Chocolate Peppermint Bark revamped!

*Congratulations to Yolanda, winner of Stephen King’s, “On Writing.” The last book I’m giving away is one of my favorites: “Women Who Run with the Wolves” by Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D. The winner will be chosen at random from Writing at the Table’s email subscription list. Sign up now to be eligible. The results will be posted on December 30.

So, as you are probably aware, it’s holiday crunch time. My daughter’s class party is tomorrow, there are teacher cards to write, last minute gifts to buy, and chocolate bark to eat, um, I mean make. Well, both.

peppermint pretzel bark

This is one of the easiest and fastest homemade holiday treats and you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry already. If not, I’m betting you have to go back to the grocery store anyhow. I know I do.

I posted a version of this recipe here a couple years ago, but added some new pics and modified the directions a bit. 

This time I added marshmallows just because. Mini would’ve been easier because cutting them with a knife was a rather sticky and frustrating experience, but the good news is, it is possible.

Chocolate Peppermint Pretzel Bark with Marshmallows

peppermint bark close up

For the full recipe and the rest of this post, go to Writing at the Table, my new blog.

Hope you have a wonderful holiday, whatever you celebrate. We do it all around here.

dec 2014 kids

Trifecta of Celebrations

First up, a very heartfelt thank you to all who commented and offered support on my last post about my other writing life. Hopefully by outing myself as a fiction writer on this blog, I will keep up with my goals and not slack off. Fingers crossed.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

November was a big month for us as we got to celebrate a trifecta of festivities: Little Guy’s birthday, Thanksgiving, and Chanukah. Rather than torture you with three individual posts, I’m lumping it all together.

First up, my birthday boy. I can’t believe this guy is TWO.

IMG_3211

Yet, I totally can because he is talking up a storm and can’t stop running around and dive bombing family members (leading, unfortunately, with his head). He also loves taking off all his clothes – and the clothes of EVERY single one of Bunky’s dolls. It’s really cute until he pees on the couch.

Last year I made him pumpkin muffins because that seemed like a responsible and healthy thing to do for a one-year-old. But a lot changes in a year, let me tell you. The kid still loves pumpkin, but that gourd has nothing on chocolate.

little guy second birthday cake

Everyone LOVED this cake. Courtesy of Gluten Free on a Shoestring’s Perfect Chocolate Cake. It really is perfect. Dense and rich and yet not overbearing at all. A sure thing for my chocoholic family. The fall foliage sprinkles were my favorite part.

Double thumbs up is the highest praise in our house.

Double thumbs up is the highest praise in our house. Little Guy only had one hand free.

little guy birthday cake close up

How cute is this kid? He’s totally trying to share his cake with me.

Which leads me to these leaf shaped sugar cookies I made for Thanksgiving. A GF Shoestring blog recipe. I highly HIGHLY recommend. My kids couldn’t eat them fast enough. And neither could my husband. Um, or me.

cookies close up

I frosted some with royal icing (not pictured), but it was a mistake. I’ve since realized that royal icing is more about making pretty decorations with a piping bag (which I don’t have). However, while the iced cookies didn’t look as pretty as I had hoped, no one complained as they were too busy cramming cookies into their greedy little mouths.

There was also chocolate pretzel marshmallow bark, because why not.

chocolate pretzel marshmallow bark

I jazzed up last year’s fail proof peppermint pretzel bark recipe and added mini marshmallows toward the end after the chocolate was cool. YUM.

Ariel view anyone? (Sorry, can’t help myself, it’s just so pretty.)

Oh, the lighting at my dad's house is just perfect.

Now let’s talk about PIE. Last year I made a cheesecake for my husband, but this year he requested (um, begged) for an apple pie. His absolute hand’s down favorite dessert.

My husband is a pie man.

My husband is a pie man.

