Almond Butter & Jelly Cups / by Chelsea Zwieg

Happy Monday! I always feel kind of bad when I pretend to sympathize with people and their utterly depressing Monday complaints. Mondays are always my day off after a long and crazy weekend of working, so they're really more like Saturdays for me. But don't get too jealous. While the rest of the world is kicking back on Friday, I'm starting the three busiest days of the week at the bakery. But really, I bake cakes for a living, so am I complaining even a little? No. No I am not. But in an effort to make your Monday as happy as it can be, I recommend that you pick up some chocolate and almond butter on the way home from work and make these little cups of deliciousness tonight. 

As far as desserts go, it really doesn't get much easier than this. Picture a Reese's peanut butter cup but put in some almond butter instead of peanut butter, dark chocolate instead of whatever is normally in them and a little bit of jelly because, just trust me on this, you need it in there. 15 minutes later, you have homemade candy to last your for the week. Or the night. Depends on how hungry you are. 

These can be made with any nut butter you have or any jelly, which means endless candy combinations coming at you all day every day. Cashew butter, peanut butter, nutella, strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, get the picture. As for the chocolate, I think dark chocolate should be a non-negotiable choice in any situation in life, but I won't judge too hard if you want to to use milk or white chocolate. Or you could double/triple the batch and use all three chocolates. Of course that would leave you with 72 almond butter cups, but that doesn't sound like too much of a hardship to me. 

Almond Butter and Jelly Cups

Makes 24 cups

| Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup seedless raspberry preserves (or your favorite jam/jelly) 
  • 12 oz. dark chocolate (I used Ghiradelli melting wafers, which are nice because it melts down really thin which helps make the tops nice and smooth. But any good chocolate will do.) 

| Instructions

  • In a small bowl, mix together the almond butter and powdered sugar. Since the consistency of almond butter varies so much by brand, you might need more or less than 1/4 cup. What you want is for the almond butter to just be able to be rolled into a ball and retain it's shape without sticking to your fingers or flattening out. 
  • Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl until smooth. Stir it every 30 seconds or so while microwaving it, to make sure it doesn't burn. 
  • Line a mini muffin tin with paper liners. Spoon a little bit of chocolate into the bottom of each cup, just enough to cover the bottom. I found it was easier to spoon a little bit into each and then tap the pan on the counter to spread it around rather than trying to smooth it with a spoon. Place the pan in the freezer for 5 minutes, until the chocolate is firm. 
  • Shape the almond butter into small balls and place in the center of each cup on top of the hardened chocolate. Make sure the ball is small enough that it does not touch the sides of the paper. Spoon a little bit of jam on top of each almond butter ball. 
  • Pour the remaining chocolate into each cup, making sure that it covers and surrounds the almond butter in the center. Gently tap the pan against the counter again to settle the chocolate into a smooth layer. If there is a middle bump in any cup from the almond butter, add more chocolate and tap until smooth. Place the pan in the freezer for 10 minutes, until the chocolate is set.