Holiday Treats

For years, we’ve been baking up a storm at the holidays.  This year I thought we’d have to give up the tradition, since we refuse to use flour & sugar anymore.  But then I found chocolate on sale at Whole Foods and was gifted jar of homemade Pomegranate Jelly; shortly after, our kitchen was a cookin’ again!

We made Candy (recipe follows) and the Spunky Coconut’s Scandinavian Thumbprint Cookies!

I have a friend whose son is egg-free and gluten-free; she recommended Spunky Coconut to me a while ago but we hadn’t tried any of her recipes yet.  After an order arrived from Tropical Traditions, I was inspired to find something for the coconut flour sitting in our pantry.  As a traditional holiday treat, her thumbprint cookies seemed like the perfect trial item – especially since a different friend had just given us a jar of homemade pomegranate jelly as a holiday gift.

Finian and I went to Whole Foods to get Tapioca Flour, as the only missing ingredient from our pantry.  He, doggie and I jammed out to Lady Gaga on the way there.  His adorableness talked me into purchasing a fig spread they had there for sampling.  It too was wonderful for the cookies.

When we got home, the boys were extremely enthusiastic about the idea of THUMBprint cookies.  Their thumbs were the perfect size to make “volcanoes” as Cole would say.  Cole would also tell you, they’re very tasty and make a great gift for friends.  We made a triple batch for gifts and will be making more for Christmas day.  I’m looking forward to trying out more Spunky Coconut treats!

While at Whole Foods, Finian and I also picked up some vegan (dairy-free, soy-free) chocolate on sale and I knew it’d be perfect for the candy recipes I’ve had in my head for a few weeks.

If you don’t have candy molds I suggest either using ice cube trays (so you can twist and pop the candy out) or lining muffing tins with cupcake liners.

Our second candy was my play on Mounds… which I’ve been thinking about since my children brought a few home on Halloween and I used every ounce of will power in my body to bring it to work and let my coworkers enjoy the goodies.  It’s actually why I ordered from Tropical Traditions… I thought their Coconut Concentrate would be a perfect consistency for the chewy center.  And I was lucky enough to be right!

You’ll need to follow their Video on preparing your Concentrate.  Once ready, combine in a bowl:

  1. 2/3 cup Coconut Flakes
  2. 3T Maple Syrup
  3. 2T Coconut Concentrate
  4. 1t Vanilla

Heat over medium heat for a few minutes, allowing coconut flakes to soften and the coconut concentrate to melt slightly. It will start falling apart.  The cooked coconut mixture will be pliable and have a slightly darker tint (the agave will darken, as well as the coconut).

Paint your candy mold of choice with enough for the entirety of the surface to be covered. Freeze it until it’s hardened.  In our case, it was the 20 minutes it took us to make the coconut mixture and clean-up a bit…

Then freeze again, about 10 minutes (to reheat your chocolate) is enough.

Layer on the chocolate again, making sure there are no holes – and you’re done!  The more frozen your candy, the easier it is to pop out of the mold.  If you twist your tray or try to peel off the wrapper and it doesn’t work, put it back in the freezer.  Don’t be temped to run it under hot water – this will be DISASTROUS.

Once the coconut oil hardens again, it’s the perfect consistency.  I dare you to have just one.

We used about 8-10oz of chocolate per 24 candies.

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