I obliged because that’s the kind of awesome wife I am. Not shockingly, I went with another tried and true GF Shoestring recipe. I love Nicole Hunn’s pie crust recipe and helpful video. It’s worth mentioning that it’s the ONLY pie crust I’ve ever made from scratch (gluten and GF), but still, why mess with a sure thing? Here is one perfect looking slice. Seconds later it was gone, I’m sure.

apple pie

One of the best parts about Thanksgiving (in my opinion) is eating (a lot of) pie for breakfast the next morning. Nothing tastes as good, and for me, that pie must be pumpkin. Absolutely. No exceptions.

pumpkin pieLast year I made the mistake of attempting a graham cracker crust on my pumpkin pie. VERY bad move. The crust basically burnt to a crisp during the hour plus baking. Don’t cry for me because I ate the ENTIRE interior anyhow with a spoon. It wasn’t pretty, but it was good.

So, I stuck with the same decadent yet simple recipe as last year, but opted to make a double batch of traditional pie crusts to use for both the apple and pumpkin pie. This year I ate the whole pie, basically by myself (since my husband and daughter don’t like pumpkin pie?!?) but this time with the crust. It was DREAMY. I got a little fat. But it was worth it.

Besides the desserts, the other best part of Thanksgiving this year was the ease of it. Everyone was so chill and happy. It was hilarious watching Little Guy try to keep up with his cousin (three months younger but way faster) as they ran circles in the house. Bunky had a blast playing with the “big cousins” who are all college graduates. There was an adorable (though ear drum shattering) jam session with an electric guitar, a broken violin, a piano, and a mechanical singing Santa.

There was very little talk or anxiety over FOOD. Our kids ate our stuff, the rest of us ate their GF offerings, and we all shared dessert. Couldn’t ask for better, really.

Next up, or rather, simultaneously up, Chanukah.

Oh, Chanukah why are you so long?

Oh, Chanukah why are you so long?

The first night or two was sweet. Candles, singing dreidel songs, opening presents. But then a few days in, things started to go south. My husband grumbled about it, muttering about how at least Christmas gets it all done in one day. At first I defended my holiday, insisting how great it was to get eight nights of festivities, until it wasn’t. The truth is, one gift a night can be kind of frustrating for a kid. At least on Christmas the meh gifts get pushed aside for the great ones, but on Chanukah some nights end up being only meh – which translates to horrendous amount of whining around my house.

All that said, the last second to last night picture is pretty sweet. Bunky loves her waitress costume.

last night of chanukahI am pretty relieved it’s over, though. Until next year.

Now that I’ve got all that out of my system, I leave you with an image that will hopefully be symbolic of the rest of the season: may we all kick up our feet in green high heel shoes and relax.

little guy heelsHope you all survived November and I wish you the best of luck during December’s shenanigans. If the going gets tough, just be glad you’re not trapped in a jar like this poor lady. (Totally random and unrelated aside, but I am strangely in love with this picture.)

princess in a jar

My family will be spending Christmas in our pajamas watching movies. The kids will get one gift each, IF they’re lucky. Greedy ungrateful little boogers.

Just kidding. Mostly.

 

I’m so happy to be part of Vegetarian Mamma’s Gluten Free Friday recipe link-up! Click the badge below for more great GF recipes.

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Gluten Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

chocolate pic

In my home, it’s hard to bake anything without chocolate. I see recipes on Pinterest for lovely looking lemon vanilla sugar cookies and gorgeously frosted banana maple donuts, but I don’t make them. My family demands chocolate. Even Little Guy, who is not yet two, bites the chocolate chip off the top of his mini pumpkin muffin first and then goes rooting around for more. 

So when it comes to pumpkin season, which everyone knows is now (unless you live under a rock) I automatically add chocolate to my recipes, with the exception of pumpkin pie, which incidentally no one in my family enjoys but me. I thought this pumpkin + chocolate thing was universal, but after doing some reading on foodie blogs, it seems not everyone agrees.

They go so naturally together, don't you think?

They go so naturally together, don’t you think?

