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Paleo Chocolate Chips – Vegan, Refined Sugar Free, and Delicious!

If you have food allergies or follow any sort of paleo, vegan or health-conscious diet, you understand just how sad grocery shopping can be. You just want that one specific item. Surely it can’t be that hard to make it without sugar and corn syrup and preservatives and emulsifiers? But alas, 10 minutes later, you’ve read every label on every brand in the aisle (ok scanned – let’s be honest, you couldn’t actually pronounce 75% of those words), only to learn that you can’t eat any of them.

You debate whether you should forgo it or just buy the brand that seems the cleanest. Either way, you walk away feeling frustrated. Most recently for me, that one has been chocolate chips. I just want to be able to make chocolate chip cookies and actually be able to eat them, dang it!

Of course, there are a couple brands that are pretty decent and allergen-friendly, but they all still contain some sort of sugar or an emulsifier that can be hard on digestion. I was really convinced they’d be fine, but many bad stomach aches later, I just accepted my chocolate chip-less fate.

But then I had an idea. I had been making my own chocolate sauce that was sweetened with maple syrup, and I’d even used it to make almond butter cups. So why couldn’t I use it to make my own chocolate chips?

I put it off for a while because I thought chocolate chips would be a lot of work. I even bought the stomach-ache inducing ones again because guys, never learn! I’m serious, sometimes I just don’t even know what’s wrong with me – it’s like there’s some evil gremlin in my brain who puts me to sleep and eats things that make me feel terrible, and then wakes me back up to endure the consequences. But that’s neither here nor there… The point is, I needed a solution and fast. I simply cannot be trusted in a world where the only chocolate chips are ones that I can’t eat.

So I gathered a few simple tools and set out on my new experiment. And boy did I prove myself wrong, because making chocolate chips is not hard at all! And not nearly as time-consuming as I thought it would be. I was very pleased! Commence the delicious, clean chocolate chip cookie-baking, my friends!

Special tools you’ll need

  • 2-3 silicone molds with small shapes – I found some small heart-shaped molds on Amazon and I love them!
  • A candy syringe or meat baster – I got this meat baster from Target because it was the only thing I could find, and it works like a charm; just keep in mind that whatever you get needs to be able to inject chocolate. You can use a spoon for this – I did the first time – but it is not easy and takes much longer because the mold shapes are so small.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Add the coconut oil to a small saucepan on medium heat and melt all the way down to liquid.
  2. Add the cacao powder and maple syrup and stir constantly until cacao is completely absorbed. You should have a smooth, liquid chocolate.
  3. Taste – if you like your chocolate darker, add more cacao powder just 1 tablespoon at a time, tasting after you’ve stirred. If you prefer it sweeter, add more maple syrup just a few drops at a time until it reaches your desired level of sweetness.
  4. Remove the saucepan from the heat and set it on a hot pad near your silicone molds.
  5. Using your meat baster (or candy syringe, or whatever tool you’ve chosen), fill each shape in your silicone molds until they are full.
  6. Wipe any excess chocolate drips off the top of your mold and lay flat in the freezer. It will depend on the size of your molds, but it should take 2-5 hours to freeze completely (the smaller the mold, the faster they’ll freeze). When you can press on one of the chocolate-filled shapes without leaving an indent, your chocolate chips are ready! Store in a container in the freezer until you’re ready to use them.

Notes

This recipe fills two of my molds (with just enough left to enjoy in a cup of coffee), which makes about 110 chocolate hearts. It is the perfect amount for about two dozen muffins – slightly more than the perfect amount for two dozen cookies.

Because there are no emulsifiers or additives in these chocolate pieces, they will get a bit runnier than store-bought chocolate chips. I recommend using a baking sheet with ledges if baking them into cookies, and you shouldn’t have any issues with dripping in the oven! They will solidify back up as your cookies cool. Unless you store your baked goods in the fridge, they will be a bit melty in baked goods.

This recipe also works great as a chocolate sauce to stir into hot drinks, drizzle over ice cream (will act like a magic shell sauce), or drizzle over other baked goods!