• Dairy Free,  Dessert,  Recipe,  Snacks,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Chocolate Covered Caramel Cookie Dough Pretzel Cups

    Do you guys know what’s better than cookie dough……………?

    If you’re thinking “Um, NOTHING, duh!”, well, that’s completely right, but cookie dough covered in chocolate is also the right answer! True stuff.

    Growing up in my house would not have been the same without Mom’s amazing chocolate chip cookies. Of course, the excitement we’d have when we heard the mixer going wasn’t as much about the cookies as it was about getting to be her poison-checkers. We were all privileged enough to know that the dough is where it’s at. I’d take the dough over the cookies every time. I’m obsessed!

    So these cookie dough bites, I created them as an alternate flavor to go with my homemade Reese’s eggs and almond joys that I always make for Easter and they are so happening again and again from now on. To clear up any confusion on the caramel part, you mix it into the dough. I happened to have some extra caramel on my hands the day I was making them so I used it as my liquid in the dough.

    So I made them in two different sizes because I couldn’t decide which one I liked better, one in a mini cupcake pan that gives them a more rounded look and the other in regular cupcake size liners to give them a frilled edge like Reese’s cups. Also, I think the pretzels add the perfect salty crunch to balance them out but I’d say they’re an optional thing because not everyone in my gang was as into them being on top of these. You can decide what you think.

    Hope you have a great weekend peeps!

    Chocolate Covered Caramel Cookie Dough Pretzel Cups

    Are you a major fan of all things cookie dough? Great! Then these candies are just for you!
    Prep Time 30 minutes
    Chilling Time 1 hour
    Servings 24 candies

    Ingredients

    • 2 tablespoons coconut oil softened
    • 2 tablespoons full-fat coconut milk
    • 1 cup powdered sugar
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup dairy free caramel ice cream topping/sauce or you can make it. I used the butterscotch caramel in my butterbeer recipe
    • 2 - 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup dairy free mini semi-sweet chocolate chips or finely chopped chocolate
    • 1 - 1 1/2 cups dairy free semi-sweet chocolate
    • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
    • about 24 snack pretzels for topping

    Instructions

    1. Beat coconut oil, coconut milk, and sugar together until combined. Add caramel, salt, and vanilla and mix well.
    2. Add 2 cups of flour fold in just until smooth (depending on the thickness of the caramel you used you may need to add a bit more flour until the dough isn't sticky). Mix in chocolate chips and divide the dough into balls about 2 tablespoons each.
    3. For the shapes I used two different methods, a 24-count mini cupcake pan for the smooth edges or some regular size silicone cupcake molds (paper liners in a cupcake pan would work) to get the frilled edge like Reeses cups. Press dough balls into your chosen mold and place in the fridge to chill for at least 1 hour.
    4. Melt chocolate and oil in a double boiler and remove dough from fridge. Loosen each piece from mold and dip in chocolate, For the minis, place them on a parchment lined plate or tray and for the frilled edge, place them back in silicone/paper-lined cupcake molds. Top the wet chocolate with a pretzel and place trays back in fridge.
    5. Allow chocoalte to harden for at least 15 minutes before devouring!

     

  • Dairy Free,  Dessert,  Recipe,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Inside-Out Twix Cookies

    Is it really Friday already? Wowzers!

    Well, we’ve all obviously survived the first month of the year, but clearly I’m late to the January health-fads party. Sorry, my mind is still stuck in holiday baking. Not that it makes it any better, but this is actually the run-off of my enthusiasm for baking during the holidays (plus every other time of year too if we’re gonna be honest here). I just didn’t have time to share everything that I made in December. But I’ll be posting the more diet-friendly things soon, for reals.

    You know what I’m thinking these would be perfect for?….uh huh, Superbowl 2016! Oh wait, I don’t even like football…but I’m all for the football food, guys. These are excellent tailgating material, truth I speak.

    I’m going to be straight with you though, these cookies can get really messy just so you know. I’ve had some complaints from readers recently on some similar recipes that they didn’t come out perfect so I want you all to be forewarned that you are pretty much guaranteed to have at least one oozer in each batch, at least. We’re talking melty chocolate and caramel meets real life baking, hello, there’s always going to be a little messiness involved. The amount of not-so perfect cookies will depend on what you choose to stuff them with. Since I used homemade caramels they were a little extra runny and melty but if you use store-bought ones they should hold up better because there are things added to those to help stabilize the chocolate.

    Whichever you choose, I think any amount of trial and error is worth it cuz these are amazing. Seriously, slam-dunk/show-stopping/crowd-raging madness here! You just have to try em!

    Ok, clearly I’m obsessed with stuffing cookies as of late. In recent months if you haven’t noticed I’ve made these and these and these…. Hey, It’s just really hard to go back to plain cookies once you’ve started down the road of stuffing them with yummy stuff. The exception being when you’re to lazy to put in an extra step, but when you’ve got the time, it’s so worth it.My mom calls them sugar baby cookies because the texture that the homemade caramels get when you bake them in the dough is such a similar texture to sugar babies candy and she used to love those. And speaking of candy, there aren’t actually twix bars in these, but rather, they were inspired by a twix but in reverse. The chocolate is on the inside while the shorbread-ish cookie in on the outside. Get it?

    So remember what I said about these being potentially messy. Please don’t expect picture perfect cookies every time or your setting yourself up for disappointment. By the way though, the stuff that runs out of the cookies is still very edible (wink wink).

    So I hope you had a great week and are planning a fun weekend. Happy friday peeps!

    Inside-Out Twix Cookies

    Classic chocolate chip cookies are always great, but how about something new. These melty, caramel-filled, oh-so-chewy cookies are sure to be a new favorite!
    Prep Time 35 minutes
    Cook Time 25 minutes
    Total Time 1 hour
    Servings 30 cookies (about)

    Ingredients

    • 3/4 cup 1 1/2 sticks Miyoko's "butter" or any dairy free butter, cut into pieces
    • 3 tablespoons coconut cream *see note
    • 3 tablespoons applesauce
    • 1 1/2 cups organic granulated sugar
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    • 36-40 dairy-free chocolate covered caramels (I used these homemade ones)

    Instructions

    1. Cream butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Beat in coconut cream and applesauce, then soda, salt, and vanilla. Add the flour a little at a time and mix until dough is just combined.
    2. roll the dough into 1 inch, about 1 heaping tablespoon each, balls and place them about 2 inches apart on parchment or silicone lined baking sheets. Use you thumb to make a well in the center of each dough ball and stuff a chocolate caramel inside. Squish the sides up a little and roll the dough around it to cover.
    3. Place cookie back on tray and push down slightly then repeat with all cookies. Place the tray in freezer (if it won't fit you can chill the balls on a smaller plate and then put them back on tray) for about 25 minutes to get cold.
    4. While the balls chill, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). After 25 minutes, bake for 7 - 9 minutes until the edges are just starting to turn a light tan. Remove and let them cool for at least 5 minutes them loosen from pan and either let them cool completely or eat them while they're still hot and melty!

    Recipe Notes

    I should probably also mention that these do not all come out perfectly shaped. Know that some of them will have a little filling ooze out and candy, or possibly even burn, on the pan. What I do is simply let them cool on the tray and cut the cookies away from the runaway filling (p.s. It's really good once it candies like that; baker's privilege!) If some of them get extra flat you can try using a spatula to sort of push the cookie back into shape by scooting in the sides. *If you have trouble finding coconut cream at your local grocery store it's completely fine to use full-fat coconut milk and scrape the cream off of the top. Just be sure that it's cold enough to separate.

  • Dairy Free,  Dessert,  Gluten Free,  Holiday,  Recipe,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Edible Gifting Week #5: DIY Vegan Hot Cocoa Mix 4 Ways

    I’m ending my series of edible holiday gifting ideas with #5, hot cocoa mixes! A cup of hot Cocoa is like the quintessential holiday drink. It’s an icon that everyone can associate with Christmas. Come on, who doesn’t love a hot cup of cocoa to sip on during the cold winter season?

    I’m going to assume that you all just did a little cocoa dance, or at the very least are silently cheering with me for the wonderful creation that is sweet and cozy hot cocoa. Now, if you just mentally responded to the negative, then you’d better go find someone else’s parade to rain on because cocoa and I are really having a moment right now and it’s going to take a lot more than rude comments or pointless negativity to mess this thing up. Just sayin’.

    I know it’s around the time of year where we’re all searching for the just the thing to get for everyone this Christmas. Well I have great news for you, this is it! Talk about the perfect gift. I mean, of course your friends and family can go out and by generic hot chocolate mix for themselves, but that’s just going to end in a disappointing cup of tasteless, watered-down, artificially flavored, dark colored liquid in a mug. And no, this is not an advertisement for kleenex to mop up all those tears. I’m just being (brutally) honest here.

     

    But you can be super happy now because…..we’re havin’ cocoa tonight!!! It makes it taste even better when the person you give it to knows that you added lots of love to it. I couldn’t decide on just one flavor so I went with four different kinds because that’s what you get when you put indecisive with creative and a side of coo-coo-cachoo. So firstly, I really wanted to make this a more allergy friendly version of this classic gift so I picked up some powdered coconut milk so these could be dairy free,

    A. there’s the Mexican Hot Cocoa! If you like a little extra heat to stay warm, it’s for you. I know this weirds a lot of people out, putting hot peppers in chocolate, but it’s amazingness guys. You’ve at least got to do it once. If you’re not a fan I totally get it, but at least you can rest in the knowledge that you’re not wasting a life’s worth of Mexi-cocoa when it would actually be your jam.

    2, if you’re as crazy as I am about your peanut butter, then you really need to try the “Reese’s” Hot Cocoa because that one is kil-ler. I had the idea pop into my head when I was brainstorming for this post and I was like, Hey, why have I never had PB in my cocoa? Life changing moments those are. You can make your own peanut butter cups (I have a recipe here.) or use some like these store-bought peanut butter cups.

    And D, For the peppermint/candy cane fans or those who secretly prefer vanilla, there is the Peppermint Hot Cocoa and following my Reese’s epiphany I decided to use some peppermint patties. You can buy them online -> chocolate peppermint cups.Although, I’m a diy kind of person so I made my own (Let me know if you guys think I should post that recipe some time, cause it’s so good and so fun to make for the holidays.)

    Then there’s the good old classic hot cocoa mix for you purists with some chocolate chips and mini marshmallows.Although, I must admit I like traditional things too. Sometimes simple cocoa and marshmallows is exactly what you’re craving, you know?

    This is definitely something you need to do. The internet is chock full of printable hot cocoa labels and I made some that you can print if you click the link below. Or you can of course just write them by hand. All you need to add is the instructions to put 4 to 5 tablespoons per 1 cup of hot milk or water.

    -> Hot Cocoa Labels <-

     

    Edible Gifting Week #: DIY Hot Cocoa Mix 4 Ways (Vegan + GF)

    Give the gift of warm and cozy hot cocoa this season! Choose to make any (or all!) of these vegan flavors of DIY mix for that special someone.

    Prep Time 20 minutes
    Servings 4 2-cup jars

    Ingredients

    Classic Hot Chocolate:

    Peppermint Patty Hot Cocoa:

    Reese's Peanut Butter Cocoa:

    Mexican Hot Chocolate:

    Instructions

    1. Layer ingredients for each mix in 2-cup jars, bottles, or desired container. Decorate with ribbons, yarn, or bows. You can also include extras such as chocolate spoons, cookies, small ornaments, candy canes, or pirouette cookies. Get creative and make them your own!
    2. Include the following instructions in a note or tag with jars:
    3. Instructions:

      Mix contents of jar together. Add 4 to 5 tablespoons of mix per 1 cup of boiling milk or water. Makes 6 - 8 cups

     

    (p.s. Bonus points if you got my holiday A,2,D reference!)


  • Dairy Free,  Dessert,  Gluten Free,  Holiday,  Recipe,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Edible Gifting Week #1: Chocolate Dipped Salted Caramels (Vegan)

    Okay so you guys may or may not have noticed that I have a thing for themes. Well, that said, I thought this year it would be fun to do a different theme for each week in December. This week I’m posting edible gift ideas that will hopefully inspire your giving spirit for the season and get your wheels spinning. That’s one of my favorite parts of blogging, the thought of being able to share creativity with you guys and hope it sparks your inspiration!

    Okay, I’ve gotta know, it’s the week after Thanksgiving and the last day before we start the 25 day till Christmas countdown, who’s got their trees up?

    We put ours up over a week ago now and I’m still having so much fun just staring at it everytime I’m around it. It’s the BEST time of year!!!! We always make a big deal out of decorating day cause it’s like the start of our Christmas-ing and from then on it’s a non-stop stream of christmas songs, Christmas movies, and (of course) Christmas foods until January.

    I don’t know if it’s just us, but every year we seem to have strands of Christmas lights that decided to die and missing ornaments that we all search the house to find. This year we couldn’t find our angel tree topper for a while. We looked everywhere but then realized that we’d put it in a box that, from the outside, seemed too small for it so no one had checked inside. I’m so happy we found it cause the tree wouldn’t be the same without it’s topper.

    I’m not as bad as I used to be about decorating every square inch of the house but I still get really into it. The last few years I’ve focused more of my holiday energies on baking and cooking more than decorating. Hence the weeks of Christmas themed recipes this month.

    This recipe is for the salted caramels that I made for last week’s crack snacks. Up until then I had somehow never tried making soft caramels ever. I’ve made bajillions of caramel sauces, and caramel corn, and stuff, but never tried making them solid.

    These are life altering guys and that’s why I had to share them. It took me quite a few tries (and maybe a few moments of acute frustration) to get them perfect without the use of corn syrup. I know that dealing with sugar is a little scary for some of you but all it takes is a little patience and practice.

     

    These are actually not long or hard to make and they make the perfect gift to give. Wrap them in a pretty little box with a bow and a note and you’re seriously gonna make someone’s entire day, no, their entire holiday!

    I will definitely recommend using a candy thermometer for this recipe and carefully following the instructions for proper temperatures. If done correctly these caramels are simple to perfect, however don’t be discouraged if your first few tries aren’t exact.

    Edible Gifting Week #1: Chocolate Dipped Salted Caramels (Corn Syrup Free)

    Candy making is such a fun holiday time activity and these caramels make the perfect gift. Wrap them up, serve them at parties, or simply enjoy them yourself!

    Prep Time 5 minutes
    Cook Time 35 minutes
    Cooling Time 1 hour
    Total Time 40 minutes

    Ingredients

    Instructions

    1. Grease an 8x8 inch pan with oil. Line with parchment paper and grease parchment also.
    2. Combine brown sugar and water in a medium saucepan and stir together well. Wipe down the side of pan with a wet spatula or pastry brush to make sure there are no sugar crystals stuck to the side. Place pan over low heat and bring the mixture slowly to a boil and cook for 8 to 10 minutes without stirring until it the syrup starts to darken and smell caramely. It should read somewhere between 270°F to 300°F on a candy thermometer.
    3. While your syrup is boiling gently, mix the salt and cream in a separate small saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir until steaming and then set aside.
    4. Once your syrup is ready, turn off heat and carefully pour in cream mixture (it will bubble). Stir gently, then return to heat and bring mixture back to a boil until it reaches 245°F to 250°F.
    5. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla quickly, then pour caramel into prepared pan.
    6. Allow the caramel to cool and set for at least 3 hours or overnight. Once set, cut them into small squares. Melt chocolate in a double boiler and dip caramels to coat then place on wire rack to allow excess to drip off. If desired, sprinkle with sea salt then allow chocolate to dry.


  • Dairy Free,  Dessert,  Gluten Free,  Recipe,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Homemade Snickers Bars (Vegan+GF)

    It’s so bad you guys, I made something so bad…….

    With it being October I know we’re all seeing the grocery aisles filling with extra candy and you moms are being forced to play the bad guy more than usual when you have to limit or deny the requests to buy it all every time they ask. Not only do you not want too much around for the kids to be tempted by, but admit it, when no one’s around you know you’ll remember that whole bag of fun-sized pieces and that one less won’t be detectable.

    Okay, so these homemade versions of a classic aren’t exactly going on anyone’s healthy food pyramid anytime soon, but the good thing is that they don’t have tons of high fructose corn syrup and all the other crud you’ll find on those ingredient lists. Plus, isn’t it so much more fun to share candy that you’ve actually made. Although, I’m not sure if you’ll be very motivated to give any of these away.

    I don’t see us getting a lot of trick or treaters here in Chile. I mean, there is some awareness of the crazy American’s customs on the 31st of the month but it’s not something that they really do down here. I can’t say I mind that though, it’s kind of nice actually. I used to like getting to dress up as a princess or something fun every year and spending time with friends at a little party. I also love watching all the classic and harmless scary movies that have plenty of good suspense. However, I’ve never liked it when people take the day to extremes and try to freak little kids out. I draw the line at the gory bloodbath movies or anything demonic. That’s just too far.

    Now all the seasonal candies though, I can’t say I didn’t love that as a kid. Candy corn, and all things sour were some of my faves but my sisters always went for the chocolate. Now that I’m getting older I’d say it’s kind of a tie for me between the tart stuff and the chocolate, but if I was going to choose chocolate than Snickers would be one of my top picks.

    According to certain members of my family, I have officially topped myself in the sweet department with these. They’re dangerously addictive with that perfect salty sweet balance and the crunch of the peanuts with the gooey caramel. I must warn you though, you’re going to want milk with these. A lot of it!

    Homemade Snickers Bars (Vegan+GF)

    Ever wanted to make your own healthier version of your favorite candy bars?

    Prep Time 30 minutes
    Cook Time 30 minutes
    Chilling Time` 1 hour
    Total Time 1 hour
    Servings 24 bars

    Ingredients

    Bottom and Top Layers (x2):

    • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
    • 2/3 cup dairy free semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate

    Nougat Layer:

    • 2/3 cup organic cane sugar
    • 1/4 cup almond milk
    • 1 cups gelatin free vanilla marshmallows + 2 tablespoons water
    • 1/2 cup natural creamy peanut butter
    • 1/4 cup vegan butter
    • 1/2 cup salted dry roasted peanuts
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt

    Caramel:

    • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
    • 2/3 cup brown sugar
    • 2/3 cup coconut cream
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons strong black coffee
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla

    Instructions

    Caramel:

    1. Combine brown sugar, coconut cream, syrup, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Bring to a soft boil and stir occasionally, scraping sugar from sides of pan, for about 12 minutes or until it reaches 240 degrees F (115C) and starts to get thick and develop a dark amber color. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and coffee then cool for about 10 minutes. 

    Bottom Layer:

    1. Line an 8x8 inch pan with parchment paper and set aside. Melt the 2 tablespoons peanut butter and 1 cup chocolate in a double boiler until smooth. Scrape out into prepared pan with a rubber spatula and spread into as even a layer as you can. Place pan in fridge to harden while you make the nougat.

    Nougat:

    1. Pour the marshmallows and water into a glass measuring cup and warm in microwave for about 30 seconds. Remove and stir well until the mixture resembles marshmallow cream. Warm 30 seconds more if needed. Once smooth stir in the peanut butter and set mixture aside.

    2. Combine sugar and milk in a small saucepan and bring to a soft boil over medium low heat. Boil for about 5 minutes then remove from heat and stir in salt, marshmallows, peanut butter, butter, and vanilla until melted and smooth. Remove pan with bottom layer from fridge. Add peanuts to nougat mixture and scrape out onto bottom layer. Spread as quickly and evenly as possible. Place in fridge or freezer to cool for at least 15 minutes before adding caramel.

    3. Pour cooled caramel over nougat layer and spread gently and evenly. Place pan back in refrigerator and chill for about 30 minutes.

    Top Layer:

    1. Melt 2 tablespoons peanut butter and 1 cup chocolate in the same double boiler until smooth. Scrape out onto chilled caramel layer with a rubber spatula and spread into an even layer. Place pan back in fridge and chill for at least 1 hour before cutting into bars and serving.

    2. These bars are best stored in fridge and served slightly cold or not quite lukewarm because they are a bit soft at room temp.

    Recipe Notes

    If you have trouble finding coconut cream at your local grocery store it's completely fine to use full-fat coconut milk and scrape the cream off of the top. Just be sure that it's cold enough to separate.


  • Dairy Free,  Dessert,  Recipe,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Black Sesame Peanut Cookie Butter Truffles

    I can’t help but feel like I’m cheating just a little with this one.

    Remember the gray stuff I made recently, those yummy gray cupcakes? Well, when you are a food blogger you always have extra stuff from testing your recipes, it’s like a law somewhere. But I think even you non-food bloggers probably still have that problem too, if you spend any amount of time in the kitchen. The great challenge of figuring out what to do with the leftovers.

    Out of necessity, I’ve gotten pretty good at doing it, keeping up with the randomness that is the contents of our refrigerator. I think of it as living out one of those food competition shows where the chefs have to turn things like squid ink, chocolate ice cream, and blood oranges into one cohesive dish. Okay, I don’t usually have squid ink on hand, but that doesn’t make it any less challenging. Hey, I have to try to please the kiddos instead, “try” being the key word here. It doesn’t always happen, picky little goobers that they are.

    Anyway, these truffles were what happened when I had leftover black sesame frosting, a tray’s worth of these pb cookies that I got too crunchy for the general preference of my chewy-cookie-lover house mates, and less time than I needed for making something more complicated. Ergo, I created these fairly quick and simple truffles that I am probably going to repeat because they were so good. In fact, even though I don’t like fighting with black sesame seeds to get them ground into paste, I’d do it specifically for these. That’s how good they were.

    Okay, the reason I feel like a cheater is that these were almost too easy.  A total win win all around! Use extra leftovers, check. Make something that everyone will love, check. Make something worth sharing on the blog, check! So these are making me very happy right now.

    This same idea works for all kinds of flavors by the way. I’ve done it with all kinds of frostings and you can use crumbs from cookies, brownies, cakes, chips, pretzels……

    Another cool thing about these is that they could be a perfect and thoughtful gift, and the holiday season is creeping up on us quickly so it’s never too soon to start planning. I’ve actually got a few recipes I’m holding back until a little closer to harvest season (harvest for the North Hem that is). I’m so excited about them too, so remember to check back soon!

     

    Black Sesame Peanut Cookie Butter Truffles

    Turn some simple, yet unusual together, ingredients these sweet little truffles that are sure to be something new to all your guests!

    Ingredients

    • 1 package of Nutter Butters or similar *see note
    • Black Sesame Frosting:
    • 1/4 cup 1/2 stick vegan butter
    • 2 cups organic powdered sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons black sesame paste aka black tahini

    Coating:

    • 200 g about 1 1/3 cups dairy free semi-sweet dark chocolate, roughly chopped
    • 3 tablespoons coconut oil

    Peanut Butter Drizzle:

    • 35 g about 1/4 cup vegan white chocolate
    • 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter

    Instructions

    1. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, cream butter with 1 cup powdered sugar. Add sesame paste, vanilla, milk, and salt and mix until smooth. Add remaining powdered sugar a little at a time until incorporated. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute until light and fluffy.
    2. Place the cookies in a food processor and pulse until finely crumbed. Pour into mixing bowl with frosting and mix just until combined. Roll into balls and place on parchment lined tray in fridge for about 45 minutes until chilled.
    3. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler and dip truffles to coat all sides. Place on a wire rack or parchment lined tray until chocolate is set (you can stick them in fridge to speed things up).
    4. Now melt the white chocolate and butter until smooth and scoop into a pastry bag with a small round tip. Pipe it over truffles and place them in fridge again to set.

    Recipe Notes

    So nutter butters brand cookies are not technically vegan because they are made in a factory that also processes products with dairy. However they don't contain any dairy products themselves. You can replace them with another brand such as Back to Nature Peanut Butter Cookies.


  • Ukrainian Halva
    Dairy Free,  Dessert,  Gluten Free,  Recipe,  Snacks,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Ukrainian Sunflower Seed Halva (Vegan+GF)

     

    A BIT OF BACKGROUND

    This post may contain affiliate links. That means I may receive a commission if you purchase something from the links. See disclaimer here.

    So last week was sister’s birthday and I wanted to try something sweet that would be nostalgic to her and the first thing that came to mind was the sunflower halva that she used to love. I guess I should mention, for those of you who don’t know this, that two of my sisters were born in Ukraine. You’d never guess it now though because they seem every bit as North American as I am.

    This post is all about Ukrainian Halva, a European favorite.

    Halva it’s not a common thing in the States but, as it happens, there are a bunch of Ukrainians that live in the Spokane area which is really close to where we live in Idaho. I really don’t like Spokane, in fact, I more than dislike it. We have this inside joke that my mom can never drive there again because the few times she has, and I mean very few, she seems to become some kind of cop target and ends up with absurd tickets. My mom is a very good and safe driver by the way so that has nothing to do with it.

    Sunflower Seed Halvah

    But back to my point, there was this one time that we got sort of lost and took a “short cut” in Spokane. We stumbled upon this little Kiev market where they had authentic Ukrainian halva sold by authentic Ukrainians. (I sort of have this thing for accents and languages and I could just sit and listen to them talk all day. It’s so cool to me.) Anyway, Lela loved it and said it tasted just like when she was little. I’ve wanted to recreate it ever since.

    Russian Halva Recipe

    What is Halva or Halvah?

    You’re probably wondering what halva even is. From what I’ve read halva is made all over Europe but there are many variations. In the middle east they make it with sesame seeds but in eastern Europe (i.e. Ukraine) they make it with sunflower seeds. It’s a really simple candy and it only takes a few minutes to make. I have no idea if this is even close to how they do it overseas to be honest. However, Lela said it tastes like what she remembers so I thought I’d share it for you to try.

    Vegan Ukrainian Halva

    I think the key is to use fresh or roasted sunflower seeds and grind them in a food processor if you want the correct texture. However, if you’re in a rush and don’t mind a slightly more fudge-like texture, you can skip this step and just use sunflower seed butter. Either way, the flavor ends up delicious.I hope you try it.

     

    You’ll definitely want a candy thermometer for this one. You can buy one very cheaply from Amazon.

     

    This post was all about Ukrainian Sunflower Seed Halva

    Okay here’s the recipe:

    Ukrainian Sunflower Seed Halva (Vegan+GF)

    Halva is a traditional treat enjoyed throughout Europe. While many types are made with sesame, this one uses roasted sunflower seeds.
    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Cook Time 10 minutes
    Total Time 20 minutes
    Servings 16 servings

    Ingredients

    Instructions

    1. Line a standard standard loaf pan with parchment and set aside. Put sunflower seeds into a food processor or blender and blend until very fine and beginning to look like really thick nut butter (but not quite). Use a spatula to scrape the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer and add the vanilla and salt.

    2. Combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium low heat and bring to a boil. Boil for about 5 to 7 minutes until a candy thermometer reads 245 degrees F (it may take a bit longer depending on your stove but be sure to get the sugar to the right temperature or it will not candy properly.). Remove from heat and quickly, but carefully, pour the syrup into the sunflower seed mixture while mixing on low speed. Mix just until combined then quickly scrape the entire mixture into the prepared pan then flatten down with spatula. Lay a second piece of parchment over top and press down firmly for a minute or two until very tightly packed.

    3. Allow to cool completely at room temperature before cutting into pieces and serving. Store in an air-tight container.

    Recipe Notes

    If you'd like to skip the step of grinding the seeds you can try using sunflower seed butter instead. The texture will be slightly more fudgy but the flavor is very much the same. Simple replace the 2 cups of seeds with 1 cup of the sun butter.


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