Ok, I have two great recipe for you today… but before we get started, let me show a great gift idea that I have been using for the past several years.
When I was a little girl, around the holidays my dad would bake up a storm in the kitchen. It always smelled SO GOOD =) I have very fond memories of this time. He made marble fudge, rice crispy squares and lots of other super fun treats. He would then buy cute little plates, put the goodies on them and wrap them to hand to friends and family as gifts. Everyone loved them! He was an excellent baker. My dad would of course load everything with tons of sugar. I started out this way too, but over the years found healthier ways to make yummy treats to give out as gifts. Homemade gifts are the best!
First things first, I usually hit up the dollar store to find a container for the treats.
I also found some paper to wrap the treats in:
Don’t relish the idea of spending hours upon hours making treats for others? No problem! I have two simple & quick recipes to share and a good suggestion. This year I hosted a vegan treat exchange. Everyone made a couple of dozen of a few different kinds of treats so we each walked away with several dozen treats.
Ok – onto the recipes!! The first one is a little naughty, but the second is nice (healthier).
Peppermint Bark (makes 16-24 pieces of gluten-free bark pieces)
1 bag of chocolate chips (be sure to check and make sure they are vegan – I used Enjoy life brand)
5 candy canes (I found organic non-scary looking ones at Wholefoods! TruJoy Sweets)
1/4 tsp peppermint extract
Melt the chocolate chips and add the peppermint extract. While the chips are melting, take 5 candy canes and put them in a ziploc bag and smash them into pieces (I just used my wooden stirfry spoon), be sure to leave some large chunks. Once the chips are melted, take half of the broken candy canes and stir them into mixture. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and pour your chocolate mixture onto the sheet and smooth it out. Then sprinkle the rest of the broken candy canes on top and gently press them in. Put into the freezer to firm up. Once they are nice and firm, remove the tray from the freezer and break the bark into small pieces. Be sure to store this in the freezer until you are ready to eat it =)
Chocolate Truffle Snowballs (makes 24 raw, gluten-free truffles)
24 medjool dates (soaked in warm water for 20 minutes)
3 tbsp of raw cacao powder
3 tbsp of coconut oil (softened)
3 tbsp of sundried shredded coconut
Place all ingredients in a food processor and whiz until combined. I put some more shredded coconut in a bowl and took a tsp to measure out the chocolate mixture and form it into a small ball (your hands are going to get messy – rinse them off periodically for an easier time rolling) and then rolled it around in the coconut. Put in the freezer until you’re ready to enjoy.
And here is a plate of all of the treats everyone brought:
This sure saves time on baking. Oh and it means I can avoid going to the mall to shop for gifts. I really don’t like the mall ;p Especially this time of year. Yuck.
In addition to my peppermint bark and truffles, I made rice crispy squares (recipe found here) & Peppermint Patties. I found the Peppermint Patty recipe from ohshelows. It was super simple to make and a much healthier version than what I have found in the past (and does not sacrifice taste in the least!!).
Hope you are all are having a stress-free December so far. Enjoy the month and this time of year with friends & family.