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Almond Strawberry Bites dipped in Carob or Chocolate | GF

These sweet and tender Almond Strawberry Bites dipped in carob or chocolate will make anyone sit up and take notice, a truly fantastic treat for Valentine’s Day.

Ingredients

Scale

Almond Cookie Base:

  • 1 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 3 tablespoons natural cane sugar
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil (refined)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)

Strawberry Filling:

  • 10 oz. frozen strawberries
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup or natural cane sugar
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons tapioca starch combined with an equal amount of cold water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Carob or Chocolate:

  • 1 1/2 cup carob chips or melting vegan chocolate
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil (see note)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Combine the almond flour, sugar, and salt in a medium-size bowl. Add the coconut oil and mix thoroughly with a fork until it resembles a sand like consistency.
  • Line a 9X9 inch square baking pan with parchment paper by making a diagonal cut in each corner. This makes it easier to get the parchment paper into the corners of the pan.
  • Add the almond cookie crumbles to the parchment-lined pan and even the dough out as much as possible. Next, press the dough firmly into the pan. This will ensure that the cookie stays together.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes or until slightly golden brown around the edges. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

Strawberry Filling:

  • In a medium-size saucepan, add frozen strawberries and maple syrup. Let it simmer on medium heat until strawberries are soft. Remove from heat, and add to a blender. Blend on low for a few seconds, leaving some texture. Return to saucepan and add vanilla. In a separate bowl, make a slurry of tapioca flour and cold water. When thoroughly combined, add the slurry to the simmering strawberry mixture and stir until thick and gooey.   Remove from heat, but let sit in the saucepan to cool.
  • When the almond cookie is cooled, top with the cooled strawberry filling and smooth it out as much as possible. Cover with foil or plastic wrap and place in the freezer for several hours or overnight.

Preparing the Carob or Chocolate:

  • In a medium-size saucepan, add about 1-2 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Next, place a glass mixing bowl or another pot on top of the saucepan. Add the carob/chocolate and coconut oil to the glass bowl or pan and stir while the carob/chocolate melts. It should be a smooth, glossy, runny consistency.

Assembling the Almond Strawberry Bites:

  • Remove the almond cookie strawberry filling pan from the freezer. Remove from pan by lifting the corners of the parchment paper carefully.
  • Next, cut the almond strawberry cookie into bite-size pieces with a very sharp knife. Dip the frozen bites in melted carob/chocolate and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. It is important that the bites are frozen to make this process easier. Return to the freezer for a few minutes to set. It is now ready to serve.

Notes

  • For an extra fancy look, add some melted, slightly cooled, carob/chocolate mixture to a piping bag (or plastic bag), cut a small hole, and pipe a few lines across half the cookie bite. Add a few sprinkles to the top of the lines. This looks festive and holds the sprinkles in place.
  • Using a small amount of coconut oil when melting the carob/chocolate is very useful to its consistency, but you can easily get too much, and the carob/chocolate becomes soft and more difficult to work with.  So if you need to add more coconut oil to get the right consistency, add 1/4 teaspoon at a time.
  • What is Carob? Carob is often used to replace chocolate with a caffeine-free and naturally sweeter option. You can buy it as a powder, chips, and even as bars. Carob has a unique taste, and for some, it may take some getting used to, but many people appreciate this caffeine-free and theobromine-free alternative. The Australian Carob Company “Aussie” is probably my favorite brand of carob.
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