From October-April, from Halloween-Easter, we're betting is the best time of year for dentists everywhere. Retailers push seasonal candy in every way shape and form possible—you can't get away from the stuff.
Making your own candy—vegan style—is obviously the healthier way to go and it's fun, not to mention much cheaper than buying store bought vegan candy. And if candy isn't the way you want to go, we've got a few other chocolate recipes you can indulge with.
Check 'em out, channel your inner Martha Stewart Rachel Ray or Bobby Flay, and get your Willy Wonka on:
(6 mini cupcake liners)
For the Chocolate:
>>1/4 cup unrefined/virgin coconut oil
>>1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa/raw cacao powder
>>2 tbsp coconut palm sugar (maple syrup, or other sweetener works too)
>>1 tsp vanilla extract
Cherry Cream Filling:
>>1/2 cup cashews, soaked and drained
>>1/2 cup (overflowing) cherries (chopped, rinsed, and dried off)
>>2 tbsp non-dairy milk (ie unsweetened almond)
>>1 tbsp coconut palm sugar (or sweetener of your choice)
>>1/4+ tsp almond extract
1. Place all ingredients for the chocolate in a bowl. If the coconut oil is still solid, place the current bowl into a larger bowl filled with hot water. This will melt the coconut oil without being detrimental to the nutrients, as a microwave would. Stir really well until all is mixed. Don’t waste the excess coconut oil left on the measuring cup! Rub the excess in on your arms or legs or anywhere that needs moisturizing!
2. Add sweetener—you can add in 1tsp more than called for, or add to taste.
3. Spoon a thin layer of chocolate into each cup. Make sure to mix around the chocolate in the bowl each time before transferring to the cups. Because the coconut palm sugar is raw, it has a tendency to separate. If you’re using a liquid sweetener, you may not have this problem. A quick mixin’ never hurt anyone though…
4. Place all filled liners in the fridge for a bit until hardened.
5. In the meantime, next step: cherry cream! Combine all the ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor. Add more non-dairy milk depending on preference and how creamy you’d like it to be. Also, adjust the almond extract amount to your likings as well. I used a bit more than 1/4 tsp, but sometimes almond extract can be overwhelming so adjust in minuscule increments. Blend until smooth and creamy.
6. Take out the chocolate filled cups and spoon in some of the cherry cream. Make sure to not let it touch the edges of the liner (see picture).
7. Layer more chocolate over the cream until it’s been buried in chocolate.
8. Place back in the fridge, or freezer if you’re impatient and want to eat quickly, until hardened. Once chocolate has set, I stored these in the fridge to avoid freezer burn. (Keep in mind that the coconut oil has a melting point of 76 degrees F, so if you take them out of the fridge for a while they will probably start to melt. Just put ‘em back in to solidify.)
Note: the flavors meld and improve after a few hours (even days) in the fridge!
>>2 tbsp cocoa butter
>>2 tbsp coconut butter
>>2 tbsp coconut oil
>>4 tbsp honey
>>1 tbsp vanilla extract
>>1 tbsp orange zest
>>1 tsp cinnamon
>>1/2 tsp cardamom
>>1/4 tsp salt
>>1 cup cocoa powder
>>1/2 cup shredded coconut
1. Begin by melting the cocoa butter, coconut butter, coconut oil and honey on a double boiler on the stove over low-medium heat. Once it’s melted, add in the vanilla extract and orange zest.
2. In a separate bowl, combine the cocoa powder, shredded coconut, cinnamon, cardamom and salt. Pour the melted mixture over the dry ingredients and mix well.
3. Once the mixture is fully combined, you can start rolling it into perfectly bite size truffles of sweetness. You should get about 15-20 truffles depending on how big or small you make them. Then you can top them with whatever you like. Pictured are goji berries, shredded coconut, cocoa powder and carob powder. They are extremely delicious on their own without any toppings too though.
Makes 16 Chocolate Coconut Magic Bars.
>>1 cup Golden Caramel Sauce, Easy Caramel Sauce or Condensed Non-Dairy Milk.
>>9 vegan graham crackers (you can make your own, recipe here)
>>5 Tablespoons unrefined coconut oil, melted
>>1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon water
>>1/8 teaspoon salt
>>1 ¼ cup walnuts
>>1 ¼ cup vegan chocolate chips
>>½ cup shredded coconut
1. Preheat the oven to 325F (163C). Line an 8 x 8 inch baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Prepare the Easy Caramel Sauce or Condensed Non-Dairy Milk.
3. Break the graham crackers into 1 inch pieces, place in a food processor and pulse repeatedly until they're ground into a sand-like consistency. Add the crumbs to a large mixing bowl, add the melted coconut, water, salt and hand mix with a spoon until well combined.
4. Transfer the graham cracker crumb mixture to the baking dish and distribute evenly on the bottom. Use the bottom of a pint glass to press the graham cracker crumb mixture into the bottom of the dish so it's firmly packed.
5. Add a layer of the chopped walnuts to the baking dish and distribute evenly. Repeat with the chocolate chips, then the coconut. Carefully drizzle the caramel sauce or condensed non-dairy milk evenly over the top. Use a rubber spatula to distribute it if you need to spread it out a little. Bake for 35 minutes. Allow to cool completely before slicing into squares. Store in an air tight container at room temperature for up to one week.
Makes 12 Cupcakes
>>1 cup non-dairy milk (I used Vanilla Almond milk)
>>1 cup sugar (I used natural cane sugar)
>>1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (or other oil)
>>1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
>>1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
>>1/2 tsp pure almond extract (optional, but awesome)
>>1.5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
>>1/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted (I used Dutch-process)
>>1 tsp baking soda
>>3/4 tsp kosher salt, to taste
**To make the frosting/glaze please click here.
1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners. With an electric mixer, beat together the following ingredients in a large bowl (non-dairy milk, oil, sugar, apple cider vinegar, vanilla, almond extract). Beat on medium speed for a minute or two.
2. Now sift in the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt). Mix well, until the clumps are gone.
3. Spoon the batter into prepared cupcake pan, about two thirds full for each. Bake for about 22 minutes at 350F, or until the cupcake slowly springs back when pressed with a finger. Allow to completely cool before frosting.
4. Lick the bowl!