Oh. My. Goodness. You know how some foods sound really good, but they taste even better? These are like that.
I was inspired by an almond butter I saw once in the store, but then decided to use cashews instead of almonds. Now I feel like it owe it to myself to go back and try these again with almonds.
Technique-wise, there's nothing too crazy going on here, but there is some special equipment, like a pastry brush and a food processor that you'll need. You may be able to get by without the pastry brush, but please don't try making cashew butter without a good food processor. This beast is the one I have and love. If you don't have a food processor, buy the most delicious sounding nut butter you can find in the store and use that instead.
Vanilla Bean Espresso Cashew Butter Cups
Yield: 18 cups
1 cup raw cashews
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon coconut oil, refined to avoid coconut flavor
3/4 teaspoons espresso ground coffee, or espresso powder
1/8 teaspoon vanilla beans seeds, or seeds from one vanilla bean
10-ounce bittersweet chocolate chips
Line 18 muffin tins with paper muffin liners.
In a large food processor fitted with the metal blade, process the cashews for 30 seconds. Add the honey, coconut oil, coffee, and vanilla bean seeds. Continue processing and scraping down the sides of the container periodically until the cashews form a thick smooth dough. You'll know it's ready if you can pick up piece and easily roll it into a ball.
Place chocolate chips in a glass bowl and set over a pot of simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted and remove from heat.
Drop 1 teaspoon of melted chocolate into the bottom of the paper liners and spread it slightly up the sides of the paper with a pastry brush. If you don't have a pastry brush, you may be able to tip the chocolate up around the edges of the liners.
Once you have filled all 18 liners, place the pan in the freezer for 5 minutes to allow the chocolate to harden.
Roll and teaspoon-sized ball of the cashew butter between your hands and flatten into a disc that will fit into the hardened chocolate (see image above). Fill each cup this way and return to the freezer for an additional 5 minutes.
Remelt the chocolate if it has thickened and pour 1-1 1/2 teaspoons of chocolate over the cashew butter discs, using the back of a spoon to spread the chocolate out to the edges to seal in the cashew butter.
Return to the freezer to set for another 5 minutes.
Store in a covered container in the fridge or freezer.
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