Sometimes, a really good chocolate can be better than anything
(yes, even that).
There is something about a smooth, rich, piece of dark chocolate- the way its scent teases your nose, the way it snaps when you bite into it, the way it melts on your tongue, and the way everything else around you seems to freeze from the time it hits your lips to the time you finally swallow it. There's the brief euphoria you feel afterwards as you try to remember the last time any food literally took your breath away. Then there's the next bite.
Of course, we've all had moments when we've tried chocolate that good. But how often can we say that chocolate was organic, ethically sourced, and made from the same group of farmers that grew the cocoa beans? Not too often.
I was recently contacted by Kallari to try their chocolate and do a review. I'll never turn down an offer to try chocolate, but I was even more intrigued by their company. Kallari is owned by the 850 farming families in Ecuador that grow and make the chocolate. Because they make the chocolate right after the beans are harvested (rather than shipping the beans to a chocolate making factory in another country), their chocolate has a fresh, yet rich and deep taste. There are fruity and floral notes in every bite. Kallari also uses much less sugar in their chocolates so that the flavor isn't masked by the sweetness of the sugar. Kallari takes a lot of pride in their chocolate and the proof is in the taste.
I was given the 70%, the 75% and the 85% dark chocolate bars to try. I liked them all but I was most entranced by the 85% dark chocolate bar. You first taste the rich bitterness of the chocolate and the subtle sweetness seeps in gently, taking the edge off. The texture is velvety, luxurious and actually a bit creamy. This did not taste like any old chocolate bar from a factory. Even compared to other organic or ethically-sourced chocolate, you can taste the love that these families put into this chocolate.
If you follow me on Facebook and/or Twitter, you've probably noticed me promoting Kallari's recent Kickstarter to raise money so they can begin manufacturing chocolate chips from their incredible chocolate. I'm happy to say that, as of yesterday, they raised enough money and they are good to go! This will be the first vegan, organic, ethically-sourced chocolate chips on the market and personally, I cannot wait until they are available!
With my 75% bar, I made gluten-free chocolate chunk cookies using the sugar-free caramel apple butter I had just made. And they were gone in, like,
half a day. They were so good that I decided to make another batch to share with all of you. This batch used a mixture of the 85% and the 70% bars and were not gluten-free (but keep in mind that your favorite gluten-free flour blend will probably work really well instead of the whole wheat pastry flour I used in these). While you can smell the slightest hint of apple from apple butter before you take a bite, the rich Kallari chocolate takes over once it's in your mouth. Decadent and moist- these cookies went almost as quickly as the first batch.
- 1 1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or gluten-free flour blend)
- 2 tablespoons almond flour
- 1 tablespoon flaxmeal
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup Sugar-Free Salted Caramel Apple Butter
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon coconut nectar (or agave/maple syrup)
- 2/3 cups vegan chocolate chunks (or chips)
- Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together until combined.
- In a smaller bowl, combine the wet ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks.
- Use a tablespoon to scoop heaping spoonfuls of the dough onto the baking sheet. If you want, you can use your hands to form the dough into round balls, though it will be pretty sticky. Lightly spray the bottom of a measuring cup with cooking spray and use it to slightly flatten each cookie.
- Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes until solid and golden. A toothpick inserted into one of the center cookies should come out clean. Remove from oven, transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely before serving. Enjoy!
Kallari also offered to host a giveaway on Keepin' It Kind and they have been very generous with their prizes. There will be four winners and each will win one of each kind of bar- the 70%, the 75% and the 80%! Please use the box below to enter. The giveaway will end at 11:59pm on Monday, 9/26.
Thank you so much to Kallari for hosting this giveaway and thank you to all of you for stopping by!
Oh, Chocolate, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways... What do you love about Chocolate?
Photography by Chris Miller
I love chocolate because it's bitter and sweet at the same time, always tastes smooth and is very comforting.
I can't wait to try these! It's hard to find good apples this time of year, but I guess they don't have to be great if they are being cooked down. I still am not eating cinnamon, so I will sub ginger and nutmeg in the apple butter.
The cookies look amazing and I'm intrigued with this chocolate.
I love that all I need is one little bite of a good chocolate bar and I suddenly feel better no matter what is wrong at the time.
Not a sweet lover, 85% cocoa and up chocolate bars are one of the best things about my developing adult palate. (What 12 year old likes bitter chocolate?) There is nothing better than a hot cup of 100% dark cocoa powder with a pinch of matcha while it's snowing outside (spiking with booze optional).
These cookies look sublime! To kick it up a notch, I believe I will sub some of that oil with natural peanut butter. Peanut butter + apples + dark chocolate = bliss.
I love that with high quality, dark chocolate just a square or two satisfies. It has such a deep flavor that a nibble of chocolate after a meal ends it on a high note.
i love that chocolate is so much more than candy. it goes perfectly with so many things AND has health benefits!
What don't I love about chocolate, really? Dark chocolate has always been my favorite, it's the perfect vegan dessert. I love to snack on chocolate chips, too, so I hope that Kallari is able to start making and selling those soon!
P.S. These cookies look fantastic. Can't wait to try them 🙂
How DO I count the ways? I love that chocolate is extremely versatile and can be easily used as a bribe, haha! I love how it can communicate your affection in a sexy pudding or in kids' birthday brownies. There are few situations in which chocolate wouldn't be appropriate!
Chocolate makes me feel better when I'm sad. 😉
How did I not know about that Kickstarter?! Gah. I wish this had been posted before it was over. But will be glad to get them! I really like their chocolate.