This recipe could go either way, but since my family demands chocolate that’s the route I take. You could skip it and frost with some decadent cream cheese frosting, or squirt some inside like the recipe I adapted mine from does, but that goes against one of my daughter’s very strict food rules, which I learned about the hard way a few years back after an unfortunate vomiting episode: cream cheese should never be sweet. Hence, the chocolate. 

No matter how you swing it, this recipe is a keeper. I made these a few weeks ago while trying to stock up on healthy school breakfasts before Bunky started kindergarten. They were so popular I made them twice that first week, and now again. It’s a great way to use a 15 ounce can of pumpkin puree, since each batch uses about a half a can. (Reason enough to double the recipe, which I haven’t actually done yet so if you do let me know how it goes.)

pumpkin big close up

Final thing before I get down to business: don’t be concerned about the seemingly long ingredient list. The spices make it appear busy, but in fact this recipe comes together very fast and easily. You know I have no time for any fussiness in recipes. Not with a kid crawling up my leg.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Yield: 9 regular size + 12 minis (or 12 regulars and a handful of minis)

pumpkin mini

[Measurements are in weight and volume because I am kind of a dork about my kitchen scale.]

1 + 1/2 cups GF Flour Mix* (200 grams)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 + 1/2 tsps cinnamon
sprinkle of ginger (or up to 1/4 tsp)
sprinkle of nutmeg (or up to 1/4 tsp)
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup coconut palm sugar** or sugar of your choice (about 140 grams)
1/2 cup canola oil (90 grams)
1/4 cup milk, any kind is fine (60 grams)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree (approx half of a 15 oz can is about 220 grams)
1 cup chocolate chips

* I sifted my coconut palm sugar because it’s kind of grainy and that seemed to do the trick. It made me use a bit more to get the measurement right, but I tossed the harder crunchy pieces back in the bag cause it’s great in my coffee (not to mention rather pricey).

Notice the price tag is scraped off because I can't stand to look at how much I paid for it.

Notice the price tag is scraped off because I can’t stand to look at how much I paid for it.

Speaking of the bag, look at the back! It’s the gluten free world’s very own Carol Kicinski, of the great recipe blog Simply Gluten Free and it even features a GF recipe. Score!

palm sugar carol k

Ok, finally (!) The Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line muffin tins with cupcake liners, or spray.

2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together GF flour mix, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, spices, and salt.

3. In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, sugar, oil, milk, vanilla extract, and pumpkin until smooth. Slowly add in dry ingredients, mixing well.

4. Now would be the time to fold in the chocolate chips. But I often leave some minis plain so Little Guy can eat some before his nap without me stressing about him having a chocolate high. I was feeling rather generous, however, so I plopped one chip in the center of his minis.

A very un-photogenic pic of my unbaked goods.

A very un-photogenic pic of my unbaked goods.

5. Fill each prepared liner about 3/4 full with pumpkin batter. Bake the regular sized muffins for about 15-18 minutes and the minis for 8-10, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Let muffins cool about 2 minutes in pan before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Store in air proof container or freeze.

pumpkin big

**My (current) GF Flour Mix is 60% whole grains (millet and sorghum) and 40% starches (sweet rice and potato starch), all certified gluten free from Bob’s Red Mill that I mix myself using my kitchen scale and giant plastic canister. See here for details. But you can probably use most kinds of ready made all purpose GF mixes, including your own. If your mix already includes xanthan gum, then please – for the love of your stomach – don’t add any more.

And finally, having nothing to do with baking whatsoever, please enjoy this hilarious and adorable pic (in my humble and totally biased opinion) of my kids playing dress up, big sister style.

crazy dress up

No Bake Chocolate Dream Bars

No bake chocolate dream bars

This pic was taken yesterday and now the pan is nearly empty. They are THAT good. I’m also the ONLY one eating them. Which I have mixed feelings about. On one hand, I like having a tray full of chocolate dream bars to myself, but on the other, sharing helps out with portion control.

But first, a trip to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. I can’t help myself. The roses are in bloom and they are gorgeous.

