Almond Bliss Bites -- vegan, gluten-free, easily made raw (inspired by Almond Joy)
Author: 
Recipe type: vegan, gluten-free, easily made raw
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: makes about 24-30 bites
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (6oz) whole raw almonds
  • 1 cup, rounded (5oz) pitted medjule dates
  • ½ cup (4.5oz) creamy almond butter (preferably unsweetened)
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2-3 drops almond extract
  • 2-3 drops coconut extract
  • Toasted coconut flakes, for garnish (preferably unsweetened)
  • pinch of salt (optional, omit if your almond butter is salty enough)
For the chocolate drizzle:
  • 2 TBSP coconut oil, melted
  • 2 TBSP pure maple syrup
  • 2 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder, or raw cacao powder
Instructions
  1. Begin by soaking the dates in just enough water to cover them. Soak for at least 1 hour, or up to 2, then drain thoroughly.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the almonds until finely chopped. Add the dates, and blend until well chopped. Add the almond butter, extracts, and a small pinch of salt, and blend until everything comes together.
  3. If the mixture seems dry or crumbly, you can add a few drops of water to help bind it together. If it's super soft and sticky (too much so to roll easily) you can refrigerate the dough and dampen your hands for easier rolling. (The consistency will vary due to how moist the dates are -- future batches can be adjusted by soaking the dates more or less before blending. I like to keep these on the firmer side so they are easy to take with me in a baggie in my purse, but softer ones are still delicious, and can be kept in the freezer for a firmer consistency if you wish.)
  4. Roll the mixture into balls (I made about two dozen balls, about the size of walnuts -- you can make yours larger or smaller) and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
For the chocolate:
  1. In a small bowl, melt together the coconut oil and maple syrup. Make sure this mixture is nice and warm, then add the cocoa powder and stir until smooth. Be sure to mix the chocolate up right when you're ready to use it, as it's difficult to re-warm without breaking.
  2. Drizzle the chocolate over the almond balls. You can do this with a spoon, but I found it easier to pour the chocolate into the corner of a small baggie, and snip off the corner to "pipe" the chocolate.
  3. While the chocolate is wet, sprinkle toasted coconut flakes on top. Allow to cool until the chocolate has set up, or place in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes.
  4. Balls will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for up to a couple of weeks, or can be stored in the fridge or freezer.
Notes
There are two kinds of coconut oil out there. Refined, and virgin. Refined coconut oil has no coconut flavor, while virgin coconut oil does. For this recipe I used virgin coconut oil, to help add just a hint more coconut flavor to the chocolate drizzle.

To make these bites raw, be sure to use a raw almond butter, or make your own by processing extra almonds until completely smooth. Oh, and leave the coconut un-toasted.

To toast your own coconut flakes: spread unsweetened shredded coconut on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake at 350 for 2 - 5 minutes. Stir once or twice if they are browning unevenly, then remove from the oven and allow to cool. Store in an airtight container or baggie at room temperature.
Recipe by Will Cook For Friends at https://www.willcookforfriends.com/2017/01/almond-bliss-bites-vegan-gluten-free.html