Hey everyone!! Finally a post from me! I apologize for not posting, but I have only been cooking 1x per week due to my work schedule (working nights) and our busy weekends!
I’m starting my holiday baking though, which reminded me of a few treats I made last year when I was writing for Our Big Earth!
Here you go!! I will try to post more baking – as I am obsessed with this caramel recipe and I’m trying to make lots of Christmas caramel treats!
It’s amazing that the store shelves have been stocked with Christmas decorations for a month now, and that Christmas is just around the bend, which means it’s a perfect time to start Christmas baking!
As many of you know, if you don’t bake or make treats that means you probably won’t get any treats at Christmas. Every treat laid out beautifully at family and friend’s homes that you can’t touch. For me baked goods don’t call my name as much as chocolate does! One of my favourite Christmas treats were my Grandma’s chocolate covered dried fruit and nuts, oh the horror when I couldn’t even have a single bite!
If you are dairy-free or vegan I know you feel my pain. But I have a bunch of great alternatives for you this holiday season! Each one of these is very fast to make, cheap, gluten-free and make fantastic gifts. I don’t often go anywhere over the holidays without a plate of these goodies and they are typically the first ones to disappear (I promise I’m not the only one eating them!) All the goodies can be frozen, to pull out before guests arrive.
After a few years of buying very expensive dairy free chocolate, I was ecstatic to find out that President’s Choice, “The Decedent” chocolate chips are dairy-free. They have a great rich chocolate flavour, and are the chocolate that I use in all the recipes. I also buy a 10lb box of chocolate chips at Costco – and they are dairy free and tasty!
Peanut Butter Cups
These little beauties are a favourite around our house. Also last year they won a Christmas baking contest! They are so simple, yet so tasty!
• 1 cup chocolate chips
• 1 TBSP coconut oil (optional, but adds to the flavours)
• 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
• 1/2 cup icing sugar
• Mini cupcake liners (Dollar store often has fun holiday themed ones!)
-Melt chocolate chips and coconut oil in a double boiler until smooth.
-Mix peanut butter and icing sugar together to form a dough. If dough is sticky to touch, add extra icing sugar.
-Add a bit of melted chocolate to cupcake liner. Tap on counter until chocolate fills bottom of liner.
-Once all liners are full, put into fridge or freezer until solid.
-Once chocolate is solid, take a dime size amount of peanut butter dough and roll into a ball, then flatten.
-Add to liner; keep the peanut butter dough away from the corners of the liner.
-Cover with a bit of melted chocolate – tap until peanut butter is covered.
-Return to fridge/freezer until harden.
Fruit and Nut Bark
• 1/2 cup toasted, unsalted nuts (can be assorted), pistachios look beautiful!
• 1/2 cup dried fruit (chopping into small pieces )
• 1 1/2 cup chocolate chips
• 1 TBSP coconut oil
-Melt chocolate chips and coconut oil in a double boiler.
-Once melted, mix nuts and dried fruit into chocolate mixture.
-Pour onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet
-Smooth until 1 inch thick
-Place in fridge or freeze until solid
-Break into assorted sized pieces and serve slightly chilled
Great recipe for left over chocolate!! Looks beautiful on a plate with other goodies.
-Dip marshmallows into melted chocolate and roll in coconut.
-Place on parchment lined baking sheet and place in fridge until chocolate is solid.
Chai Tea Candied Nuts
I have made this recipe with a few different flavours of spice including chilli pepper, cinnamon, curry and they are all delicious but this is my favourite and most festive! Plus your house smells amazing while cooking!
• 3 tea chai tea bags (or more if you like more spice)
• 3 cups unsalted, raw nuts (I used almonds and pecans)
• 1 cup sugar
• 1/2 cup water
• 1 tsp. earth balance butter (or butter of choice)
-Break open chai tea bags, pour chai into coffee grinder or spice mill to grind into a powder.
-Add nuts, water, sugar, butter and chai tea into a pan.
-Turn stove to medium heat and stir nut mixture until the liquid has dissolved and nuts are caramelized.
-Stir constantly to prevent burning.
-Transfer onto a parchment lined pan and put into fridge until cooled.
-Break apart once cooled.
Hope you enjoyed these!! I will have more for you soon – I promise!