Christmas Crunch

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Merry Christmas! We hope everyone is having a relaxing holiday full of love and laughter with everyone you love. Christmas can be a busy day and this easy, delicious snack is perfect for afternoons sitting by the fire playing board games. Still need a last minute gift? As we’ve mentioned in other posts, it is so easy to wrap up some Candy Cane Cookies or Rocky Road Fudge in cute holiday packaging and call it a day!This Christmas Crunch is another perfect gift, especially last minute. It doesn’t require many ingredients, and is so easy and quick to make. Let the kids help with this one- it is so simple! Wrap it in a box with a festive holiday bow and your friends and family will love it. It makes for a thoughtful, homemade, and delicious gift!

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups Cheerios
  • 3 cups Rice Chex
  • 3 cups Wheat Chex
  • 2 cups pretzel sticks
  • 24 oz (2 bags) white chocolate chips
  • 24 oz (2 bags) Milk Chocolate M&M’s

Directions:

Mixing all of these ingredients requires a very large bowl. I didn’t have a bowl large enough so I ended up mixing it in a large stock pot.  Also, as you can see, I used holiday M&M’s to make it more festive, but you can also use regular ones. Tip: Make it again and change the color based on the season for a year-round gift!

First, combine the cereals, pretzel sticks and M&Ms into the extra-large bowl (or pot). Mix with a large wooden spoon or your clean hands.

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Next, melt the white chocolate in the microwave. Pour the white chocolate chips into a large bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Take the bowl out, stir the white chocolate chips and continue to microwave again for 15-30 seconds at a time, stirring after each time until the chocolate is melted. Be careful not to over-melt. Towards the end, I take it out and stir about every 10 seconds just to be safe. It is important to stir the chocolate in-between microwaving times. The whole process takes about 1.5-2 minutes. Check out this video about melting chocolate in the microwave, in case you have never done this before and need a little more guidance.

Once melted, drizzle the white chocolate over the dry mixture, a little at a time. Mix with your hands or a wooden spoon until all the chocolate is evenly coating the cereal mixture.

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Lay out a large sheet of parchment paper on a flat surface. Spread the mixture with the chocolate on it over the paper. Let sit for 30 minutes-1 hour until chocolate has hardened. Freeze or refrigerate until ready to serve. Enjoy!

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Rocky Road Fudge

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Our favorite time of year is well underway-baking season! Christmas time growing up was all about baking as many cookies and treats as possible. Most were made to give away as gifts but we definitely kept and snuck our fair share! So far this year we’ve made yummy chocolate peppermint cookies, Snickerdoodles, one of our favorite Christmas classics Candy Cane Cookie Sandwiches, and we’re planning a big sugar cookie bake this weekend (recipe to follow)! Today I made a new favorite I came up with last year-Rocky Road Fudge. We made fudge a lot growing up but I hadn’t made it since going vegan. I went with a coconut cream base and added in marshmallows and walnuts. Yum! This recipe was such a hit I ended up making it several times last year. It was a great treat to serve at our New Year’s Eve celebration. This recipe is vegan, omnivore tested, approved and loved! Best of all it is so easy! Just leave enough time to let the fudge set in the fridge.

 

Rocky Road Fudge
(VEGAN)

For those of you new to the vegan game, there are two major brands of vegan marshmallows: Sweet & Sara, and my personal favorite, Dandies. You can find these online from various sellers or sometimes Whole Foods and other specialty stores.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup full fat canned coconut milk or coconut cream
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (not melted)
  • 12 oz semi sweet chocolate chips (make sure you check the ingredients, sometimes they sneak milk in there)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup vegan marshmallows, mini or chopped regular (2/3 for the inside, 1/3 for the topping)
  • 1 cup walnut halves (2/3 for the inside, 1/3 for the topping)

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Line a small baking dish with parchment paper, or greased foil. If you  are using regular sized marshmallows, cut them into fourths or sixths and set aside.

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In a medium pot, heat the coconut milk and bring to a simmer, stirring often. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons coconut oil and stir until it melts.

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Add the chocolate chips and stir quickly with a whisk until all of the chips are melted and you have a pot of gooey yummy chocolate.

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Remove from heat or pour into a mixing bowl if you don’t have a lot of stir room. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2/3 cup marshmallows and 2/3 cup walnuts and stir well. Make sure the marshmallows aren’t in a huge clump when you put them in.

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Pour the mixture into your lined baking dish. Sprinkle walnuts and marshmallows over the top, about 1/3 cup of each.

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Place in the fridge overnight, or at least in the freezer for 30 minutes. Cut into bite sized pieces. Store in the refrigerator.

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Thanksgiving Series: Cranberry Sauce with Fresh Orange and Cinnamon

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Hi readers! Today we continue our Thanksgiving Series. As we work our way through the meal, having already shared our Pomegranate Mule and Twice Baked Potato Casserole, it is almost time for the star of the show- the turkey! While we won’t be sharing a turkey recipe with you this year (who has time for that?!?), we are sharing our favorite homemade cranberry sauce that is sure to be a most-loved accompaniment to your main dish- turkey or tofurkey! Personally, I love this sauce so much that I even use it as a spread for biscuits, why not? So ditch that sketchy can of cranberry “relish” and whip up this super easy sauce that uses fresh oranges and a touch of cinnamon. I cannot tell you enough how easy this is, and best of all, it can be made several days ahead of time- yay! That leaves more time for enjoying the company of your guests on Thanksgiving rather than slaving over the stove the whole day!

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CRANBERRY SAUCE WITH FRESH ORANGE AND CINNAMON

(VEGAN)

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag (12 oz) of fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about 6-7 medium oranges)
  • zest of one orange

Directions:

First, juice the oranges until you have 1 cup of juice. Pour the orange juice and 1 cup of sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Stir occasionally until sugar is dissolved. Then, reduce the heat  and let simmer for 5 minutes.

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Next, stir in the cranberries. How gorgeous are those!?!

Simmer the cranberries over medium-low heat until the cranberries start to pop. They will first look like this…

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Continue to stir the cranberries to avoid burning. They will keep popping and the sauce will thicken.

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Once the sauce looks like this (above), add the zest of one orange and the cinnamon.

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Once most of the cranberries are popped and it has a sauce-like consistency, remove from heat and transfer to a bowl. I like to leave a few whole cranberries for texture so don’t worry if all of them have not popped and reduced. Transfer the sauce to a bowl and refrigerate until you are ready to eat. The sauce will thicken as it cools.

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Garnish with fresh orange zest (optional). Enjoy!

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Candy Cane Cookie Sandwiches

 Today we are launching our Holiday cookie series, where we will bring you several tasty cookie recipes over the next week or so. In our family, holiday baking is one of our most celebrated traditions. We usually devote at least a few days during the holiday season to baking all day. Baked goods make a delicious and thoughtful gift for anyone special in your life. Wrap the treats in some festive packaging and you’re ready to go! To kick off our online cookie party, we will be sharing Candy Cane cookie sandwiches. These are very similar to an Oreo (only better) with a festive twist- candy canes! The peppermint-rimmed cookies are not only delicious but are also super cute and festive! As usual, we’re sharing a vegan and nonvegan recipe for these cute cookies.

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Candy Cane Lane is one click away!

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