I have a confession…I LOVE chocolate. Dark, Milk, Creamy, Hot, Cold; It doesn’t matter, I’m a fan. Unfortunately, I can no longer indulge in some of my favorite treats such as chocolate coated almonds as often as I would like to…or can I? After a lengthy discussion about store bought chocolate coated almonds with some of my fellow chocolate enthusiasts (Lenora Pfeffer & Katie Hunter); I set off on a mission to create my own homemade chocolate covered almonds using Cacao Nibs.
Cacao Nib Tea
My first attempt at making chocolate covered almonds with the Cacao Nibs did not go as planned, but yielded a nice surprise. I put the Cacao Nibs in the microwave and when they did not melt I tried to make them softer by boiling the Cacao Nibs, which didn’t work either. Lesson learned: You cannot melt Cacao Nibs. Can you tell I am not a chef? On the bright side, my mistakes lead me to discover that you can make tea (that is apparently very popular in other parts of the world) by boiling the Cacao Nibs. Here’s how..
1. ½ Cup of Cacao Nibs (Buy it: Click Here)
2. Approximately 4 cups Water
1. Boil the water at a high temperature.
2. Pour the Cacao Nibs into the boiling water.
3. Set the oven timer for 8-10 minutes.
I was a little weary at first. I had never heard of this type of tea before, but I soon realized that Cacao Nib Tea is AMAZING. It has a rich chocolate taste with practically no bitterness that the Cacao Nibs themselves normally have. This will definitely be a nice Paleo friendly treat on a cold winter day in the place of sugary hot chocolate mixes.
Chocolate Covered Almonds
After my detour with the Cacao Nib Tea I finally started to get things right. I bought some powdered Cacao and went right to work.
1. 1 Tbsp of Powdered Cacao (Buy it: Click Here)
2. 1 Cup of Almonds
3. 1-2 Tbsp of Coconut Oil
4. ½ Tbsp of Cinnamon
1. Set your oven to pre-heat to 350 degrees.
2. Lay aluminum foil out on a cookie sheet.
3. Measure the amount of almonds you want to use and pour them onto the cookie sheet.
4. Take 1-2 tablespoons worth of Coconut Oil and work it into the almonds with your fingers.
5. Then mix in a table spoon of the Cacao Powder. If you do not want to get your hands messy (don’t be a wimp) then just mix everything together in a bowl with a spoon.
6. Sprinkle half a table spoon of Cinnamon onto the almonds and mix that in as well.
7. Once all the ingredients have been mixed together and your oven is pre-heated place the cookie sheet in the oven and set the timer for 10 minutes.
8. After the timer goes off take the almonds out of the oven and let them cool off. I ended up putting mine in the fridge overnight.
I really liked the way these cacao covered almonds came out. They have that distinct Cacao Nib flavor, but the cinnamon really helps to counteract the bitterness. They were a nice change of pace from regular almonds and are a lot of fun to make. Do not go into this thinking they will taste like the chocolate covered almonds you can buy at the grocery store because they do not.
I am in no way a chef. I just like to play one in my kitchen from time to time and this was the result. There is probably a ton of ways to make these recipes even tastier and I would love to hear about them. Next time I might try using chocolate protein powder instead of the cacao. Do not be afraid to experiment in the kitchen!