melT: The Almond Drop

I met Melissa Thomas on a progressive dining tour with Local Table Tours. We got to talking about cooking, food blogging, the gluten free trend and just how terrible some of the “healthy” gluten free pre-packaged foods taste. Melissa mentioned that she actually made a gluten free treat called The Almond Drop. She told me┬áthat her original intentions were not to create a gluten free product, but it just so happened to be delicious and naturally gluten free, so she found herself right in the middle of the gluten free industry. As she was incredibly friendly, a knowledgable foodie, and passionate about her craft, I told her I’d love to sample them and write a post to help spread the word.

I was expecting a small sample, perhaps one or two of each flavor, so I was really surprised when she gave me four whole packages: Walnut White Chocolate Dried Cherries, Cranberry Chocolate, Apricot Chocolate, and Simply Apricot (a vegan treat). I’m really glad she was generous with me because these things were my nightly dessert for a week or so.

Almond Drops

A combination of almonds, dates, almond butter, unsweetened coconut, and flax has never tasted so good. These little bite-sized balls are sweet enough (agave syrup) to satisfy my sweet tooth, yet wholesome enough to indulge in more than just one, as those calories (140 per ball) are mostly comprised of nuts and healthy fats. I loved each variety of Almond Drop almost equally, and found that having all four in one sitting made for a most satiating dessert.

You can purchase The Almond Drop here in Boulder at Whole Foods and Lucky’s Market. Way to go, melT Foods! That’s a well-deserved product placement.

 

Chocolate Cherry Cayenne Cobbler

I love making cobblers for dessert in the summer with seasonal fresh fruit. Cobblers are quick and easy, but can be dressed up with ice cream or homemade whip cream. I usually make peach or pear cobblers, but this time I tried to create something new for dessert: Chocolate Cherry Cayenne Cobbler.

I couldn’t resist the beautiful red cherries at the Boulder Farmers’ Market. And when I found myself craving dessert on Saturday night, a chocolate cherry cobbler was the answer.
Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • 1 tsp (or more) of cayenne
  • 1/3 cups sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 TB walnut oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3-4 cups cherries, split in half and pitted
Preheat oven to 350.
Put the cherries and chocolate chips in a pie pan or any other glass baking dish. Sift together the dry ingredients and set aside in one bowl, and mix together the wet ingredients in another. Pour the wet into the dry, mix well, and pour over the cherries. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or so, until the top is baked all the way through. Ovens definitely vary, so check it after 20 or 25 minutes to be sure it isn’t over-cooking.
Enjoy.

Ranier Cherries

How could I resist paying $6 for these cherries at the Boulder Farmers Market?

I couldn’t. We ate them all in one evening.

Baked Brie with Walnuts and Cherries

Baked Brie is a lot of fun to eat and really easy to make. I think I’ll bake some more often.
First, carefully slice off the top crust on your cheese wedge.

Then cover it with your topping. I used one cup of coarsely chopped walnuts that I toasted on the stove for 5 minutes in walnut oil over medium-low heat. I let them cool and then tossed them with a handful of dried tart cherries.

Cover your brie with the topping and bake at 325 until it is melting in the middle- 7-10 minutes depending on your oven. Enjoy with crackers or crusty bread.
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