Chocolate hits the spot! I can't explain how but just a little piece after you eat a dish (or a big piece but whose checking 😉 puts the perfect finishing touch to your meal.
I'm really happy to hear that they met their Kickstarter goal! I love what this company stands for, and I'm so excited to try their chocolate chips! I thought the 85% would be my favorite, but I actually ended up liking the 75% the best. All three were outstanding though!
I love how it can be a quick snack and totally satisfying...and dark chocolate can be good for you =)
another reason to make the apple butter again..oh darn.. =)
I love when chocolate melts in your mouth and it coats your tongue - it's smooth and rich and always, always, always makes you smile.
Could you use your caramel apple sauce in this recipe?
I love how dark chocolate is satisfying with only a few bites! It's the perfect treat.
Ah - what's NOT to love about chocolate? It is rich, creamy, blissful and healthy! Just about anything that doesn't go with garlic goes with chocolate 😉
I love the creaminess of chocolate and how it smells
doesn't fair trade and cruelty free taste so much better?
It IS euphoria! Just the moment of bliss and satisfaction and indulgence it gives me!
I love chocolate because it is chocolate!!
what don't I love about chocolate?! It's sweet, smooth, rich, comforting. It's a girls best friend as far as I'm concerned and its definetely one of (if not my absolute) favorite foods! 😉
What don't I love about chocolate?! I think it's the ..... I actually can't describe why I love it! I just do!!
What do I love about chocolate, Lady, you're asking someone whose blog is at least a third chocolate reviews... I love the fact that I can't live without it.
Actually, I even reviewed one of Kallari's bars years ago! Would love to review more one day 🙂
Wowza, that cookie recipe looks aaaaahmazing. Kallari chocolate is delish, and I'm sure it's a total winner when combined with your caramel apple butter 🙂
I love that chocolate is always there for me when I'm sad! And it has just always been my favorite dessert.
Diana @ VeggieNextDoor
I love that magical feeling I get after eating a piece of super dark chocolate. So energized & alive!
The Peace Patch
I love how chocolate is the great uniter...almost everyone digs it in some form and everyone has their chocolate quirks. The Halloween chocolate they'd hoard and the chocolate they hated. The way they eat a peanut butter cup or the color M&M they eat first or last. Everyone loves to share their chocolate stories, and hopefully, their chocolate! 🙂
What is there not to love? I like that it relieves my stress and cravings for other things!
Hmm, what do I love about chocolate...? How about everything?
I love dark chocolate because I just need a little bit to be satisfied!
What do I love about chocolate? Everything! I'd pick it over any other dessert.
I like the high impact of chocolate - a little goes a long way!
I love that when I eat chocolate I feel like I am in another place for a few seconds, nothing can bother me and everything is right with the world. And I love when chocolate is fair trade and helps small farmers, then I know that eating chocolate helps everyone! 🙂
Everything! It makes a perfect dessert and it is so rich and decadent! I always feel fancy eating chocolate, even if it is scarfing down chocolate chips while I stand in my kitchen 🙂
I love the comfort chocolate gives me even on a crappy day
Its always good thats what I love about it 🙂
Love everything about it!
I love you once in the afternoon and once again at bedtime especially on cold camping trips.
I love the way chocolate tastes!
Lacey @ Life Hands You Limes
These look so good that I literally have a batch in my oven as I write this! How do I love chocolate? Well I have finally grown into my chocolate loving genes-especially DARK chocolate. A smooth, silky chocolate pudding, warm, melty chocolate chips/chunks/spread, chocolate with peanut butter....Its just divine. A wonderful creation. And I love that Kallari is ethically sourced-that is very important to me!
I love the way the fragrance as well as the taste envelope you as you take a bite.
I love everything about chocolate! The taste, the smell,milk chocolate or dark it doesn't matter
I love how chocolate is super tasty
What do I love about chocolate? EVERYTHING.
I love everything about chocolate - the taste, the feel, the versatility (can be used in both sweet and savory dishes). And I love that it makes me happy!
I love all chocolate especially dark chocolate. I keep some pieces at work and I love that it makes me happy and gives me energy!
I did check out Kallari website.
janet @ the taste space
What is not to love about chocolate? Creamy, smooth and luscious...
I love that, when we were kids, semi-sweet chocolate chips made my brother (David) sneeze, so every time he tried to sneak some from the freezer, my mom caught him by the tell-tale sneeze. 🙂
I could eat chocolate all day long - what is not to love?!
I love chocolate in mole sauce and in crepes. Super dark/baking chocolate is also great as it helps my headaches go away faster!
I love that just a tiny bit of chocolate is satisfying! No need to overindulge when you have a wee chunk of dark chocolate at your disposal.
Angela @ Canned Time
I wouldn't want to go a day without it! I love the way it coats your tongue and fills your mouth with such bold cocoa flavors. It's God's gift to women 😉
Gabby @ the veggie nook
What a wonderful product! Chocolate is such a difficult industry and product to purchase responsibly so it warms my heart to hear they are doing well and reached their Kickstarter goal!
Those cookies look to die for 🙂 I probably should never make them because I would be likely to eat the whole batch in one sitting!
Why is chocolate awesome?! Because not only is it darkly delicious, but it goes we with nature's best beverage: coffee! ;D
I love their chocolate, I have a bar of it in my pantry....it is the same chocolate I use for the chocolate espresso biscotti 🙂