“There always seems to be someone looking over your shoulder – just waiting for an opportunity to lecture on The Darker Side of Chocolate” ~ Sandra Boynton, American artist and children’s author (1953 – )

We’ve all heard the ins and outs of whether chocolate is good for us, or not. High in added fats and sugar… but also there are the nutrients that almost make it sound like medicine — heart healthy antioxidants, Vitamin E, and flavonids, to name a few. In moderation, it can be a beautiful thing. Repeat the part about “in moderation” a few times before continuing on, because in a matter of seconds, we’re going to forget it.

One of the most memorable desserts I’ve ever had was the year my grandmother made chocolate cups filled with chocolate mousse for Easter. It was probably close to 50 years ago, but I still remember my sense of awe. And some things, no matter how modernized we become, cannot be improved upon.

When we make desserts ourselves, we have more control over the ingredients, freeing us to choose Fair Trade, Equal Exchange, and certified organic. Not many places you can find that outside of our own kitchens, is there?

These beauties are put together with mere minutes of effort, but they do require that they are made a little ahead of when you want to serve them. One of the reasons we particularly like making these with the SunSpire chocolate chips is because they get soft a lot faster than some other brand, so with the ice cream, they aren’t rock hard.

 

 

Chocolate Cups

For each serving:

2 tablespoon of SunSpire chocolate chips
1 scoop of ice cream (see below)
1 teaspoon of chocolate sauce
1 teaspoon chopped peanuts

Melt the chocolate in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds, until smooth. Pour into the bottom of a foil cupcake liner, and spread to completely coat the sides. Place in the freezer until hard, about 20 minutes. Gently remove the foil before filling.

Instead of foil cups, you can use candy molds designed especially for this purpose. They come in a variety of sizes and increase our options…

 

To make dessert preparation easier than Granny’s, we filled our chocolate cups with peanut butter ice cream, drizzled with chocolate syrup, and sprinkled with peanuts to make a peanut butter cup like you’ve never imagined. You can, of course, use your favorite prepared ice cream, but this one is non-dairy and will knock your socks off. It is worth hauling out the ice cream maker, or even borrowing one from the neighbor you know you’ll have to listen to complain about politics for 40 minutes. Yes, it is THAT good.

Perfect Peanut Butter Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Makes 1 quart

1 can organic coconut milk
½ cup Wholesome Organic Brown Sugar
1 cup organic peanut butter
1 ½ cups plain , unsweetened, or vanilla So Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons vodka (optional — helps keep the ice cream from freezing too hard)

Measure the canned coconut milk, brown sugar, and peanut butter into a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low, stirring frequently just until everything has melted and blended together. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining ingredients. Chill for at least 4 hours. Process in your ice cream maker as directed.

Party perfect!