I’ve been working on these tasty little morsels for a couple of weeks now.  I’m not sure they’re absolutely perfect yet, but they’re getting there.  My aim with this particular batch was to adhere to the rules set forth by Johanna and Jeff of JQ Fitness for their 50 day transformation challenge 
I’m not taking part in the challenge, but as I’m always up for a cooking/baking challenge, I thought it would be fun to create some recipes that follow the dietary rules they’ve set.  
This is a no sugar/no grain challenge and that includes maple syrup, raw honey, coconut sugar, etc…  The only allowed sweeteners are stevia, xylitol and erythritol.
The next time I make these treats, I plan to add some sort of chocolate.  I did that last time, with a stevia-sweetened chocolate and they turned out really well, but I didn’t read all the ingredients on that chocolate and have no label since I bought it in a bulk store.  I figured I’d leave it out this time just in case it has some sort of ‘illegal’ ingredient.
The reason I added ground chia seeds to this recipe was to help them stick together a bit better.  The last batch I made, although really yummy, were a tiny bit crumbly.  This is often an issue with gluten-free baking and it’s often solved with xanthan gum, but I prefer not to use that if possible.  I find ground chia mixed with a little water often does the trick.
So, on to the goodies.  Here’s what I did…
 
First I preheated the oven to 350F.  Then in a stand mixer,  I creamed together 1/4 cup of erythritol with 4 ounces of butter until light in colour.
 Then I split a vanilla bean down the centre and scooped out all the delicious seeds.  I would usually use vanilla extract but the one I have has a tiny bit of sugar in it and again that’s ‘illegal’ on the challenge.
 Then I ground 1 teaspoon of chia seeds in a spice grinder and in a small bowl, mixed them with 2 tablespoons boiling water.  I set this aside for a moment to let it gel.
To the stand mixer, I added 1 1/2 cups almond flour, 1/2 a scoop of vanilla protein powder, 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1 1/2 tablespoons espresso powder (I usually use Dandy Blend coffee substitute).
I also added the scooped out vanilla seeds, the chia gel and 1/2 a teaspoon Celtic sea salt.  Then I mixed this on medium speed until well blended.
Next, I tasted the mixture for sweetness and decided to add 20 drops of liquid stevia.  I found that because of the bitter espresso powder, it needed a bit more than my previous 15 drops when using Dandy Blend.
 Then it was time to press heaping teaspoonfuls of the mixture into silicone mini-muffin tins.  Then they went into the oven at 350F for 20 minutes.  Once lightly browned around the edges, I removed them from the oven and let them sit for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack.
 The finished product!!

Two-Bite Coffee Delights

4 ounces (1/4 lb) softened butter
1/4 cup erythritol or xylitol
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/2 scoop Vanilla protein powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 tablespoons Dandy Blend (or instant coffee or espresso)
1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
1 vanilla bean
1 teaspoon chia seeds
2 tablespoons boiling water
10-20 drops liquid stevia

Preheat oven to 350F.
In a stand mixer (or with a hand blender) cream together the erythritol and butter.
Scrape seeds from vanilla bean and add to mixer bowl.
In a small bowl, quickly mix together ground chia and boiling water and set aside for a minute or two until it gels up.
Add chia gel and all remaining ingredients (except liquid stevia) to mixing bowl and mix very well.
Taste the batter and decide how much more sweetness you’d like.  I add anywhere from 10-20 drops liquid stevia.
Press the mixture into silicone mini-muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes or until starting to turn light brown around the edges.
Allow to cool in muffin tins for about 5 minutes and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 24