Guest Post: Karen Le Billon Shares Her No-Bake Choco-Raisin Treats Recipe
Today’s guest post and recipe comes from Karen Le Billon, author of French Kids Eat Everything, which is now available in paperback. Karen’s new book Getting to Yum coaches parents through the process of taste training, including strategies, games and experiments that will encourage even reluctant eaters to branch out. This book introduces 7 Secrets of Raising Eager Eaters and includes more than 100 delicious, kid-tested, age-appropriate recipes to lead families step-by-step through the process of “learning to love new foods,” enabling kids to really enjoy the foods we know they should be eating.
Special equipment: silicon muffin cups or parchment paper
These fun chocolate treats taste decadent but are (relatively) low in sugar—and they’re a lighter alternative to filling chocolate cake. Who would have thought something this easy to make could be so delicious?
A mendiant (the traditional French word for this dessert) is a chocolate disk studded with nuts and dried fruits: raisins, hazelnuts, figs, and almonds. Traditionally eaten at Christmas, they’re now eaten year round, and endless varieties can be found that incorporate everything from seeds to fruit peel. Use your imagination!
It’s really fun to make this with your children – even little kids. They come up with some pretty amazing shapes! And the cookies make lovely gifts, too.
No-Bake Choco-Raisin Treats
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
225g dark or milk chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon whipping cream (if you are using dark chocolate)
60g slivered or sliced almonds
60g dried blueberries
1. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Add the chocolate and stir continuously, until completely melted. Add the cinnamon and, if using dark chocolate, cream.
2. Assemble the cookies: You can do this using either silicone muffin cups (my preference) or parchment paper. If using muffin cups, drop about 1 heaped tablespoon of the melted chocolate mixture into the
bottom of three or four muffin cups at a time. If using parchment paper, lay the parchment on a flat work surface and drop small spoonfuls of chocolate on the sheet, about three or four at a time, using the back of the spoon to make little circles about 5 cm in diameter. Before the chocolate hardens, add the almonds and blueberries in any design you like—use your imagination! (If the chocolate mixture hardens before
you have finished, don’t worry: you can re-melt it.)
3. Set the cookies aside to harden, testing the edges cautiously until you are sure they are ready (at least 30 minutes). Yum!
Taste-Training Tip: I’ve suggested blueberries and almonds in this recipe, but start with toppings your children already love then introduce new flavors. Toppings can include nuts (almonds, pistachios, pralines, pecans), dried fruit (raisins, blueberries, thinly sliced apricots, cranberries, crystallized ginger or orange rind), or even fleur de sel, seeds, or chunks of your favorite cookies!