My whole childhood, I would wait in that profound patience only a truly convicted and passionate child can conjure up for Christmas — but not for the gifts. Yeah, I liked gifts (what kid doesn’t?) but my actual favourite part of Christmas was the craft shows.
Growing up in a small town, Christmas didn’t mean going to see The Nutcracker (even by a local dance studio — we actually didn’t have any dance studios in my childhood hometown). It didn’t mean seeing a choir perform the Messiah. It didn’t even really mean nice lights downtown (because Kasuskasing, Ontario’s “downtown” is a single street. A circular street). But anyone who’s grown up in a small, rural town knows the unadulterated joy of seasonal craft shows in a church basement.
Rarely would I ever actually walk away with anything, and my mother wouldn’t either. But if nothing else, it was worth it because of the homemade peanut butter cups and peanut butter balls.
As much as Little Me firmly believed that these peanut butter cups and balls were SO much better than Reese’s, I never asked my Mom if we could make them ourselves. My Mom’s never been much of a baker, and we were fine to leave the work up to the peanut butter professionals.
Why? Because I had all the ingredients, and I had the time.
Of course, I couldn’t just leave well enough alone and keep it simple. Instead of making peanut butter cups, I made peanut-butter-coconut-chia-cups. Welly well then. I’m just going to call them “chocolate crunchy cups.”
Raw chocolate crunch cups, makes 6 large cups or a dozen mini cups
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/4 cup brown rice syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Pinch of fine-grain sea salt
- 1/3 cup smooth peanut or almond butter
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
- 1 tbsp brown rice syrup
- Warm the coconut oil by submerging the jar in a large bowl or pot of hot water.
- Mix the cocoa powder, coconut oil and brown rice syrup, stirring to combine.
- Line a muffin tray with muffin papers. Pour about a tablespoon of the chocolate mixture onto the surface of each paper.
- Freeze for about 20 minutes.
- Mix the peanut butter mixture while the cups are freezing.
- Remove the tray from the freezer and spoon 1/6 of the peanut butter mixture onto the surface. Try to keep it from going too close to the edge.
- Pour the remainder of the chocolate mixture on each cup.
- Freeze for 90 minutes or overnight like I did. Keep these in the fridge or freezer — coconut oil chocolate tends to get really drippy.