On Monday, 27 March 2017, I shared my recipes for vegan chocolates on ABC 4 Utah’s morning show, Good Things Utah. Thanks to everyone on the show-I had a great time 🙂
A few notes that I did not have time to talk about when doing the segment:
Vegan Peanut Butter Cups can be made gluten free by using gluten free Annie’s GF cinnamon sugar snickerdoodle cookies (pulse in a food processor to get crumbs) in place of a graham cracker pie crust shell (I use these in lieu of just buying graham crackers because almost all of them have honey in them, which is not vegan. It’s tough to find organic graham cracker pie crust shells in SLC this time of year, so you go with whatever you can find). You can buy GF graham crackers, but none I’ve seen are also vegan. If you have extra time, you can make your own GF graham crackers, using this recipe here: http://ohsheglows.com/2013/11/05/gluten-free-and-vegan-graham-crackers/
Vegan Peanut Butter Cups can be peanut free too (WHAT!!!) …. You can use one of my very favorite products, called SunButter. It tastes a lot like peanut butter but it is made with sunflower seeds! Make sure you buy the SunButter brand though, as it is the best tasting (not getting any kickbacks-just personal opinion). It’s kind of expensive, but SO worth it! Sometimes it’s on sale or you might get a manufacturer’s or store coupon for it in the mail (Got a $1 off coupon in the mail from Smith’s last week-it might also be on their website to load onto your Fresh Values Card it you have one-definitely check it out).
If you are out of powdered sugar or don’t want to pay $4 for a bag of organic vegan powdered sugar, you can make your own! I use unbleached cane sugar/evaporated cane juice. Cane sugar is vegan if it is unbleached-pure white bleached sugar goes through a bone-char filter to get it to be so white. It doesn’t change its properties per se, but it is kind of like having something nonvegan sharing the same plate as your vegan meal. It’s a matter of principle…
For every 1 cup of unbleached sugar, use 1 TBSP non-GMO cornstarch. You can do it in a high speed blender (VitaMix, BlendTec or other blender-use dry canister). You want your unbleached sugar to be superfine in texture, so I actually run it through a clean coffee grinder (mixing the two in a bowl first, then in small batches, running it through the coffee grinder, then transfer to an airtight container for any unused portions).
For the vegan truffles, you can make these nut-free too. If you can’t use cashews (too expensive, sold out everywhere, allergies, whatever the reason), you can use tofu instead. It’s a mousse filling, so it also doubles as a pie filling! Though soy based, it gets a bad rap. Its health benefits outweigh any negative press it has gotten (it will not give you Moobs and medical studies have been inconclusive about causing cancer).
There’s no real measuring that needs to happen with any of these recipes-I never measure anything… But for those who need ratios:
PEANUT BUTTER CUPS/SUNBUTTER CUPS
1/2 jar peanut butter OR SunButter
1/2 c powdered sugar
1-9″ vegan graham cracker pie crust
1 part unsweetened coconut flakes
1 part sliced almonds
2 parts Brown Rice Syrup
Mix everything together in a bowl-let it sit for a bit for the coconut to rehydrate. I usually start with 1/4 c almonds, 1/4 c coconut flakes and 1/2 c Brown Rice Syrup. A little bit goes a LONG way. Adjust amounts of Brown Rice Syrup if too dry, add more coconut or almonds if too wet. These are like an Almond Joy-if you can’t eat almonds, you can leave them out and then it’s more like Mounds. When I started making these, I used Agave Nectar, which works too, but it’s not as thick as BrownRice Syrup, and I like the BRS version much better. You can buy it at Sprouts and Whole Foods (and possibly other places too). Make sure to wipe down the lip of your jar of Brown Rice Syrup because it is VERY sticky and if you put the lid on without doing this, it will be hard to open it the next time you want to use it.
Cashew Creme (soak cashews at least 2 hours, drain & rinse, then transfer to a blender and add just enough cold water to barely cover. Blend until smooth). Start with 1/4 c cashew creme and add 1/4 c melted chocolate chips and blend again until well incorporated. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides & blend again. Transfer to candy molds and refrigerated until solidified. These can have either a hard candy shell or you can just roll them in cocoa powder, nuts, coconut, etc. If choosing the hard candy shell, prepare in the same way as PB Cups & Almond Delites. (see video)