it.On Valentine’s Day, I think of how excited he would get to give us these little gifts, and I figured well dang it, if I’m going to live in a different country, I still want some chocolate!What’s that, inner voice? Make some your self? Make yourself delicious chocolate candies that will surely be scarfed all too soon? Oh inner voice . . . your wisdom is overwhelming . . .And with that in mind, this happened.

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Smooth dark chocolate. Slightly sweetened almond butter. Sprinkling of sea salt to balance it all out. Oh ya, I didn’t stand a chance.
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One of the best parts about these lil’ guys are the fact that they are so ding-dang simple, and you more than likely have all the ingredients in your cupboard. Go check. Five bucks says you have them all there, staring at you (ok, maybe I don’t bet, but you probably do).What’s that? You have hazelnut butter instead? Use it.You want to add a bit of caramel to the top of the nut butter? Oh lawd, please do.You’re going to add coconut flakes & extra sea salt? This is also extreme acceptable.

If you make these as a belated Valentine’s Day surprise for your friends, beau, or family, you’ll get some extra kisses. Probably definitely.

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Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups
makes 14 mini cups, or 7 regular sized cups1.5 cups (8 ounces) semisweet or dark chocolate chips (or bar, chopped)
1/3 cup natural Roasted Salted Almond Butter
3 Tbsp powdered sugar
sea salt, for sprinklingMelt your chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave in 30 second increments.Set out 14 mini paper liners and rest them in a mini muffin tin if you have it. Otherwise, just set them on a plate close together. If you don’t have mini paper liners, use regular size ones instead – it should make half as many (7).

Once your chocolate is melted, spoon about 1 heaping teaspoon of chocolate into each liner and use a small brush or back of a spoon to swirl the chocolate around and coat the bottoms and almost all the way up the sides. You want to make sure your fillings are fully contained, so be sure it’s well coated.

Next, mix together your almond butter and powdered sugar, adding enough sugar and stirring until you have almost a dough that’s almost workable with your hands. Spoon out heaping 1/2 Tablespoon measurements and plop them into the liners, nestling them in the chocolate. Tap down with finger to smooth out any lumps.

Lastly, top with remaining melted chocolate and use a brush, spoon, or finger to smooth and seal the edges. Sprinkle with a touch of sea salt and set in the fridge or freezer to set.

You can store these at room temp, in the fridge or in the freezer, though I think the fridge is best.

Happy Belated Valentine’s Day!

Source: adapted from Minimalist Baker
Listening to: Rend Collective Experiment

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