Brownie Dough Dark Chocolate Cups

brownie dough cups

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, which means one thing when it comes to food: chocolate.

I’ve combined two classic chocolate desserts – brownies & dark chocolate – into perfect little two-bite treats. The inside of these chocolate cups is actually comprised of walnuts, dates, cocoa powder, and a few flavor additions, but it tastes so similar to brownie dough that I couldn’t call it anything else.

brownie dough cups

The cups are a bit time-consuming what with painting melted chocolate onto mini muffin liners, but let’s call it a labor of love; the person you’re making these chocolate cups for is totally worth it!

brownie dough cups

Both of my loves adored the cups; Lily ate a bunch of the brownie dough filling before I even had a chance to fill the chocolate cups, and John gave rave reviews for the completed product.

brownie dough cups

These cups are a healthy & delicious departure from the highly processed packaged peanut butter version that is found all over the place in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day.

If there’s a chocoholic in your life (even if that person is you!), you really must make these.

brownie dough cups

Why settle for just chocolate or brownies if you can have both?!

brownie dough cups

Brownie Dough Dark Chocolate Cups

by Lauren Zembron

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes

Keywords: dessert chocolate walnuts brownies candy

Ingredients (12 cups)

  • 1 cup toasted walnuts halves
  • 6 large Medjool dates, pitted (about 1/2 tightly packed cup)
  • 1/8 tsp Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp instant espresso powder (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil


In the bowl of a food processor, process the walnuts until finely crumbled – the mixture will resemble coarse sand. Be sure not to over-process, or you will end up with walnut butter!

Add dates to the walnut crumbs in the food processor bowl, and blend just until mixture holds together when pinched. Add in the salt, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and vanilla extract and blend until the mixture comes together to form a crumbly “dough”.

Remove mixture from food processor, making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl.

Form mixture into a large ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to make the cups (at least 10 minutes).

While the brownie dough chills, combine the dark chocolate chips and coconut oil and melt using one of two methods: you can either combine them in a double boiler (a heatproof bowl set over a small saucepan filled with 1 inch of simmering water) and stir until fully melted, or you can combine them in a heatproof bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until fully melted.

Using a pastry brush or small spoon, “paint” the inside (all the way up to the top) of 12 mini muffin liners with the melted chocolate (foil liners will be easier to peel off, but paper liners will also work). You want a thick enough layer so that you cannot see through the chocolate coating. Refrigerate the painted cups until the chocolate is fully hardened, at least 20 minutes.

When the dough has chilled, take it out of the fridge and roll into 12 balls; then slightly flatten the balls to form discs that will fit into mini muffin cups. Remove the hardened chocolate cups from the refrigerator and gently push one of the brownie dough discs into each one.

If the melted chocolate left in the bowl is starting to solidify, simply heat it again until fully melted. Spoon melted chocolate on top of brownie dough-filled chocolate cups, making sure that it reaches the edges so the brownie dough is completely surrounded by chocolate. You will probably not use all of the melted chocolate; reserve for another use.

Return completed cups to the refrigerator, and chill until completely hardened, at least another 20 minutes. Carefully peel off the liners.

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Monday Musings

1. Winter Storm Juno dumped 33 inches of snow in our area last week, and we are currently immersed in the early hours of Winter Storm Kari, with an additional 12″-18″ of snow predicted. A blanketing of snow is beautiful, a few inches is fun to play in, but a few FEET of snow is frustrating beyond belief when you have both a dog and a toddler. Shelby has had a tough time finding a spot to do her business outside, and Lily can’t run around our yard because she’d sink into snow up to her waist. All part of being a New Englander, I suppose.


2. I was offered the chance to try the GoodBelly 12 Day Belly Reboot with their StraightShot probiotic drink.


I was impressed by the ingredient list of this fruit juice-sweetened dairy-free oat milk that boasts 20 billion live and active probiotic cultures per serving, so I jumped at the chance to try it.

Each serving comes in a shot glass-sized plastic cup; and the contents are creamy and slightly sweet.


I have been feeling great, but in all honesty I don’t know whether that’s due to the addition of a probiotic in my diet or the fact that I haven’t been eating sugar; probably a combination of both!

If you are looking to add probiotics to your health regime, be sure to check out these StraightShots from GoodBelly!




3. I’m working on a recipe for paleo white chocolate (not sugar-free, but just a bit of honey). It’s a work in progress, but here’s a peek at my first attempt:

white chocolate



4. I’m not a huge football fan, but it’s always awesome when your home team wins, so GO PATS!