Check out that sky, and all those blooms. Can you believe this garden oasis is in Brooklyn?

Both Bunky and Little Guy love to stop and smell the roses. It is pretty adorable (except for the bees swarming everywhere, which is really just an accident waiting to happen). I especially love Little Guy’s funny scrunched up nose face when he “sniffs.” It’s very dramatic and not properly captured here, but you get the idea:

Look close for the scrunch nose.

Look closely for the tell-tale scrunch nose.

And check out my girl, in total rose rapture.

bunky smells rose

I thought the pose looked familiar and then I did a search online and realized it looks just like THIS piece of art which I studied in college during my obsession with Pre-Raphaelites.

The Soul of the Rose by John Williams Waterhouse

The Soul of the Rose by John Williams Waterhouse

Pretty crazy, right? We all enjoyed smelling the roses and enjoying the rest of the garden, especially the Japanese garden which has a lake filled with koi fish. We had to restrain Little Guy from diving in.

garden family

japanese garden gazing

We’ve been venturing out more lately, as our family of four is way more portable now that Little Guy nearly 20 months. This past Saturday we went to Coney Island, braving both heat and crowds – and a complete dearth of gluten free food. More on that in an upcoming post, but now it’s time for these no bake beauties…

no bake gray plate

Run, do not walk to this recipe, lightly adapted from a gem I spied on Pinterest. I love how recipes are like nesting dolls, my version was adapted from this one, this version was adapted from that one, and so forth. The big change in mine was using almond butter instead of PB. Can I tell you a secret? Please don’t hold it against me, but I’m finally realizing that I just don’t like peanut butter. I can’t even stand the smell. It’s strange, I used to love peanut butter, but once I got a taste of almond butter (specifically Justin’s brand) I officially dumped PB for AB and haven’t looked back since.

no bake choco bars

These No Bake Chocolate Dream Bars are filled with GF oats, coconut oil, coconut flakes, honey and of course, chocolate. Plus you don’t have to turn on your oven. How can you possibly go wrong?

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup almond butter (I used Justin’s Honey AB)
  • 1/2 cup honey (maple syrup for vegan)
  • 1/2 cup organic coconut oil
  • 2 cups GF oats
  • 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, nut of choice, or no nuts (use rice cereal or pretzel pieces)
  • 1 1/4 cups dark chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Grease a 9×13 pan with coconut oil.
  2. Place the oats, coconut, pecans, and chocolate chips in a large bowl, and stir to combine.
  3. Heat the almond butter, honey and coconut oil together until the coconut oil is mostly melted. Don’t let the honey boil. (TIP: To prevent honey from sticking to your measuring cup, grease it with coconut oil and then it will slide right out.)
  4. Pour the heated almond butter mixture onto the oat mixture, and stir until the chocolate chips are melted.*
  5. Evenly spread the mixture in a greased 9×13 pan.
  6. Cover and refrigerate until hardened. Or put it in the freezer if you can’t wait like me.
  7. Cut into bars, enjoy, and refrigerate the leftovers for up to one week (if they last that long!)

* There may be a moment during the mixing process when you wonder, will the chocolate actually melt? And if you’re like me you might get worried and dump in more chocolate chips, but the answer is YES, the chocolate will melt, but more chips are never a bad thing, either.

I’m happy to have shared this post at the Gluten-Free Friday’s link up party hosted by Vegetarian Mamma. Click the link to find more great GF recipes!

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Chocolate Pudding Yogurt Pops, Oh Yeah

Breakfast around here has taken a turn. And I’m not talking about a good one. Behold, the most beautiful rainbow of non-nutritive value…

This is the prettiest picture of Fruity Pebbles ever.

The prettiest picture of Fruity Pebbles ever.

