Making Chocolates with Coconut Oil – Dairy Free, Gluten Free, & Guilt Free!

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Butter-less Vanilla “Butter” Creams

A Chef friend recently asked me if I ever tried to make my home made

Vanilla Butter Cream or Peanut Butter Love Bites Candies

using Coconut Oil instead of Butter. I hadn’t, but I admit I have thought about it.

As my Loving Mom says “There is no time like the present”, so today I gave it a go.

(Also providing me a chance to test out my new silicone chocolates mold! 🙂 )

Organic Chocolate Coating Ingredients

I had never made the Chocolate Coating from scratch, but it was easy to do. I added a few drops of vanilla to it, and a pinch of cinnamon to boost the flavor.

How To Make Coconut Oil Chocolates

* Ingredients: 

5 TBSP Coconut Oil, in liquid state (melt slightly if needed)

5 TBSP Unsweetened Cocoa Power

3-4 TBSP Powdered Sugar ( or more, to taste)

Pinch Cinnamon  (optional)

1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract (optional)

* An ice cube tray or mold for individual chocolates, or a flat dish to make bars

* Method: Mix oil & cocoa till combined. Add remaining Ingredients. Taste, and add more sugar if needed. Pour into  candy mold (either as a solid chocolate, or a filled one, like I made), or make a “candy bar” small flat dish. Score before it hardens to break in to pieces easier. To fill, I poured a small amount in the mold, put in fridge, then put some vanilla cream in, and filled more chocolate to top.Pop in the fridge 15 min to overnight, and voila! Makes 20 – 30 treats, depending on size. I used all organic ingredients, choosing to create a 100% Organic Treat, but, you can use whatever brands you prefer.

THAT’S IT!  It is SUUUUPER EASY!

The creamy center is exactly the same as in our regular Vanilla Butter Cream Candy Recipe, only substituting Coconut Oil for the Butter.

For my first try, even with a few technical boo-boo’s, they came out super-delicious!

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I had a lot of leftover chocolate AND leftover filling from my one mold of 24, so i made 1/2 tsp sized dollops  on a silicone lined baking sheet with the remaining cream filling, and drizzled the remaining chocolate coating over them, and popped them in the fridge too. They came out hideously ugly, yet extraordinarily delicious!  Nom, Nom, I ate 6! 😀

Next time, I want to make the chocolate coating using honey instead of sugar, as in This Recipe from Beyond the Peel.

These are awesome, and I can’t wait to try these again!

Cheers, and Happy Eating!

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Lemon & Coconut Butter Cream Candies

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If you’ve been following us, you know our M.O. is using what we already have on hand to make meals and treats. Today was my turn, so it was ~ Treats! I had good intentions to make some Iced Lemon Cookies, but the day got away from me. Secretly, really I wanted more Frozen Chocolate Peanut Butter Bites, or some kind of creamy candy instead.

With creamy candy on my mind, I remembered now I was left with two lemons that had to be used soon, and a bag of organic powdered sugar. Hmm. Powdered sugar. I used that to make Chocolate Vanilla Butter Creams…. (light bulb goes off)

Mmm, I know! LEMON BUTTER CREAMS! That sounds yummy!

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Sugar & Zest, Toasted Coconut and Pecan Lemon Creams

I’ve been sharing a lot of chocolate recipes lately. Thus, I pondered what to coat my candies with instead. I had a bag of chopped pecans, extra powdered sugar & zest, and leftover Toasted Coconut from our Quinoa Porridge. With a basic Butter Cream Recipe and those three coating ideas, off I went to the kitchen to experiment.

Trying all three, several times for good measure ( 😉 )… Bruce and I both agreed the Toasted Coconut ones were the Taste Winners, by a landslide. The experiment was a success, and I am pleased with the end result…So, Ready? Let’s Get Cookin’!!

