How is it already Halloween? This year has truly been one of the fastest of my life – Zack pointed out the other day that since this time last year, I’ve gotten my book deal, we’ve moved back to New York (Brooklyn, this time, baby!), and we’ve gotten married. It’s slightly surreal but also amazing, the clock-dial-spinning feeling of your life zooming by, but only because every moment is so damn good. The good news is, the Halloween tradition is back! Last year, the lovely Brittany from Eating Bird Food and I teamed up to make Healthy Twix Bars and Healthy Mounds Bars (oy, I cringe to see how far my food photography has come! Don’t judge me – the recipe is still delicious!). This year, we’re getting even more ghoulishly out there, with bloody delicious (see what I did there?) Peanut Butter & Jelly Cups, invented by Lara from Vanillacrunnch.
Lara’s a photographer, traveler, designer, practicing yogi, and computer geek from Switzerland. I first became aware of Lara through her inspirational Instagram account. I love her no-bullshit attitude and her delicious, healthy treats – these vegan, antioxidant and protein-packed PB&J cups are no exception. Here’s what she has to say:
I believe that it’s always the right time for a chocolate cake and that dancing is a daily necessity. I’m delighted to partner with Liz on this Halloween project. Even though where I come from we don’t actually celebrate Halloween (note from Liz: what’s up Switzerland? Let’s make this happen!), I can now just pretend, making awesome candy treats and blaming it on the holiday. I’ve always wanted to try making a chia seed jelly and I thought it would be perfect for Halloween, as it looks a little bloody, doesn’t it? Inspired by the traditional peanut butter jelly toast, I went for Bloody Peanut Butter & Jelly Cups, which are raw, vegan and gluten-free – plus, super easy to make.
After you bookmark or pin these, be sure to head over to Lara’s blog to check out the Pistachio Rose Chocolate Bark recipe I created! Also, tell me what you’re dressing up as for Halloween this year! Zack and I are embracing our geriatric side and going as leaf peepers, complete with plastic, drugstore orange and yellow foliage and big ol’ binoculars.
Chocolate Cup (see Note)
- 4 ounces cacao butter
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 + 2 tbsp cup raw cacao powder
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cup raspberries
- 1 1/2 cup strawberries, sliced
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tsp maple syrup
- 4 tbsp chia seeds
- a pinch of cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup nut or seed butter of choice
- Put all the ingredients in a heat-proof metal bowl, and melt the chocolate in a water bath. Heat gently and don’t over whisk. Remove from the pot and let slightly cool down before drizzling a very thin layer of chocolate in the bottom of each cup . Use a spoon to push the chocolate up the sides of the cup as well, before freezing until firm.
- For the chia jelly, heat the raspberries and strawberries in a saucepot until they get syrupy. Mash them with a potato masher and then add the lemon juice, maple syrup, vanilla extract and cinnamon. Pour the mixture over the chia seeds and stir until everything is well combined. Let sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before filling the cups.
- Place a small scoop of the jelly right in the center of the chocolate in each cup. Freeze again for 10 minutes. Place a small scoop of peanut butter over the jelly and then cover the cups with another layer of your molten chocolate mixture. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to set, then store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
For the chocolate shell, you can either decide to make it with cacao butter, coconut oil, raw cacao butter and maple syrup or you simply melt organic chocolate in a double boiler or microwave.