Dark Chocolate Cranberry Walnut Bites

By Sally Cameron on February 08, 2016

Dessert, Gluten-Free, Holiday Dishes, the daniel plan, Vegan, Vegetarian

Dark chocolate cranberry walnut bites: everyone goes crazy over them, and they are so easy to make with no baking involved. Even a sweet treat can be healthy, and frankly necessary if you are a chocolate lover. Eating healthy is about abundance, not deprivation.

Chocolate Cranberry Bites |AFoodCentricLife.com

Dark Chocolate Cranberry Walnut Bites

Here is a favorite recipe I created for The Daniel Plan Cookbook (published by Zondervan). Melt chocolate drizzled into mini 2″ paper baking cups, layer with the other goodies, and cool until they harden. You will have 8 bite-sized little treats for 4 people, and the recipe doubles or triples easily. It’s sort of like chocolate bark but in a mini cupcake paper. A mini cupcake pan gives the paper cups support. Don’t like walnuts? Use almonds or macadamia nuts.

Daniel Plan Rally 2016

A few weeks ago I made a batch of these chocolate cranberry bites for the January 2016 Daniel Plan rally to show the audience. I packaged a couple up in little cellophane bags and tied them with a ribbon as a Valentines Day treat suggestion.  They disappeared quickly on stage as my fellow speakers got a hold of them. Being chocolate lovers, I think Dr. Daniel Amen and Tana Amen now love me.

Chocolate Cranberry Bites|AFoodCentricLife.com

The Happy Chemistry of Chocolate

it not only smells great, tastes great and melts in our mouths, but the chemistry of chocolate is fascinating. The reason we love it and it makes us happy is a chemical called PEA. PEA is a chemical produced naturally in our brain. It is also present in relatively high concentrations in chocolate.

In the brain, PEA acts as a stimulant, increasing the actions of the neurotransmitter dopamine and leading to an elevated mood and feelings of pleasure. So now you know why chocolate makes us happy. For more info on the chemistry of chocolate, read this article.

Two Ways to Melt Chocolate

For these chocolate cranberry bites, choose a good quality dark, bittersweet chocolate of 70% – 72%. Valhrona is a good brand, available at stores like Trader Joes. Other good ones are I love Theo organic, Hu and Green and Black.

Here are two easy ways to melt chocolate:

  • To melt chocolate in the microwave, place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave using 50% power for 1 minute. Remove and stir. Continue in 30 second increments until chocolate is mostly melted. It’s ready when there are still a few lumps. They will smooth out as you stir. Do not overheat or the chocolate could burn.
  • To melt chocolate in a double boiler, place a small pan with a few inches of water over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Turn heat to low and place a small bowl with the chocolate over the hot water. The bowl should sit on top and barely into the pan, but not touch the hot water. Stir occasionally, until chocolate melts smooth.
Chocolate Cranberry Bites|AFoodCentricLife.com
Chocolate Cranberry Bites|AFoodCentricLife.com
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5 from 1 vote

Dark Chocolate Cranberry Walnut Bites

Made with 70% bittersweet chocolate, these bite-sized chews have walnuts and coconut along with dried cranberries. Portion controlled in mini 2” paper baking cups, each bite has about ½ ounce of chocolate. No cooking required. Use good quality 70% – 85% chocolate for the best flavor. If you don't like walnuts, use another nut.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword bites, Chocolate, Cranberry
Servings 8 1 per person
Calories 130kcal

Equipment

  • mini muffin pan
  • mini paper liners for muffin pan

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces good quality 70% bittersweet chocolate
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped unsweetened coconut

Instructions

  • Chop the chocolate into small pieces. Use a serrated knife, bread knife or a large heavy chefs knife. Melt chocolate in either the microwave or a double boiler on the stove.
  • To melt chocolate in the microwave, place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave using 50% power for 1 minute. Remove and stir. Continue in 30 second increments until chocolate is mostly melted. It’s ready when there are still a few lumps. They will smooth out as you stir. Do not overheat or chocolate could burn.
  • To melt chocolate in a double boiler, place a small pan with a few inches of water over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Turn heat to low and place a small bowl with the chocolate over the hot water. The bowl should sit on top and barely into the pan, but not touch the hot water. Stir occasionally, until chocolate melts smooth.
  • Place 8 paper cups on a flat plate, rimmed baking sheet or into a mini cupcake pan for support. Drizzle in 1 teaspoon of melted chocolate, then top with a sprinkle of nuts, coconut and a few dried cranberries. Drizzle with another teaspoon melted chocolate, and sprinkle with a bit more nuts and coconut. Refrigerate about 45 minutes to set up or until they are firm.

Notes

Note – Mini paper baking cups can be found at cooking stores, Target, and in the baking section of craft stores.

Nutrition

Calories: 130kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 108mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 8IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg
2 Comments
  1. Denise - February 9th, 2016

    yummy. I will try it on the right weekend. guess when.

  2. Hari Chandana - February 24th, 2016

    Beautiful! 🙂

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