All About Chocolate!

Eating a Vegan diet doesn’t mean carrots sticks and lettuce all the time. Vegans can indulge in many desserts that are not only delicious, but that are friendly to the environment as well. With the exception of milk chocolate, chocolate is actually a plant-based food. If you’d like to learn about vegan friendly chocolate, visit The Compassionate Cooks’ article, “All about Chocolate.” Enjoy these vegan friendly recipes.

Agave-Peanut Butter Cups
Creamy, lightly sweetened peanut butter fills dark chocolate cups in this irresistible candy from Delicious Living. Prep tip: You’ll need small fluted paper candy cups, available at hobby or candy-making supply stores, and a small pastry brush.


Ingredients
24-30 small (1 to 1 1/2-inch) fluted paper candy cups
3/4 cup natural creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons agave nectar
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate (65% cocoa), finely chopped

Directions
1. Arrange paper candy cups on a rimmed baking sheet, and make space for baking sheet in your refrigerator. In a medium bowl, mix peanut butter with agave until smooth. Cover and chill until ready to use.

2. Melt chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of hot water, stirring frequently until melted and smooth. Remove from heat. With a small pastry brush, apply a generous layer of chocolate inside each paper candy cup. You want the cups to be sturdy enough to hold the peanut butter, so be sure to coat bottom and sides well. Place baking sheet in refrigerator until chocolate hardens, about 30 minutes.

3. Reheat remaining chocolate until smooth. Spoon about 1/2 tablespoon peanut butter mixture into each chocolate cup. With a clean spoon, quickly spoon remaining melted chocolate evenly over peanut butter to cover. Refrigerate until the chocolate hardens, about 20 minutes. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

PER SERVING (1): 108 cal, 62% fat cal, 9g fat, 3g sat fat, 0mg chol, 3g protein, 9g carb, 1g fiber, 38mg sodium

_________________________________

Fruit and Nut Bark
This super easy recipe from Delicious Living is a yummy treat and great for holiday gifts. Enjoy.

Makes 1 1/2 pounds / This bittersweet-chocolate bark, studded with tangy dried fruit and crunchy almonds, makes a delectable present.

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups whole raw almonds (about 9 ounces), divided
1 pound bittersweet chocolate (65% cocoa), finely chopped
1/2 cup dried pitted tart cherries
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots

Directions
1. Toast almonds by baking at 325° for 8–10 minutes, until fragrant and golden (or leave raw).

2. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Melt chocolate in a bowl set over hot water, stirring frequently until melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 cup almonds, plus cherries and apricots. Scrape mixture onto prepared baking sheet and spread out with a spatula to about 1/2-inch thick. Sprinkle remaining almonds evenly over top, gently pressing into chocolate to adhere.

3. Chill bark until completely firm, about 2 hours. Break or cut into chunks and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one day, or refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

PER SERVING (1 ounce): 162 cal, 60% fat cal, 13g fat, 4g sat fat, 0mg chol, 3g protein, 15g carb, 3g fiber, 2mg sodium

_________________________________

Coconut Pecan Haystacks

Makes about 20 / These tasty clusters bound with dark chocolate are guaranteed to spread joy during the holidays.

Ingredients
8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut, divided
3/4 cup finely chopped toasted pecan pieces (about 5 ounces), divided
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions
1. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Melt chocolate in a large bowl over a pan of hot water. Stir occasionally just until melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in 3/4 cup coconut, 1/2 cup pecans, and cranberries. Spoon tablespoon-sized mounds onto waxed paper. Mix remaining coconut and pecans in a small bowl and sprinkle over tops. Chill until firm, about 1 hour. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

PER SERVING (1): 108 cal, 67% fat cal, 9g fat, 4g sat fat, 0mg chol, 1g protein, 9g carb, 2g fiber, 1mg sodium

_________________________________

Mint-Leaf and Chocolate Truffles

Makes about 30 / These nondairy, silky truffles feature a bright mint flavor from real mint (not extract). Serving tip: Bring to room temperature before serving.

Ingredients
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons soymilk
1 cup packed fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate (65% cocoa), finely chopped
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
Fluted 1-inch paper candy cups (optional)

Directions
1. In a small saucepan, bring soymilk to a simmer (do not boil). Remove from heat. Stir in mint and cover; let stand 30 minutes to infuse. Remove mint with a strainer, pressing on leaves to extract all liquid and the mint’s essential oils.

2. Place chocolate in a large bowl. Reheat soymilk to a simmer. Remove from heat and add to chocolate, stirring gently with a flexible spatula until chocolate is melted and smooth. Stir in vanilla. Refrigerate until firm enough to scoop, 1 1/2–2 hours

3. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Scoop out tablespoon-sized portions of chocolate mixture; place on waxed paper. (If mixture is too firm to scoop, let stand at room temperature about 30 minutes to soften.)

4. Place cocoa powder on a plate. Dust hands lightly with cocoa mixture. Roll each scoop into a ball and then roll in cocoa to coat. Place each truffle in a paper candy cup, if desired. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to a week.

PER SERVING (1): 62 cal, 59% fat cal, 5g fat, 2g sat fat, 0mg chol, 1g protein, 7g carb, 1g fiber, 3mg sodium

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Desserts

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s