Long Island Parent Talk

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A healthy holiday treat: Chocolate and peanut butter cups

Homemade healthy chocolate-peanut butter cups. (Nov. 20, 2012)

Homemade healthy chocolate-peanut butter cups. (Nov. 20, 2012) (Credit: Newdsay / Leema Thomas)

I have a penchant for turning sinfully delicious (aka sugar- and fat-laden) snacks and desserts to healthy treats. I substitute whole wheat flour for all-purpose flour, apple sauce for oil and honey for sugar, for instance, much to my kids’ chagrin. Often they’ll turn up their noses in disgust, like they did at my homemade pumpkin butter concoction, and cry out, “Can’t you just buy us the real stuff.”

Here’s one treat — chocolate and peanut butter cups — that incorporates my favorite food, chocolate, and is healthier than Reese’s Miniature Peanut Butter Cups. It’s more on the bittersweet side (hence healthier) but it’s kid-tested and approved and you can make it in a jiffy.

Instead of butter I use virgin coconut oil, which has gotten a bad rap but also has been touted for its medicinal properties, according to livestrong.com and food coaches. I also use honey for its immune-boosting properties.

Ingredients

3 foil cupcake liners
2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil (or butter)
5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon honey (you can add more for a sweeter treat)
Pinch of cinnamon
Chopped nuts (optional)
Yields: 3 chocolate-peanut butter cups

Melt coconut oil in a bowl in microwave. Stir in cocoa powder. Add peanut butter, honey, cinnamon and stir until smooth. (You can add more or less oil/butter, cocoa powder, peanut butter or honey as long as mixture has a smooth consistency.) Pour mixture halfway in three foil cupcake liners. Sprinkle with chopped nuts. Place cupcake tray in freezer for about 15 minutes, until mixture is set. Take out of freezer and if your kids are like mine, they’ll devour the peanut butter cups within seconds.

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