Category Archives: Snacks

Cabbage Rolls

CABBAGE, an illustration

These little packets work well as an appetizer or side at potlucks. The bitterness of the cocoa contrasts nicely with sweet steamed cabbage leaves, and the rice and lentils make it filling. Use a large-leafed cabbage if you can; it will make it easier to wrap up the rolls. They can be made ahead and served warm or cold.

Makes about 12 rolls
Takes 1 hour

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
2 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup dry lentils
1/2 cup brown rice
1/3 cup nibs
Salt and pepper
1 head of cabbage

Put oil in a saucepan on low heat. Mince the onion and add it to the pan. Cook for 10–15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it’s translucent. Mince the garlic, stir it in, and cook for another minute, then add stock.

When the water boils, add the lentils and rice. Simmer for about 30 minutes until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Add the nibs. Salt and pepper the mixture to taste.

Cut the conical core out of the bottom of the cabbage and remove about a dozen of the large outer leaves, being careful not to tear them. Leaves on older or smaller cabbages can be hard to remove without tearing, but they can be softened and loosened by steaming for 10 minutes.

Steam the leaves for about 15 minutes until they begin to bend easily. If thick stems prevent the leaves from rolling, cut a V-shaped section of stem out of each leaf. Put a few tablespoons of filling on each leaf, fold the sides in, and roll them into miniature cabbage-burritos.

Stack the rolls, seam-side down, in a steamer over a few inches of water. Bring the water to a boil, and cook for 10–15 minutes.

Sautéed Broccoli Trees

When I was a child, I loved to pretend that broccolis were miniature trees. We wanted to highlight how to use cocoa butter for a subtle cocoa flavor when sautéing, and broccoli qua broccoli was a natural choice.

Makes about two cups, or 800 tiny nibbles
Takes 10 minutes

1 head broccoli, chopped
1/3 cup vegetable stock
1 tablespoon cocoa butter
1 teaspoon minced ginger

In a saucepan, combine the broccoli, stock, cocoa butter, and ginger. Sauté your trees by cooking them over medium-high heat while tossing everything for about 5 minutes. Salt to taste.

Serve over rice or eat it straight from the pan.

Cantaloupe Leather (page 119)

This recipe requires a dehydrator! You may be able to use an oven, depending on how low its thermostat can go. If the weather is hot and sunny, research solar dehydrating – it can be as simple as a few screen trays.

We discovered dried cantaloupe through a happy accident: a tasty-smelling melon was mushily overripe, the dehydrator was already running… and it turned out surprisingly well! Depending on how long you leave the melon in the dehydrator, it will develop a leathery consistency reminiscent of dried mango, or turn into crisp cantaloupe chips. Add a little spiced cocoa and BOOM! Magic.

Makes about 10 pieces of cantaloupe jerky
Takes 20 minutes prep (drying time depends on your dehydrator)

1 small cantaloupe
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes (optional)
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Stir together the cocoa powder, ginger, chili flakes, and lemon juice to form a thin paste. Cut the cantaloupe in half and scoop out the seeds. Cut each half into 1/4″-thick pieces and slice of the rinds. Coat one side of each slice with the chocolate paste and dry according to your dehydrator’s instructions.

Check the slices periodically, since different dehydrators can have vastly different drying times. Leave the cantaloupe in until beads of water don’t form when it is torn.

Dehydrated fruit can last many months in an air-tight container, or even longer if stored in the fridge or freezer.

Cantaloupe Chips: Continue drying the slices of cantaloupe until they crack instead of tearing.

Bonus Soups, Salads, & Snacks (page 124)

Borscht: Borscht is a sweet and sour soup. Add some nibs along a little extra sweetness (like a few extra carrots) to compensate.

Chocolate Jalapeño Corn Bread: Sweet, spicy, and bitter: these flavors are super matchy, so if you like the ingredients, we recommend that you whip up a batch.

Fig, Fennel & Almond Salad: Combine fresh figs, fresh fennel, sliced almonds, cocoa nibs, butter lettuce, olive oil, and champagne vinegar. Salt to taste. We didn’t do a full write-up on this one up because almonds require a lot of water to grow, but it’s at this point it’s a flavor classic that bears mentioning.

Jicama: Slice a medium jicama into rounds and top with a mixture of cocoa powder, chili powder, lime juice, and salt.

Nibby Trail Mixes: We’re all about the trail mixes. They pack so well! They’re such a great way to make sure we eat our nuts and seeds! With trail mix, there’s so much room for creativity and variety. Nuts, seeds, dried fruits, optional coconut flakes, and cocoa nibs or chocolate chips. Go nuts!

Spiced Garlic Bread: Make a roasted garlic cocoa butter with spices that tie together the flavors of garlic and cocoa butter. Then use the garlic butter to make garlic bread.

Spicy Popcorn: Throw your favorite spices (or try chili pepper, cumin, or cinnamon) in a pan with a mix that’s half vegetable oil and half cocoa butter, then pour it all over a bowl of popcorn. Use a spray bottle to add a little lemon juice or watered-down tamarind paste to the popcorn.

Split Pea Soup: Make it with chile peppers, ginger, and nibs.

Strawberry-Mint Sandwich (p. 121)

We were at a cafe working on this very cookbook, minding our own business, when we overheard someone order a savory sandwich. Of course, I had to ask the question: “What would a sweet sandwich look like?” As it happened, strawberries were in season, so we went home and tested our theory. This strawberry-mint sandwich is delicious and we recommend making it with fresh, thinly-sliced rye bread.

Makes one sandwich
Takes 10 minutes

3 medium strawberries
2 slices of bread
2 tablespoons grated chocolate
Mint leaves to cover a slice of bread
2 teaspoons cocoa butter, divided

Slice the strawberries and lay them out in a single layer on one slice of bread. Sprinkle the grated chocolate over the strawberries, cover everything with a layer of mint leaves, and close your sandwich with the second slice of bread.

Place half of the cocoa butter in a skillet over medium heat. Put the sandwich on top of the pat of cocoa butter so that the fat will soak into the bread rather than spreading around the pan. Cover the skillet and cook the sandwich for about two minutes, or until the bottom of the sandwich begins to turn golden-brown. Flip the sandwich, placing the remaining cocoa butter under the sandwich, and cook for another two minutes, covered.

Serve while it’s hot from the pan.

Sweet Nibs by Janet Straub (p. 123)

Janet, the official “Chocolate Doodler” of Creo Chocolate, suggests using nibs anywhere you’d use nuts or seeds. The parchment paper in this recipe is handy because it makes cleanup straightforward. These candied nibs go great on salads!

Makes 1 1/2 cups
Takes 10 minutes

1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 cups cacao nibs

Over medium low heat, stir the sugar and water until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture thickens slightly. This takes less than 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the nibs until evenly coated. Pour onto parchment paper to cool and dry out. Store in an airtight container.

Use these sweet nibs as a snack, in salads, and creatively topping food.

Barras de Chocolate con Amaranto

Cat told us we should include chocolate amaranth bars in the cookbook, and we didn’t.  Here’s a few recipes other folks have shared: