A few years ago, I discovered the beauty of Saltine toffee aka. Christmas Crack. Let me just say, it lives up to it’s name, it is super addictive. However, as I get many wonderful feels during the holidays, one of the feels I don’t want to get is guilt. While that is almost impossible for me, because I am Lauren, and guilt is pretty much my calling card. I decided to help ease my guilt, I would try a few “healthier” treats.
So here is some 5 ingredient, refined sugar free, Christmas Crack! Also, to fancy it up a bit, I made it peanut butter toffee crack. The caramel sauce is just coconut oil, maple syrup and peanut butter, warmed in the microwave, then poured over top of the layer of crackers. Baked for a few minutes, topped with melted dark chocolate and boom! Very addictive and worthy of the title “crack”.
This treat is so easy, so good, and may not be the healthiest thing ever, but it is definitely a great alternative to the regular butter and sugar caramel toffee. You also don’t have to worry about getting the temperature correct on the caramel, this is just warmed in the microwave. Which is great for me, because I am super lazy. I hope you enjoy!
- 2 Sleeves of Saltines, about 50 crackers
- 1 C. Coconut oil
- 1 C. Maple syrup
- 1/2 C. Peanut butter
- 16 oz. Dark chocolate
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Lay the crackers on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper so they are covering the whole pan sheet in a single layer.
- In a medium microwave safe bowl, add the coconut oil and maple syrup. Microwave for about 30-45 seconds until it is warm and melted.
- Whisk the coconut oil and maple syrup, then add the peanut butter and whisk until fully combined.
- Pour the peanut butter mixture over the crackers and smooth out with a spatula so the mixture is completely covering the crackers.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 7-9 minutes. It will be bubbly.
- Remove from oven and chill until hardened. About 15-20 minutes.
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring each time, until melted.
- Pour over the crackers and toffee and smooth out. Let chocolate harden, you can put it in the fridge to chill.
- Cut and serve!
- I recommend keeping in the fridge! (however, I do live in Florida, so you can see how it goes)
There is one thing that I totally, unapologetically lust after. Cookie dough. When I was a wee lass, my best friend in the world lived right down the street. Her mom bought that ready made chocolate chip cookie dough in a tube all the time. We would wait until her mom left to run an errand or something, and eat cookie dough straight out of the tube. Looking back, it definitely had uncooked eggs in it, which is pretty nasty. However, we didn’t know any better. It was delicious and throwing caution to the wind is part of the beauty of childhood. Years later, I still find comfort in eating raw cookie dough, and of course, I feel better about it because my cookie dough never has eggs in it!
I spend a lot of time looking at food, thinking about food and eating food. It is the biggest part of my life, in an amazing way. While I was on a plane the other day, I had a while to think about different kinds of candy for the holidays. I got to thinking about how amazing it would be to have a cookie dough candy bar. My favorite thing (cookie dough) wearing a festive holiday outfit of my second favorite thing (dark chocolate.)
People will thank you for this candy bar, I promise. 9 ingredients, so easy, and perfectly delicious. It will bring you back to childhood, but you will feel slightly more sophisticated, cause, ya know, you won’t be squeezing the cookie dough out of a tube. This year, I will mostly be giving away cookies and candy instead of purchasing gifts, so these will for sure be in everyone’s boxes of goodies!
These are perfectly balanced, the cookie dough is sweet, but the dark chocolate cuts through it with a little bitterness. Maybe even sprinkle with a little salt, and goodness gracious. Hope you enjoy!
- 2 1/4 C. All purpose Flour
- 1 1/2 C. Brown sugar
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 2 tsp. Vanilla
- 3/4 C. Vegan butter, I used Earth Balance (melted and cooled)
- 3 Tbsp. Almond milk
- 1 C. Dark chocolate chips, vegan
- 3 C. Dark chocolate, chopped
- 2 tsp. Coconut oil
- In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar and salt. Whisk together.
- Add the vanilla, melted vegan butter, and almond milk.
- Stir together until completely combined.
- Press into a prepared square baking dish, I used an 8x8 ( you can use a large one if you want them to be thinner) Press evenly with a cup or some parchment paper.
- Chill for at least 3 hours.
- When the bars are hard, cut into bar shapes.
- Melt the chopped dark chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring each time, until melted. Add the coconut oil and stir.
- Dip the cookie dough bars into the chocolate and chill until completely hard. About an hour.
Who doesn’t love chocolate and peppermint merged together in sweet harmony? The answer, my four year old daughter, but no one else. She thinks peppermint is “too spicy.” I on the other hand(and everyone else), think it is a quintessential part of the holiday season, and one of my favorite flavors. This tart is only 6 ingredients, the filling is made with agave instead of refined sugar, and I made my crust gluten-free! No one will be able to tell! This is one of the most decadent desserts ever. It needs to chill for a few hours, but the actual process of making this tart takes maybe 15 minutes! I think this is a must have for any holiday party you attend. Especially the ones where you know there will be no healthy desserts!
The chocolate peppermint filling for this tart is literal perfection, just the right amount of peppermint, just the right amount of sweetness. The crust is crunchy and the exact texture contrast this tart needed. I think you will find this is going to be a new holiday staple in your house, once you give it a try. I am pretty sure my husband will be requesting many of these in the next month!