* Toasted Coconut Lemon Butter Creams *

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l – Powdered Sugar & Softened Butter
r – Sift the Sugar

*Ingredients

2 cups Powdered Sugar, sifted

4 TBSP Butter, Softened

1 Lemon – will need 2-3 TBSP of juice, and 1 TBSP zest

1 1/2 TBSP Coconut Milk, or Heavy Cream

– Baking Sheet Lined with Buttered Wax Paper

– 1/2 Cup of Toasted Coconut Flakes mixed with 1 tsp Granulated Sugar for Coating

*Method:

Sift powdered sugar into large mixing bowl. Add all the rest of the filling ingredients and mix until it becomes smooth. It should be pretty thick, so it can be easily handled – the mixing spoon should stand up on it’s own. Taste and adjust to your liking. If it is not Lemony enough, and too thick to stir, add more juice & zest. If it is too Lemony and too thick, add a little more coconut milk. If it is too thin to shape, add more powdered sugar.

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Smooth, Creamy, Lemon Filling Mixture

Place bowl of cream in the fridge for 10 minutes until firm. Meanwhile, prepare the baking sheet and place the toasted coconut in an even layer on a plate. Pull the mix out of the fridge, and using a teaspoon, scoop a small amount of cream in to your hands, Working quickly so they don;t melt too much, roll scoop into a ball, and then drop into the dish of coconut.

Gently roll ball in coconut until coated, and place on butted sheet pan. [see photo above] Continue until all the cream is rolled in balls, and rolled in coconut. Place sheet pan in the fridge again, for at least 15 minutes. That’s IT! They are done!

 Now you have scrumptious, decadent, melt in your mouth

Toasted Coconut Lemon Butter Creams!

Lemon Butter Creams

Lemon Butter Creams

My friend Mary Beth swears these would be amazing coated with glazed & salted pecans.

My other friend, Sue, says I should have tried them chocolate dipped anyhow. Both suggestions sound delicious to me, and I got a few ideas for different filling flavors.

I guess there will have to be a lot more experimenting with Butter Creams in my future!

Hope there will be in YOURS too!

Cheers, and Happy Eating!

Frozen Chocolate Peanut Butter ‘Love Bites’ ~ A Sinfully Scrumptious All Natural Treat!

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Scrumptious Chocolate Peanut Butter Bites

Last night, I was craving a decadent sugary treat. Specifically, I wanted peanut butter cups. For the past two years, we no longer buy processed candies or junk foods.  Time to get creative. I know I have [organic] Peanut Butter in the cupboard, and a bag of [all natural] chocolate chips, and I’m pretty sure I have some [organic] powdered sugar left. A little creative thinking, an idea that led to a better idea, and two or three Google searches later…I decided to make all-natural Frozen Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Bites! That should fit my craving bill!

I looked at a few recipes on Google. One had WAY too much butter! Two called for wax for the coating. Several called for hydrogenated candy melts. No, no and no! I wanted Natural Ingredients. So again getting creative, I took the best parts of the recipes I read, and made my own. And you know what? They came out pretty good!  As usual, it was not hard. They are similar to our Chocolate Butter Creams Recipe. If I can make these, so can you. It just takes desire and a little time – or what i call “Putting Love Into It”. Well, enough about that…Let’s Get Cooking!

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Mmmm, Love Bites!

Frozen Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter ‘Love Bites’

Total Prep Time, Start to Eating: 1 hour

2 TBSP Butter, Softened

1 Cup Peanut Butter

1 Cup Powdered Sugar

1 tsp Real Vanilla Extract

1 1/4 Cups Chocolate Chips

Baking sheet, lined with lightly buttered waxed paper

Cream 2 tbsp softened butter with the peanut butter & powdered sugar. I used a small processor, but it can also be done by hand. Taste mixture, and if desired, add a little more sugar, vanilla or pb to your personal liking. The mixture should not be too loose to handle.

Roll mixture into 3/4″ balls, or drop by half spoons, onto buttered waxed paper lined sheet. Place PB Balls in freezer for 10 min.

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Heat 1 cup of choc chips on double boiler (or in microwave) till not quite melted.  

Remove from heat & stir until fully melted. Add 1/4 cup more chips, and stir till melted again.

Remove pb bites from freezer, and dip in – or spoon chocolate over – till all are covered.

 Freeze again for 15 more minutes… and they are READY!

