Marzipan Maca Hibiscus Cups

These Marzipan Maca Hibiscus Cups are utterly delightful!  They are naturally vegan and are fairly simple to make.  I made the marzipan by blending blanched almonds, coconut sugar and almond extract with a little maca.   They have a perfectly balanced flavor with a subtle sweetness to them. The maca adds a wonderful lift to your energy while the hibiscus adds a tangy citrus quality that also provides antioxidants.

Marzipan Maca Hibiscus Cups This has been a fantastic spring month of new beginnings thus far!  The rain has stopped, the flowers have sprung up and it was Robby’s and my two-year anniversary on the 18th.  On our anniversary day, we had a leisurely day around the house and then a wonderful dinner at one of our favorite restaurants “East End Gastropub”.  It was a perfectly simple evening!

Another great surprise that occurred this month was that one of our friends Antonia moved to Santa Cruz.  Antonia and Robby met each other as kids a couple years before I entered the scene.  We were a group of 8 that hung out together as teenagers.  This has been a wonderful gift from the universe for me.  While I do have some great girlfriends here, it is difficult to connect because they either live a little too far or they are busy with kids.  I have been asking the universe for a friend to spend some girl time with where we can inspire each other.  My prayers were literally answered.  I love it when that happens!

Marzipan Maca Hibiscus Cups This month, I also started adding maca to my morning coffee and boy does it give me an extra boost.  I am loving it!  There are a few types of maca. There is black, red, yellow and gelatinized.  I have been hooked on the yellow maca, which is great for boosting energy and concentration while it also helps to balance hormones.

These cups will satisfy your sweet tooth while boosting your energy.  What’s not to love?

Marzipan Maca Hibiscus Cups The delightful cups pair nicely with a dessert wine, port or a Cabernet Sauvignon.

Marzipan Maca Hibiscus Cups Maca Hibiscus Marzipan Cups Recipe:

20 cups

Marzipan
  • 2 1/2 Cup Raw Almonds – blanched – recipe below
  • 1 1/3 Cup Coconut Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Almond Extract
  • 2 Teaspoons Yellow Maca Powder
Chocolate
  • 100 g or 1/2 Cup Grated Cacao Butter
  • 50 g or 1/4 Cup Grated Cacao Paste – divided
  • 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
  • 1/3 Cup Cacao or Cocoa Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Coconut Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Yellow Maca Powder
Garnish
  • 3 Tablespoons Hibiscus Flowers – powdered
Blanched Almonds
Bring about 4 – 5 cups of filtered water to a boil.  Once boiling, add the almonds and put on a timer for 55 seconds.  Immediately dump into a colander and let cool.  Peel the skins off the almonds and place on a paper or kitchen towel to dry.  Do not overcook or they will become bitter.
Immediately dump into a colander and let cool.  Peel the skins off the almonds and place on a paper or kitchen towel to dry.  Do not overcook or they will become bitter.
Chocolate
In a small double boiler or a glass or ceramic bowl fit snug over a small saucepan of water, add the cacao butter, half of the cacao paste and maple syrup on medium-low heat until it is completely melted.  Take off the heat and stir in the rest of the cacao paste until melted. Next, stir in the cacao powder,
Take off the heat and stir in the rest of the cacao paste until melted. Next, stir in the cacao powder, maca and coconut sugar. (Make sure no water gets into the chocolate or it will seize up!)
Marzipan

Place the dry almonds in a food processor and pulse it a bunch of times to break them up evenly, then turn it on until it turns to a fine crumb.

 Add in the coconut sugar and maca, then turn the processor on and slowly add in the almond extract.  Make sure and scrape the sides and bottom.  Sometimes the extract will stay on the bottom.  Pulse until it starts to stick together.

 Scoop out the marzipan with a measuring tablespoon and firmly press it into the spoon while making it level.  Scoop it out of the measuring spoon with a spoon or your fingers.  Shape into 20 discs a little smaller than the molds or liners and set aside on a plate.

Assemble

First, grind the hibiscus flowers in a coffee or spice grinder to a fine powder.  Set aside

There are two ways you can do this.
*This way does take a little practice.  I use
I use plastic molds that are made for cups and a round pastry brush.
Swirl the pastry brush around the chocolate to load up the brush.  Swirl the chocolate around the cup molds starting on the bottom and swirling up the sides.  Put into the freezer.
 I do this one or two more times to make sure there are no thin spots.  The sides is the toughest part.
 Drop the marzipan discs into the bottom and press down.  Top with chocolate and smooth it out with a rubber spatula.  Sprinkle on the hibiscus powder.
 Place back into the freezer until completely hard.  You can tell if they are ready by looking at the bottom to see if it is dark brown or if it has lifted.  It will be cloudy looking.  Turn them over and pop them out onto a plate.  You can either use kitchen shears to trim up the edges or carefuly use a pairing knife.
Or
Spread out 18 – 20 cup liners on a baking sheet.  Pour in about 1 1/2 teaspoons of chocolate into cupcake liners to cover the bottom and then spread the chocolate around with a spoon.
Drop the marzipan discs into the liners and making sure to leave room for the chocolate to spread around the edges of the marzipan.  Drizzle about a half teaspoon over the top of the marzipan or until it is covered.  Spread the chocolate around and sprinkle on the hibiscus powder.
Place back into the freezer until the chocolate completely hard.
 Health benefits:

Almonds reduce cholesterol, heart diseases and help to regulate blood pressure.  They also help keep the bones strong preventing osteoporosis. They have a high content of Vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant and helps strengthen the immune system.  They are very high in protein. Almonds have important fatty acids, linoleic and linolenic acids that help reduce inflammation in the body. Almonds protect against diabetes by helping to reduce the rise in glucose and insulin levels after meals.  They are high in fiber helping to prevent constipation and colon cancer.  They help maintain brain help reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s. They also improve the skin’s complexion and health.

Hibiscus Flowers is a simple way to increase your antioxidant intake due to the high vitamin C content.  The antioxidant properties can help reverse the inflammatory process in your body and has the ability to lower high blood pressure.  It protects against chronic disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and cancer.  It helps lower “bad” LDL cholesterol from the body, therefore it helps protect against heart disease and blood vessels from damage.

Triple Chocolate Cookies

These Triple Chocolate Cookies are a chocolate lovers dream come true!!  They are filled with chocolaty goodness from cocoa powder, melted chocolate in the mix along with the bittersweet and semisweet chocolate chunks and chips.  It’s an insanely satisfying chocolate party for the mouth!

Triple Chocolate Cookies Many years ago I was obsessed with a triple chocolate cookie from a restaurant I use to frequent in Portland Oregon.  After I opened my own restaurant, I was on a mission to recreate their cookie.  I persisted on for some time trying to get it right by trial and error but I mostly ended up on the error side.  Finally, I had the breakthrough that I was looking for and the cookie ended up being one of my best sellers.  Unfortunately when I sold the restaurant, I gave the new owner all of my recipes thinking that I wanted nothing to do with them ever again.  Boy was I wrong! I sure wish I still had all those recipes.

I have been on a mission once again to recreate that triple chocolate cookie.  However, this time, I wanted to recreate them using whole wheat flour and no eggs or cane sugar.  Mission accomplished!  These cookies are out of this world and exactly how I envisioned them!

Triple Chocolate Cookies Last Monday was Labor Day and my birthday.  It’s always extra special for me when my birthday falls on Labor Day because I was actually born on Labor Day and that only happens every seven years. Haha!  I have to say that this was one of my best birthdays to date!  I celebrated it on the beach with a nice potluck, some bubbly and wine with some of my favorite people!

Triple Chocolate Cookies I am not much of a cake person so I had planned on bringing these cookies but I ended up eating most of them before the party.  Whoops!  So, I made a new batch of chocolate chip cookies with a slight twist that I adapted from this recipe and they were a huge hit!  I will post them in the near future, promise!

Triple Chocolate Cookies Triple Chocolate Cookies Recipe:

These Triple Chocolate Cookies are filled with chocolaty goodness from cocoa powder, melted chocolate in the mix along with the bittersweet and semisweet chocolate chunks and chips.

Approx. 18 cookies
  •  1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds – ground
  • 1 1/4 Cups Whole Wheat Pastry
  • 1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder – unsweetened
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 cup Butter – salted – softened
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 Cup (30z.) 70% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate – (from a bar) roughly chopped
  • 1 Cup (6 oz.) Semisweet Chocolate Chips – divided into two 1/2 cups
Instructions:
Dough
Grind 1 tablespoon of chia seeds in a coffee grinder and add to a medium mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and mix well.
In a large mixing bowl, or in a mixer with paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until combined, then mix in maple syrup.  In a double-boiler, melt 1/2 cup of the semi-sweet chocolate chips over medium-low heat.  (If you don’t have a double boiler you can place a heat proof bowl on top of a pan with water in it.  Make sure the bowl is bigger than the pan.)  When the chocolate is melted, add to the butter/sugar mix and mix until completely incorporated.  Add half the flour mix, mixing on low speed or by hand.  Mix in the rest of the flour.  Mix in the remaining chocolate chips and chunks.  I like to reserve enough chunks to press onto the top of each cookie, but that’s totally optional. 
Baking
Pre-heat the oven to 350°F,
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and scoop out 2 tablespoons per cookie. (I literally used a measuring spoon)  Form into discs.  Arrange with about 1 1/2 inches in between each cookie.
Bake for 9 to 11 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool completely, unless you’re like me and don’t care if it breaks because you want to eat a hot mess of decadent melty chocolate!
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