Sunbutter Cups

Sorry guys – I’m decidedly behind on my blogging. I’m down to my last couple weeks (well, single week now!) here in Wellington, which means all I’ve been doing is lazing around, going out to eat, and very vaguely considering packing. I have not been productive in the least. But, in the interest of filling spare time and using up my ingredients, I have been baking quite a bit. So I promise I will sit down, edit some photos, and get back on my weekly blogging. Starting with some nice no-bake sweets.

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I first made these a few years ago for my college dorm’s big end-of-term party, Wine & Cheese. This is a decades-old tradition – twice a year, all the members of the house would cook a bunch of hors d’oeuvres and desserts, buy some niceish booze, and invite their favorite alumni and professors to come over and hang out. At the time, I lived with a number of people with Celiac disease, and so I decided I’d make some gluten-free sweets on their behalf. I was initially going to make classic peanut butter cups, but having recently discovered the wonders of sun(flower seed) butter, I decided to use that instead. These would be tasty with peanut butter, as well, but the sunbutter makes them extra special.

Sunbutter has become quite widely available in the US because it’s such a great alternative for people with peanut or tree nut allergies. But you can even make your own sunbutter fairly easily – just roast some sunflower seeds and grind them up in a food processor for about 15-20 minutes. I like to add some oil, honey, and salt, but it’s all up to you. For a good tutorial, try this one at Pretty Prudent.

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Sunbutter Cups
(Adapted from Coconut & Lime.)

5 ounces dark chocolate
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup sunflower seed butter
1/2 tablespoon butter
sea salt

1. Line a mini-muffin tin with paper cups.

2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine sunbutter and confectioners’ sugar with an electric mixer. Set aside.

3. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double-boiler. Let cool for about 5 minutes before using.

4. Place 1 teaspoon of the melted chocolate in the bottom of each cupcake cup. Using a butter knife, spread a thin layer up the side of the cups. You basically want a small chocolate well in each cup.

5. Form the sunbutter mixture into 1/2 tablespoon balls. Flatten slightly and place in each chocolate well. Top with another teaspoon or so of the melted chocolate. Let cool a couple of minutes. Sprinkle with a small pinch of sea salt and chill or set aside until set.

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