They melt quickly so eat them immediately. Store any remaining Bites in the freezer. They are even better the next day. 🙂

I made this recipe by combining others to making my own liking. Everyone’s taste is different, and you can feel free to adjust yours to your own tastes. Try topping with chopped nuts or toasted coconut. I find that making my own treats feels rewarding, rather than cheating.

Smooth Creaminess Enveloped in Decadent Chocolate

These are Really delicious, and would be a fun recipe to do with kids. Hope you decide to give this recipe a try!

Cheers, and Happy Eating!

Easy All Natural Chocolate Hand Dipped Vanilla Butter Cream Candies ~ Need I say more? (A Photo Recipe)

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Cutting right to the chase, I LOVE chocolate. 

I don’t know if it’s every woman, or just me, but I crave it – and eat it – every day. Mostly, I am content with a few squares of my beloved Chocolove Premium Bars, or natural chocolate covered dried cherries we get from the Organic bulk bin section at Wegman’s.

But some days, I really want ooey, gooey, hand-dipped ‘Candy Shoppe’ Chocolates.

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Hand Dipped Vanilla Butter Creams, Plain and with Sea Salt

But alas, the “good” Candy Shoppe is 20 minutes drive away, and a box of delicious Chocolate Dipped Vanilla Butter Creams costs nearly $20! 😦 What’s a girl to DO??

Around Easter time, it came up in conversation with my Mom that I love butter creams so much, I had broken my no-artificial-chemicals-in-food rule to eat a few Zitner’s Butter Cream Eggs (a Philly Area Tradition). I don’t usually get food guilt, but I had it with these. Because I wanted more.

Mom said, “My friend So and So told me that she makes Butter Creams from scratch. She is no Betty Crocker, so I bet you can make them too.” Um, thanks, Mom? Lol. So I googled a few recipes, and gleaned together one that isn’t exactly Candy Shoppe perfect, but is EASY to make and TASTES terrific. So, without further adieu, Let’s make Chocolates!

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Freshly Dipped Chocolates, Ready to Chill in Fridge

  All Natural Chocolate Dipped Vanilla Butter Creams

(Makes 20 Chocolates – Recipe Can be Doubled)

*  Filling Ingredients:

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Organic Ingredients

2 Cups of Organic Powdered Sugar, Sifted

4 Tbsp Organic Butter, Softened

1 tsp Good Quality Real Vanilla Extract

1 + 1/2 Tbsp Organic Heavy Cream

Method:

1. Combine all ingredients. Mix well until smooth looking and firm enough to hold it’s shape. If it is too loose, add more sugar. If it is too tight, add a drop or two more cream or vanilla. Taste and adjust to your liking, if needed.

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Firm enough to hold it’s shape

2. Form into ¾ inch balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper (to keep from sticking, I lightly greased the wax paper with butter). Pop into the Fridge to set up.

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Vanilla Filling, Ready for Fridge

* Chocolate Ingredients:

1 Cup All Natural or Organic Chocolate Chips

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Stir Until Completely Melted

3.Over a double boiler, just barely melt  about 80% of the chocolate. Pull off heat and stir with spatula or wire whisk until completely melted. Work with spatula until it is almost cooled to the touch. Add in the remaining 20% of the chocolate, Stirring until again completely melted and smooth in appearance.

4. Remove Cream Balls from Fridge. Carefully push all to one side of the greased tray.

5. Working quickly enough so the chocolate does not harden, dip each cream ball into the chocolate, turning or spooning to coat completely.

Place back onto greased sheet pan. To make fancier, spoon small amounts of leftover chocolate on the tops of each, using tip of spoon to create a swirled design.

6. When all are dipped, pop back in fridge until ready to serve. If desired, let sit out 5 minutes before serving. (I like mine cold!)

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Chilled Chocolate Butter Cream Candies, Ready to Serve!

 7 . ENJOY!!  🙂

* Variations: Replace half of the vanilla extract with orange, raspberry, cherry, mint or almond essence. Or try mixing in or topping with toasted coconut, sea salt or finely chopped nuts.