Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate

When I was young, I would have told you that I’ve always liked dark chocolate. Now, of course, I know the difference between Hershey’s Special Dark and good dark chocolate.

Chocolate is important to me. It has some great health benefits and yes, it’s Paleo, if you use it right. The darker the chocolate is, the better, and I’ve had 100% cocoa. I usually have my chocolate at bedtime with a little black coffee, kind of a non-alcoholic nightcap. This is not something where I sit and eat the entire bar. I have a square. Usually, I buy the bag of Ghirardelli squares so eating one at a time is simple.

I find that a square of dark chocolate is all I need, and I love Ghirardelli’s Intense Dark line for the flavors I can get. A lot of other companies pair their flavors with semi-sweet chocolate and ruin the value of the dark chocolate altogether. These bars, though, come in raspberry, cherry, sea salt, and my personal favorite, Cabernet, which has blackberry and blueberry undertones. The chocolates are very rich, and I don’t feel like I’m short changing myself on a “diet” rather than enjoying something I’m allowed to eat.

Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe is the first one Mom and I worked on. We were in charge of snacks for church, but we had a visiting pastor whose wife had Celiac’s Disease and could not eat gluten. We looked at a lot of recipes, and it just seemed like so many of them were long and complicated. We found this recipe on the site “Detoxinista,” and you can find the original recipe here. We adapted it the way we liked it. I will post the warning that these are dangerous cookies. We literally ate half the batch “taste testing,” though one cookie was really all we’d have needed. The original recipe suggested these cookies were best at room temperature. They were so right. Let them cool before you eat them.

2 cups almond flour
1/4 cup butter
3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup Ghirardelli 60% dark chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together almond flour, salt, and baking soda, then add butter, maple syrup and vanilla. Mix well.

3. Fold in chocolate chips. Roll a rounded tablespoon of batter into a ball and place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

4. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove cookies and flatten with a fork until cracks appear on the edges. Return to over and back an additional 3 minutes.

5. Cool on tray two minutes then completely on a rack.

Makes 18 cookies.