Our yogurt pop breakfast dream was going strong for quite a while before things went downhill to Pebble land. Bunky was a trooper, eating the pops daily, with unwavering enthusiasm until the bitter end. When I noticed a glimmer of pop exhaustion, I threw in some peaches, experimented with pineapple, and used some raspberry sorbet as sweetener instead of honey, but in the end, the dream died. There are only so many fruit filled yogurt pops a kid can eat before they get tired of them.

How did this Stone Age oaf get invited to breakfast, you wonder?

fruity pebbles

Two words: My husband.

Before you mistake me for an anti-sugar cereal ogre, I will flashback to a heart warming story about my mom, of whom I have very fond memories regarding her lenient breakfast policies. She pretty much let us loose in the sugar cereal department, drawing the line at Cookie Crisp, which she was apologetic about, but unrelenting. My cousins, who were never allowed any sugary cereals, used to spend the night and wake up in eager anticipation and pure joy at our amazing bounty of cereal choices. Peeps, my lovely cousin, still talks about this decades later.

Now that I’m a mom and an avid reader of food labels (a most riveting post about this coming soon) it is sort of appalling because I know how bad and kind of gross artificial flavoring is for growing bodies, but to defend my mom, it was the 80s. That’s right. I’ve just used an entire decade as a defense. You read my bran muffin nostalgia post, right?

So even though I do not technically approve of the whole Fruity/Cocoa Pebble situation, I do not squash it because I know that doing so now, after it has already been introduced to an utterly thrilled Bunky, would be a futile battle. The better way might have been to avoid it until she knew enough to request it, but too late now. Thanks, honey (that was meant for my husband, though I can call you honey if you’d like).

The truth is, I am a closest Cocoa Pebbles eater, when pressed for sugar. I mean, it turns your milk into chocolate milk, which is pretty cool. Also, both cereals are gluten free (and nut free, incidentally) and for kids who are banned from nearly all pop culturally addictive cereals, there is some merit to this.

But I knew that it couldn’t go on forever, at least not on a daily basis.

{Addendum: I just found out about this post from Celiac Yoga Momma who did a nutritional and taste analysis of Cocoa Pebbles versus a “healthier” version and turns out the former is better for you, who knew?}

Drastic measures were needed in the yogurt pop arena. Fruity pops just can’t compare to Fruity Pebbles, alas, but I suspected I could work with chocolate, Bunky’s weakness…

And voila, the Chocolate Pudding Yogurt Pop (with a secret banana) was born!

rocket pops

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 heaping cup of greek yogurt
  • 1 very ripe banana
  • 1 Kozy Shack chocolate pudding
  • 1/2 cup or as much Chocolate Almond Milk as needed (or regular chocolate milk)
Throw everything in your food processor or blender and whirl away! Then fill pop molds. 
I used 4 rockets and 2 stars for variety. And cause 2 rockets broke. Grr.

I used 4 rockets and 2 stars for variety.

Freeze ’em up and enjoy. Don’t forget to use the dregs of the “batter” though, for a smoothie. I plopped in more yogurt, chocolate almond milk, almond butter, and ground flax = awesome mom breakfast, which I generously shared with Little Guy, my pop + smoothie partner in crime.

smoothie

He’s totally getting the hang of eating the frozen pops, too, which is super cute. Here he is, enjoying what might have been the final fruity pop, with his sister and my dad, who we call Greedles.

The family that pops together.

The family that pops together.

I’m happy to have shared this post at the Gluten-Free Friday’s link up party hosted by Vegetarian Mamma. Click the link to find more great GF recipes!

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It’s also posted on One Creative Weekend, hosted by One Creative Mommyand Simply Sugar and Gluten Free’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays. * Please note, that the recipes on these two link-ups will NOT all be gluten free, so be sure to read carefully.

OneCreativeWeekendslightly_indulgent_tue

Be My (GF) Valentine

GF Heart Pop

Chocolate is my favorite part of Valentine’s Day. I can’t resist showing you another picture of this yummy chocolate pop. This time with a snazzy pink background.

chocolate pop pink silk

Looks fancy, doesn’t it? But if you saw the pink silk up close, you’d notice there are bite and claw marks on it from kids and cats. Telling you takes the romance right out of it, I know. But that’s what kids and cats do, my friend. True story.

