almond butter blossoms

“Live in the moment!,” “Savor the moment!,”

“Yeah!” we all think to ourselves, “obviously that’s a great idea!” when we read these word in magazines and hear them from our friends.

Then we brush these words off and continue worrying about what’s for dinner, whether one of our friends might be mad at us, and the future in general, because, as humans that’s what we tend to do (I tend to do this a lot).

I recently read this article about a woman who is trying to sue her wedding videographer for a ridiculous amount of money because she hated her wedding video.  I watched the video and I couldn’t find anything offensive about it… but that’s totally beside the fact!  The fact is that she had a beautiful wedding and is now happily married.  Sweating the details of the video of it all totally killed the “happily ever after” vibe.  Instead of savoring the moments of her happy new life, she’s now preoccupied with a mega-lawsuit against her poor wedding videographer.

Speaking of weddings and such — today is Valentine’s Day, a totally perfect day to start living in the moment!  Personally, I think that the reason a lot of people hate Valentine’s Day is because they have totally unrealistic expectations.  The media has told us that today, we are going to get taken out to a fancy dinner,  someone will profess their love to us, we’ll receive heaps of cards in the mail, and eat buckets of chocolate and not feel sick.  Unrealistic? A little bit.  Unrealistic expectations are the antithesis of “savoring the moment.” If you keep waiting for what’s next, or keep wanting more, no matter how wonderful your day was, you will always feel dissatisfied and upset. 

Thus, instead of wondering why you didn’t receive two dozen roses today, why the cute guy who takes your bus route didn’t profess his love to you today, or why you feel sick after eating two heart shaped boxes of chocolate,  think about the love that you did experience today, no matter what it was.

Today, I felt lucky to be woken up by doggy-kisses from my dog Carly this morning. I was relieved that since today is Valentine’s Day, eating 20+ of those Dove chocolate hearts with the messages inside of them was totally acceptable.  I was really happy that I wore my rain boots today so I could stomp through puddles, instead of having to walk precariously around them like everyone else.  I savored the weather, as today was the first warm, sunny day in weeks.  I delighted in the serendipity of running into my dad on the street and joining him for a cookie on my way home. 

No stereotypical Valentine’s Day shenanigans going on here — just a really great day… with cookies!

melty chocolate… now that’s a moment I want to savor

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I made these almond butter blossoms with heart shaped chocolates instead of Hershey Kisses.  I know by now Valentine’s Day has come and gone, and you might think it’s silly of me to be posting a V-Day recipe this late.  But who said that heart shaped cookies are only for one day a year? Who said that today is the day to have a fancy dinner and send lots of cards to your friends and loved ones?  Who said today is the day you should be sent flowers?  This all seems super restrictive to me.  Today is just a day among many other days.  I think that sending flowers, eating heart-shaped chocolates, and telling those around you that you love them should not just be a once-a-year occasion. I’m for more flowers, more chocolate, more love, and more savoring the moment!  Who’s with me?

With love,
Erica

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup butter or shortening
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup white sugar (for rolling)
  • 1 9oz. bag Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Hearts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a large
bowl, cream together the butter, almond butter, brown sugar, and 1/2
cup white sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and stir
in the milk and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir
into the almond butter mixture until well blended. Shape tablespoonfuls
of dough into balls, and roll in remaining white sugar. Place cookies 2
inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for 10
to12 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove from oven, and immediately
press a chocolate heart into each cookie. Allow to cool completely; the chocolate  will harden as it cools.

© Cannella Vita. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission/linking back to Cannella Vita. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.

salted almond butter cups

I have a new (somewhat ambitious) goal.  I want to do something new every week.  Being in high school, I feel like I often get stuck  in the school/homework/procrastinating on the Internet rut. Don’t get me wrong, homework will still get done and there are way too many fun personality quizzes on the Internet to give them up entirely.  However, I really want to seize life by the horns, live to the fullest, and conquer my fears.  I have a lot of fun ideas of things I want to add to my “new things bucket list” — and I am extraordinarily excited to give this new project a try.

I love the idea of a bucket list to begin with — maybe I’ll publish one on this blog someday to hold myself accountable and see how many of the things on it I actually get done.  Simply writing my dreams down makes them come more alive.  I want to see a koala in real life and see the northern lights with my own eyes.  I want to attach a lock to a love bridge and go to la tomantina in Spain.  However, I’m not going to get a plane ticket to Australia or a tomato chucked at my face this week (hopefully).

Nonetheless, there are a lot of slightly less extravagant, yet exciting new things right in my own neighborhood.  Starting this week, I want to try something new every week — even if it’s as small as eating something that resembles a peanut butter cup.  This is a project that I want to continue for the rest of my life. Think about it — that means 52 new things a year! 156 new things before I turn 20!

Here’s to Day One of my 365 day adventure trying new things.  Today, I am going to eat something that resembles a peanut butter cup.

Now, you’re probably thinking “wow, this girl has really lost it now.” What’s so special about a peanut butter cup?  If you’ve been reading Cannella Vita for a while, you may have noticed that my blog is completely devoid of recipes with peanut butter.  It’s a little odd since every other baking blog on the planet has some sort of chocolate-peanut butter thingamabobber.

I’m a pretty adventurous eater, and am usually totally down to trying new things, but peanut butter makes me queasy.  I’ve always steered clear of it at all costs.  Once, after eating a peanut butter granola bar, I had hives for a week! Thus, never in my life have I tasted a peanut butter cup.

This is ironic because my dad is obsessed with peanut butter cups.  He will always happily take them from my bag of Halloween candy.

Obviously, I am not going to eat something that is going to give me hives for the rest of the week — however, I came up with an alternative so that I, too can experience the joy of peanut butter cups — almond butter cups!

These are mindbogglingly easy to make — and are a little more gourmet than a drugstore peanut butter cup thanks to the addition of maple syrup and a sprinkle of Maldon salt.

If you’re in need for some almond butter to try out — take a look at Barney Butter, it comes in all sorts of mind-blowing flavors like vannilla bean-espresso and cocoa-coconut!

What new thing will you try this week?

With love,
Erica

Salted Almond Butter Cups

Servings 12

Ingredients

  • 7 oz. dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. fine grain salt
  • sea salt flakes for topping

Instructions

  1. Place the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave for 1-2 minute intervals, stirring between, until completely melted.

  2. Line six muffin cups. Spoon about a teaspoon of melted chocolate into each cup.

  3. Mix the almond butter, syrup, powdered sugar, vanilla and salt together until smooth to make the filling. This mixture should be dough-like.


  4. Scoop out a tsp. of the almond butter mixture and gently roll it into a ball between your palms. Flatten it out a bit and place it on top of the thin chocolate puddle. Repeat so that there is an almond butter ball in each cup. 

  5. Spoon chocolate, about another tsp., on top of each almond butter ball to cover completely. Add a little pinch of flaked sea salt on each one and chill in the fridge to set.

© Cannella Vita. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission/linking back to Cannella Vita. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.