Chocolate Chip Shortbread with Dark Chocolate and Coconut Oil – V, GF

chocolate-chip-shortbread with coconut oil

Well, it’s Valentine’s Day! This is a day to celebrate love, in all its forms. Love for your family, your friends, your pets, your lover, your garden, your home, and above all, yourself. Today is a good day to give yourself a little extra care. Maybe an epsom salt bath, maybe a special nourishing dinner, maybe an extra square of dark chocolate.

And you all know how I love my luxurious dark chocolate. The flavour of these cookies comes primarily from the chocolate, so please feel free to excite your palate with the 72%, 75%, 80% dark chocolate you’ve been eyeing for some time now but haven’t purchased for yourself. Now is the time.

chocolate-chip-shortbread with coconut oil

Because this shortbread uses coconut oil as the main fat, the cookies are more crunchy than crumbly. If you used Earth Balance or similar vegan butter, or a grass-fed dairy butter, I imagine you would get a feel more similar to classic shortbread. That being said, coconut oil is a wonderful, energizing, healthy fat, so I can sacrifice a little texture to get some more of that healthy fat in.

If you want a few other colours, feel free to add pistachios, dried cranberries, or maybe even some orange zest. Wow. That combo would be amazing (mental note for a future recipe).

chocolate-chip-shortbread-with coconut oil

If you’re looking for a nice meditation for the day, I used this solar plexus chakra meditation from Cauldrons and Cupcakes. The solar plexus chakra is your third chakra, and it’s where your will, self-esteem, and self-identity reside. It’s a great focus point for when you’re asking questions about what you need/want. And, this meditation particular is awesome for taking 10 minutes to ask yourself: what is best for me right now?

So happy love day! Feel all that positive energy floating around and let it boost you up.

Chocolate Chip Shortbread with Dark Chocolate and Coconut Oil – v, gf

  • Author: Recipe from Unconventional Baker, with full credit given to the recipe found here here. Tweaks (and the addition of chocolate) by Emily Joldersma, R.H.N.
  • Recipe Notes: dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, softened (use refined coconut oil if you prefer cookies without a coconut taste)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup (room temperature)
  • 2 1/4 cups gluten-free flour blend (I used 1 3/4 cups white rice flour and 1/2 cup tapioca flour/starch)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt/Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup chopped dark chocolate PLUS 1/2 cup dark chocolate (for melting and dipping).

Instructions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Beat softened coconut oil until smooth.
  3. Add maple syrup, vanilla extract, and salt and beat until combined. Scrape down the bowl.
  4. Stir in the gluten-free flour, ground cinnamon, and chopped dark chocolate, and mix until fully combined (the dough should moist, so that when you press it together it holds in a ball shape).
  5. Pour dough out onto counter (sprinkled with gluten-free flour to prevent the dough from sticking) and place some wax paper over the dough.
  6. Roll out the dough until it is your preferred thickness. and cut out shapes with heart cookie cutter (or whatever cutter you have on hand and want to use).
  7. Place cookies on baking sheet and chill briefly in fridge or freezer, for about 5 minutes.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned on bottom of cookie.
  9. While cookies are cooling, prepare chocolate for dipping. In a double boiler, melt chocolate until liquid and smooth. Individually dip cookies and place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper or silicon.
  10. Chill in the fridge until firm. The cookies can be kept in the fridge or at room temperature, though note that the chocolate will be most crisp (because it wasn’t tempered when melting) if stored in the fridge.
  11. Enjoy and share the love!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

© Eat Well, Live Vibrantly


Easy Dark Chocolate & Almond Butter Cups (vegan, gluten-free)

Sweets for the sweet!

Dark Chocolate & Almond Butter Cups

I could probably just leave it at that, but I’ve never been that good at brevity, so let me add that these dark chocolate almond butter cups are everything you might want in a special treat: cinnamon-y, chocolate-y, nutty, a touch salty. Are visions of sugarplums dancing in your head? They should be. These aren’t exactly the neatest of kitchen experiments, but you just have to embrace the mess, and recognize that the drips and drizzles are part of what make these a loving handcrafted treat – perhaps a gift for someone special for Valentine’s Day, or perhaps a gift for yourself (since you are someone special too).

Dark Chocolate & Almond Butter CupsThe premise is simple: pour some melted chocolate into the bottom of a silicone or paper-lined mini-muffin tin, spoon some almond butter filling in once the chocolate has firmed a little, and then spoon some more melted chocolate on top. Then, sprinkle with some sea salt. Once firm (using the chilling benefits of either your local fridge or freezer), pop them out, and you’re done!

Easy Dark Chocolate & Almond Butter Cups

  • Dark Chocolate & Almond Butter Cups200 g dark chocolate (if you run short, you can melt more; if you have too much, just let it cool and you have hard chocolate again)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup natural almond butter
  • 1/4 cup light or regular coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp coarse sea salt

Instructions:

  1. Melt dark chocolate over a double boiler (or some kind of approximation, like a metal bowl that sits atop a pot of boiling water).
  2. Once chocolate is melted, gently stir in ground cinnamon.
  3. Fill silicone mini muffin tin with muffin liners or leave empty, depending on your preference for ruffled or smooth edges. Place on top of a baking sheet, for easy transport.
  4. Once melted, pour some chocolate into each muffin space, and gently brush or swirl up around the edges. If the chocolate is too warm, let cool briefly and then do the swirl. You might have to brush the chocolate up the edges more than once, to ensure a thick enough chocolate encasement. Place in the fridge to firm up. Ensure you have enough melted chocolate leftover for the tops.Dark Chocolate & Almond Butter Cups
  5. While chocolate is firming, whisk coconut milk and vanilla extract into almond butter until smooth. If you prefer a firmer filling, use slightly less coconut milk.
  6. Plop a small spoonful of filling into each chocolate-filled muffin liner.
  7. Tap the baking sheet a few times on the counter to help the filling settle a bit.
  8. Top muffin liners with remaining melted dark chocolate and tap the muffin tin again. If you see some filling oozing out, who cares? It adds to the handcrafted charm.
  9. Sprinkle sea salt on top, or, let firm slightly, and then add sea salt. Fling it about with the air of a grand chocolateur, which basically you now are.
  10. Once fully firm (in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or overnight), pop out of the silicone pan and tra la, you have beautiful chocolate cups with almond butter filling!
  11. Enjoy, especially with a good cup of tea.

Dark Chocolate & Almond Butter Cups