I’m not here just to make semi depressing comments about my domestic life. No. This post is about salad. Strange, I know. I really should be talking about chocolate. But bear with me.

You may know the sob story about my picky family and the fact that my husband only eats 2 vegetables. It makes me sad because I think under different circumstances I could totally be a vegetarian. Or perhaps more likely, an omnivore who enjoys eating truckloads of veggies. But that is not in the cards for me. Nor is sleep. As far as sleep goes, I’m screwed, but I have discovered the secret to enjoying vegetables again.

Lunch! Salads!

sweet heart potato salad

I have The Fairy Food Mother to thank for this epiphany. Her awesome post called Spectacular Salads really opened my eyes to what a salad could be. In a very manageable way, she breaks down how to add color, protein, and deliciousness to your salad. And she also includes an easy and yummy salad dressing recipe. Bonus!

For all you foodies out there, this realization of mine may seem kind of silly. A great big, “duh” factor. But to me, a strict recipe follower, this post taught me how to be creative with salads and not feel like I need to eat a burger afterwards. Before coming across this post, I hardly ever ate salads as meals, at least not at home. My idea of a homemade salad was mixed greens with lemon, olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt. Not shabby for a side dish, but not at all lunch.

What I love about my new salad making abilities, is that I can use whatever I have on hand. Often I see great looking recipes for salads, like this one, and think, oh I can make that. But then I don’t because I’m missing too many ingredients. Not anymore!

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Before you go thinking I roasted heart shaped sweet potatoes just for this post, you should know that I was attempting to get Bunky to eat what used to be her favorite food as a baby. There are many pictures of her with orange colored mush smeared all over her grinning face, but alas, she has not eaten them since. The hearts were a no-go for her, but went right in my salad along with…
  • mixed greens
  • grated cucumber and carrot – easier than chopping!
  • goat cheese
  • avocado
  • sunflower seeds
  • slices of tart apple (in this case, honey crisp)

But you can throw in anything you’d like, cheese, olives, beans, nuts, hard-boiled eggs, fresh or dried fruit, leftover chicken or salmon.

My only advice would be to think about whether you want your salad to lean towards sweet or savory. Because to me, the idea of using, say, goat cheese, strawberries and olives kind of grossed me out. I would keep olives for a savory salad, and use more neutral things in a sweet one. But that’s just me. You can do whatever you want, which is really the beauty of it.

Go forth and eat veggies. But don’t forget the chocolate. It is Valentine’s Day, after all.

I’m happy to have shared this post at the Gluten-Free Friday’s link up party hosted by Vegetarian Mamma. Click the link to find more great GF recipes!

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It’s also posted on One Creative Weekend, hosted by One Creative Mommyand Simply Sugar and Gluten Free’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays. * Please note, that the recipes on these two link-ups will NOT all be gluten free, so be sure to read carefully.

OneCreativeWeekendslightly_indulgent_tue

Chocolate Coconut Truffles

Chocolate Coconut Truffles

I used to think making chocolate was for professionals and grandmas in the know, but clearly I was wrong. Turns out anyone can “make” chocolate, especially if that means melting down previously made chocolate (i.e. chips, bar) and then reshaping it, maybe throwing a filling in the middle.

It was pretty easy, which was fortunate since I made them while holding Little Guy. You should see my left bicep. It’s huge. But more exciting to see are these homemade chocolate candies.

IMG_1963

The official name is Chocolate Coconut Truffles, coined by my fancy-pants husband. I thought about calling them Mini Mounds Bar knock-offs, but his sounds cooler. Also, these are way better for you than any over the counter artificial-flavor-jammed candy bar. The ingredients are few and simple. You may already have everything you need to make them. If so, get to it. You won’t regret it.

