Mini Moon Toasted Cashew Butter Truffles (Vegan)
Pungent sage is smoking on my table, ash crumbling into the bowl I’ve placed it in. I like to watch smoke rise and billow. Smoke paints the shape of the air, how it moves in waves, shifting, mercurial. Knowing that oxygen and nitrogen are ever weaving unseen around us. Have you ever seen dried leaves in a parking lot skip and spin on a dervish of wind? Like a mini tornado. All the result of the sun heating and cooling the Earth's surface. Sunshine, moonshine. Breeze and billow.
Magic lives in mundane places, just under the skin of the known. In the place between waking and dreaming. In stillness. In the space between thought and no-thought. Pure awareness. That’s where beauty breeds, or the consciousness of it at least. Where we can see the suchness of a thing, the something more. The energy imbuing things, you might say. The potential.
So the smoke is not just smoke. It’s a poem, curling unknown scripts in the air. The whirlwind of leaves is a dance.
I like to live quietly in awe of the nature of things. I find life ecstatic and fulfilling and painful and intense. That’s the gift and curse of life, the flood of emotions, the gorgeous & terrible drama. The glass coupe that holds your lovely fizzing drink can slip, break, and cut. Even a charmed life holds within it heartbreak, injustice, and death (inevitably).
So I set myself to work that offers me a window to see life as illuminated, expansive, infinite. Not to escape. But to enliven my experience with as much wonder as possible.
I photograph the flower. I write the sunset. I eat the cookie.
I love the flower. I love the sunset. I love the cookie.
I love the moment.
That’s the result of all of this presence business, anyway. You fall in love with everything.
And now I’m going to be really awkward about a segway into these truffles.
They’re simple, easy-to-make, and delicious. Toasting the cashews gives them a depth of flavor. Paired with vanilla and maple syrup, they’re totally enthralling. Dipped in chocolate… let’s be real, everything is better dipped in chocolate.
I got the idea for these toasted cashew butter truffles whilst in the process of making my turmeric chocolate chip cashew butter cookies. The wet mix in the cookies (mostly toasted cashew butter, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla) was so good that I was having a hard time keeping myself from eating it. Lest the cookies be ruined.
So after Logan and I scarfed all of those cookies, I whipped these truffle babes right up. Toasted cashew butter is the shit. I don’t know why I haven’t made it more often. Plus eating anything that reminds me of moon phases makes me feel like a green witch. Like maybe I make my own tinctures from wildcrafted yarrow or something (I don't). There's something magical about it.
I’ve been keeping these cashew butter truffles around as a quick dessert (and anytime snack). I have them in my freezer right now. I reach in and grab a couple anytime a sweet craving hits. For me that’s every day around 4 and 9pm.
Just to emphasize, these are so delicious I was tempted to keep them all to myself. Except that I’m really bad at keeping secrets. And I wanted to show off. As soon as Logan tried them that was it. We finished them all off that afternoon.
It would be a bummer if they weren’t so damn easy to make.
- 1 cup raw cashews (whole or pieces both work)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/8 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch Celtic sea salt
- 1/2 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
- 1/3 cup 60% or darker chopped chocolate
- Preheat your oven to 375F.
- Spread the cashews out evenly on a large baking sheet.
- Bake on the top rack of your oven for 10 minutes, rotating half way through. The cashews will be golden brown when done.
- Remove from the oven and let cool at least 10 minutes, until safe to handle. The cashews should be warm, not hot.
- Place the cashews in the bowl of a high powered blender.
- Blend on high 3 minutes, stopping the blender to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
- Add the coconut oil and blend 2 minutes or so more, or until the cashew butter is smooth and barely grainy.
- Add the maple syrup, vanilla, and sea salt to the blender. Blend again until everything is creamy.
- Scrape the toasted cashew mix into a small bowl.
- Cool the mix in the fridge for around 3 hours, or until very firm.
- When the mix has firmed up, take it out of the fridge and set it on your workspace.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Using a 1/2 teaspoon, scoop out heaped rounds of the toasted cashew butter mix.
- Roll each mound between your palms to form little balls.
- Set each ball onto the parchment sheet, continuing this process until you've used up all of the mix.
- Set the tray in the freezer while you melt the chocolate.
- Place a double boiler on low heat and bring to a simmer -- OR set a wide bowl over a pot of water and bring to a simmer.
- Add your olive or coconut oil and your chopped chocolate.
- Cut off the heat and let the oil and chocolate set together for 3-5 minutes.
- Stir the chocolate and oil together until you have a glossy, even ganache.
- Remove the cashew balls from the freezer.
- Dip each ball either half or completely in the melted chocolate, shaking each one off so as to reduce the "foot" or puddle of chocolate around each truffle. Set each truffle back on the parchment lined sheet after it's been dipped.
- Continue with each cashew ball until you have as many as you like coated in chocolate.
- Set the tray back in the freezer for 10-15 minutes, until the chocolate has firmed up.
- Serve immediately or keep in an airtight container in the freezer or fridge for up to 3 days. If you're storing the truffles in the freezer, let them thaw at room temp for 5 minutes before diving in.