Our head cook made these for me, delivered with the following note:  “To one fearless leader from one leerless feeder.”

What is cocoa butter?  The natural fat of the cacao bean (from which we get the incredible stuff known as “chocolate”).  Do we sell it?  But of course.  Cocoa butter has a melting point just below average body temperature, which is why chocolate remains solid at room temperature, but melts in your mouth. Cocoa butter gives a smooth texture to so many confections containing chocolate, and is often used by culinary experts (ahem, now you’re one).

As is often the case, science is busy catching up with folk wisdom (here with regards to almonds).  So many studies these last few years talk about almonds ability to help lower cholesterol (an Australian study found men with normal cholesterol who ate three ounces of almonds a day for three weeks cut total cholesterol by 7% and bad/LDL cholesterol by 10%); cancer clinics around the world recommend ten almonds per day.  Almonds are nutritionally dense ? one fifth an almond’s weight is protein, and they are rich in absorbable calcium and antioxidant vitamin E.; they have good fat, magnesium, potassium, fiber and more.  We all know the FDA takes forever to allow claims, but even they said almonds reduce the risk of heart disease!  In Italy, it’s a time honored tradition for wedding hosts to give sugar-coated almonds to guests as a symbol of good health, fertility, romance, fortune and happiness.

Makes 20 little financier (in 2-inch muffin wells) | Bake at 375 degrees F

1 ½ c Sucanat or Rapadura (unrefined sugars) 1/2 tsp Celtic sea salt
1 ½ c almond meal (in our nut refrigerator) 6 oz cocoa butter, melted
5 egg whites toasted almonds for garnish

Amanda says:

1. Blend Sucanat and almond meal/flour.

2. Whip egg whites and salt until white are stiff.  Slowly drizzle in melted cocoa butter.

3. Blend #1 and 2# and scrape into a pastry bag. Chill the dough.

4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Grease tiny muffin tin pan with cocoa butter or mixed ½ liquid lecithin and ½ good vegetable oil.  (We keep a mixed jar in our cupboard.) See our cookbooks for detailed information.)

5. Pipe 20 little financiers. Put one toasted almond on each one. Bake for 30 minutes until done.

“They will be risen and cute. I rest my case.”