So, I made this crust gluten free just by using gluten free chocolate sandwich cookies, but you can use whatever you want. Even a graham cracker crust made the same way would be delicious, I just really wanted that super luscious double chocolate flavor. The beautifully smooth and creamy chocolate filling is made so gorgeous with the help of coconut cream. Damn it, I love Trader Joe’s. Their coconut cream is so thick, the things it can accomplish are insane!
This tart did not last long, I can tell I have a winner when my husband takes one bite of something and declares “this will not last until tomorrow”. That is exactly what happened when I gave him a bite of this to try. Not only does he have super creative, awesome ideas himself, but he is also my taste tester! I am pretty sure he loves that part of his job!
I hope you all do some great cooking and baking this holiday season! This is my favorite time of year, it is totally acceptable for me to over feed everyone I know. You definitely want to be my friend around November and December, I will give you all the goodies! The rest of the year I am a real jerk, jk. Love to you all, and happy food adventures!
Tools I Used:
Fox Run Preferred Non-stick Rectangular Quiche Pan w/ Removeable Bottom, 14″ X 5″
Fox Run Preffered Round Quiche Pan w/ Removable Bottom
ExcelSteel 579 3-Piece Stainless Steel Boiler, 2.5-Quart
Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Stack and Snap Food Processor (70725A)
Vegan Chocolate Peppermint Truffle Tart
- Prep Time: 15m
- Cook Time: 15m
- Total Time: 3h 30m
- Serves: 5
- Yield: 1 Large Tart
- Category: Dessert
- 30 Gluten free or regular chocolate sandwich cookies (I used Trader Joe’s Gluten free Joe Joe’s)
- 1/4 c Vegan butter, I used Earth Balance (melted)
- 1 Can of Coconut Cream, just the solid cream part (I used Trader Joe’s)
- 3 c Dark Chocolate, make sure it is vegan
- 1/2 tsp. Peppermint extract
- 1/4 c Agave nectar
- Preheat oven to 350.
- In a food processor, process the chocolate sandwich cookies and melted vegan butter. Pulse for a few minutes until the cookies become a fine crumb texture and it starts to comes together and form a ball.
- Press into a prepared tart pan that is either circular or rectangular, just make sure it has a pop out bottom. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.
- While the crust is baking, using a double boiler, add all the filling ingredients to the top portion of your double boiler(I have a special double boiler pot, but you can just set a heat resistant bowl on top of a small pot filled with a bit of water and brought to a boil) Stir constantly until the chocolate is fully melted and everything is smooth and shiny. This will take a few minutes.
- Once the crust has baked, remove from oven, pour chocolate mixture into the crust. Smooth out evenly, and place in fridge. Chill for at least 3 hours before serving. Serve with dairy free whipped cream and some chopped candy canes!
- I recommend keeping this in the fridge until you are ready to serve! Slice and enjoy!
I don’t love fudge, but I really want to. The concept is great and it is so incredibly easy, I have always wanted to love fudge. It has just always been so overwhelmingly sweet and rich, that I can really only take a tiny nibble. Fudge always reminds me of being in mountainous tourist towns, where they have a million different fudge shops and will give you samples of their sickeningly sweet fudge that comes in hundreds of different flavors. I wanted my fudge to be different, a little less sweet, a little healthier, and something super easy you can make for the holidays.
I wanted to make this recipe sweet, but not too sweet, so the only added sweetener is maple syrup. The cream base is coconut cream, which makes it lighter and not so rich. The extra salt really cuts through the richness as well. The crunch of the nuts gives it an amazing texture contrast. All and all, I must say, I finally love fudge. I would be totally proud to give this away to my friends and family.
This recipe is pretty fool proof, and takes about 5-10 minutes of actual work. It needs to be chilled for a few hours before cutting and serving, but you can make this with almost no effort(which is my cup of tea). You need a double boiler, which I have a double pot, that is specifically designed for that, but if you don’t have one, you just need a sauce pan with a bit o’ water and a heat proof bowl to put on top. Once everything is melted together and the nuts are added, you just pour into a pan and chill. That is it. No way to mess this up!
Thanksgiving is in a week, holy crap. I will do my best to get you all some super tasty plant based holiday recipes so you don’t feel left out of all the food festivities and you can impress your omnivore friends! Let me know as always if you have any requests. Things you have been craving for the holidays, or things that will make your holiday season better! I am going to be giving friends and family cookie tins, and only really buying stuff for my kid this year. So follow along on my totally cool cookie journey! I hope you enjoy!
Vegan Salted Nut Fudge
- Prep Time: 10m
- Cook Time: 3h
- Total Time: 3h 10m
- Serves: 8
- Yield: 2 dozen small squares
- Category: Dessert
- 1 14oz. Can coconut cream
- 3 c Semi-sweet Chocolate (make sure it is vegan)
- 1/4 c Maple syrup
- 1 tsp. Vanilla
- 3 tsp. Salt
- 1 1/2 c Nuts, I used pecans and walnuts (chopped)
- Using a double boiler, add the coconut cream, chocolate, maple syrup, vanilla and 1 tsp. salt to the top bowl. Simmer the water in the bottom of the double boiler on medium low. Stir frequently until the chocolate is completely melted and everything is incorporated and the fudge sauce looks smooth.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the chopped nuts.
- Pour into a pan prepared with non stick spray and parchment paper. I would use an 8×8 or maybe a little larger so you get nice thick fudge. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 2 tsp. of salt.
- Chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours. When the fudge has set completely, cut into squares and serve. I would recommend keeping the fridge for storage. Enjoy!