Don’t like coconut? Then fill it with something else. Jam, almond butter, dried cherries. My husband claimed not to like coconut in sweets, but then he tried these and well, he changed his mind. Maybe you will too. If not, you’re in good company. Bunky can’t stand anything coconut. (How is she my kid?) And she was not pleased when she spotted the last couple of these on the counter last night. Maybe I’ll make her some solid ones. The kid just doesn’t like fillings in chocolate. Seems unnatural, doesn’t it? Oh well. More for me.

IMG_1974

Chocolate Coconut Truffles

This recipe was adapted from Tasty Yummies very yummy looking Dark Chocolate Coconut Treats.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups coconut flakes or shredded, unsweetened
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil (for the filling) + 2 teaspoons divided (for the chocolate)
  • 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips, divided in half
At the last minute I switched from bar chocolate to chips, but either is fine.

At the last minute I switched from bar chocolate to chips, but either is fine.

Directions:

1. In a food processor, blend the coconut flakes until in tiny pieces. (If using shredded this may not be necessary.) Then add 1/3 cup of coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla. Whirl until combined. Set aside.

Note: The coconut filling will not be entirely smooth and the color will have a tan hue because of the maple syrup. But don’t be alarmed. It tastes awesome. And it’s not maple syrupy at all. Just a nice sweet flavor. I tried to give some to Little Guy, but he refused. His loss, though, my gain. Did I mention this candy is for me?

Looks like rice, but it's sweet coconut love.

Looks like rice, but it’s sweet coconut love.

2. Then take 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips and melt in 30 second intervals in the microwave. Check every 30 seconds and stir. Mine took under 90 seconds total. Then add 1 teaspoon of melted coconut oil. Stir to combine. Add a bit more coconut oil if the chocolate seems too thick.

Using a teaspoon scoop a bit of chocolate into each compartment. I used one of those flexible ice cube trays from Ikea in the shape of small flowers. You could also use mini cupcake wrappers if you don’t have a tray like this.

IMG_1945

I used my fingers to spread the chocolate around. Don’t judge. You could also use a paintbrush (just for baking) and paint it in. Then pop it in the freezer until the chocolate hardens, about 5-10 minutes.

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3. Using a teaspoon, scoop a small mound of coconut filling into the center of each chocolate filled mold.

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4. Melt the other 1/2 cup of chocolate chips in the microwave, 30 second intervals. Add another teaspoon of coconut oil to thin it out a bit. Then dollop chocolate on top.

IMG_1956

Looks messy, I know, but I was holding a baby the entire time. Then smooth it out with a spatula and stick it in the freezer for another 10 minutes.

Carefully pop them out of the molds, and then try not to eat all of them at once.

IMG_1977

This recipe makes 16 of those mini candies using my mold. I had a small bowl of leftover coconut puree and decided to do something different the next day…

patty stackI used a mini muffin tin and pressed a teaspoon (or so) of coconut puree into the bottom of each well, then froze it for about 20 minutes. I melted some chocolate down with a teaspoon of coconut oil, poured it on top, then froze again until hardened. It filled 11 out of 12 muffin tin molds. Using a butter knife, I popped each sucker out. They come out rather easily.

Too easily, perhaps. We ALL ate them. You read that correctly! Bunky couldn’t resist the lure (and aroma) of chocolate, so she tried one and, surprise, surprise, liked it.

bunky eating pattySo much for having these all to myself! But I have to admit, it makes me happy to share. Not to mention it keeps me from being a total pig.

I’m happy to have shared this post at the Gluten-Free Friday’s link up party hosted by Vegetarian Mamma. Click the link to find more great GF recipes!

gffbadgesmall_zpse392b4e3

It’s also posted on One Creative Weekend, hosted by One Creative Mommyand Simply Sugar and Gluten Free’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, and Green Thickies’ Healthy Vegan Fridays. * Please note, that the recipes on these three link-ups will NOT all be gluten free, so be sure to read carefully.

OneCreativeWeekendslightly_indulgent_tuehealthy vegan fridays