Halloween time is the perfect time to turn your kitchen into your very own DIY candy station. From Almond Joy to Peanut or Almond Butter Cups and some creative creations of your own. I love veganizing some of my old favorite classic candy bars, and this week brings some marshmallow-filled Rocky Road fun. And this recipe offers up a new discovery: how to make a "milk chocolate" candy bar base instead of the dark chocolate version I usually use, combining dark chocolate chips and virgin coconut oil. Get the recipe and my milk chocolate trick! (Er, treat..)..
It's Monday, the workweek begins! And for me, Mondays always feel better when I embrace all things "easy" at the end of the day...
1. Easy dinner (maybe this or this or this or this. Or takeout from Native Foods or Veggie Grill!)
2. Easy plans (Maybe a quickie yoga break or have a 'turn off my phone' night. Or escape TV!.. Perfect night for some mindless reality TV .. who will admit they are watching The Bachelorette finale tonight with me??)
3. And yes easy desserts. This is one of my most favorite easy desserts..
Rice crispy treats are such an easy "no-bake" dessert to whip up, and they are perfect for sharing with friends. These on-the-go friendly treats are fun for packing as you hit the road for an end-of-summer adventure, or to pack in a lunchbox for back-to-school. (Back to school? Yikes!) Outdoor adventures, potlucks and beachy bonfires would love to host a platter of these sweet simple squares.
These "S'mores" inspired Coconut Oil Rice Crispy Treats have nutty crisp rice flavor mingling with chewy, fluffy melted vegan marshmallow in every chocolate-drizzled bite. To veganize this classic kid-approved treat you will need to snag some gelatin-free, plant-based marshmallows and dairy-free dark chocolate. The coconut oil is naturally vegan and provides a wonderful silky rich texture for these crispy treat gems. I usually use vegan butter for rice crispy treats, but I really enjoyed this coco oil version!..
Vegan smores? Vegan rice crispy treats? Yes! Thank you Sara...
These Hot Cocoa, Toasty Marshmallow Swirled Cinna-Buns have all the cozy-sweet flavor of rich, steamy, hot cocoa with marshmallows, wrapped into each tender, swirled bite. Rich chocolate spirals are slathered in vegan agave-sweetened cream-cheese frosting and oven-baked, toasted vegan marshmallows. This recipe makes a fun splurge-worthy treat for your holiday season.
And every single bite is vegan. Stay inside and cozy up to these homemade "cinnamon bun" style treats..
I often find it hard to make up my mind when it comes to food. I think these fluffy, moist, eclectically-flavored Peanut Butter Blondie Cake Bars showcase my indecisiveness pretty well. And the secret ingredient is pretty interesting too...
On the eighth day of Vegan Treats, my true love gave to me, eight Snowman Crispies,
Seven Flutes of Cinnamon,
Six Soy Nogs swirling,
Five Gol-den Fuyus,
Four Coconut Snowballs,
Three French Toasts,
Two Cups of Cocoa,
and a North Pole Peppermint Chai (just for me.)
Build-Your-Own Snowmen (indoors). Vegan Marshmallow Crispies are a fun holiday treat, especially when they are shaped like winter white snowmen. And guess what, there's actually no cookie cutter stencil required for my recipe. Build those snowmen!...
$25 for a Snowman? Initially, I wanted to grab a nice snowman cookie cutter and stamp these boys out as easy as 1-2-3, 4-5-6-7-8. But as I made my rounds to a few common 'kitchen stores' I found that they were either
a) sold out of beloved snowmen or
b) only had snowmen that came in a set priced at $20-$25.
Both stores I went to offered me the dreaded 'set'. Now don't get me wrong, I have nothing against cookie cutters. I already have a few holiday cutters I love: a beautiful copper gingerbread man, a lovely silver snowflake and a cute copper lobster. What? You don't have a holiday lobster? *shrugs shoulders* Anyways, so I decided that many of you also may not have snowmen cookie cutters, and instead of spending $20+ on a set, lets get crafty and do-it-ourselves. Martha would be proud.
Building Snowmen at Home. My tools? Flat toothpicks, a small bottle cap from bottle of water, a plastic spice jar (round), and a skinny shot glass. These tools made up my head, middle and body of my snowmen. Plus the toothpicks were perfect for stacking the parts and prying free the stamped shapes. They got stuck a few times, but a simple toothpick will pop them out.
Fancy Snowmen. If you'd like, you can grab some frosting, sprinkles, dried fruit nuts (eyes, nose, hat) and other 'decorations' and apply all the bells and whistles a snowman needs. But me, I decided to let my men go au natural. Also, you may want to make larger snowmen than I did, using larger tools. I wanted to have 8 fit in a photo, so I tried to make mine mini men. But larger snowmen will be easier to assemble (especially for kids) and easier to decorate.
vegan, makes 15 mini men or 10 medium men
1 bag of Vegan Marshmallows
*I used Dandies brand, 10 oz. bag
5 cups brown rice crispies
*I used Erewhon brand cereal
2-4 Tbsp vegan buttery spread
*Earth balance brand
pinch of salt
1. In a sauce pan, melt the buttery spread, marshmallows and pinch of salt over medium heat. When the marshmallows are liquid, yet still a bit clumpy, turn off the heat. Note: I have reduced the rice amount in my normal 'crispies' recipe by 1/2 cup. You want to make sure your marshmallow ratio to crispies is high enough, so that you have a firm-chewy-sticky crispy. Too much rice and the crispies will fall apart during the assembly process.
2. Pour in your rice crispies and start folding and stirring until the crispies are completely coated.
3. Line a bordered baking sheet or long casserole dish with wax paper (or use spray oil) and start pouring the crispy mixture into the container.
4. Smooth out the crispies until you get a nice flat surface. 1/2"-1" is good. Thinner crispies will make more snowmen, but they won't be able to stand up on their own. Thicker snowmen will. Well, some of them. A few of mine had the wobbles.
5. Cover crispy sheet with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to harden. Overnight or at least 2-3 hours.
6. This will give you time to choose your tools. You can either use a traditional snowman cookie cutter, or get 'crafty' and choose three different sized circle cutters. Good options include: round cookie cutters, cups, bottle caps (deep not shallow), spice jars, empty medicine bottles (well-rinsed!), condiment bottles, mini funnels, pastry tube tips and such. Look around the kitchen, and see what you can find. If you can find shapes with a hollow top and bottom, you will have a much easier time popping the shapes out of the mold. You will also need a nice pile of flat or pointed toothpicks.
7. Remove your crispies from the fridge and start popping out shapes. The colder the crispies, the easier your shape-making will be.
8. Start assembling the snowmen. I needed two toothpicks per snowman. Decorate as desired.
9. Stick the completed snowmen back in the fridge for and hour to fully harden. Serve and enjoy Caution: Be sure to remove the toothpicks carefully before eating. Be sure to tell people you have placed toothpicks in the crispies (if you serve them toothpicks-in).
Have fun building (and eating) your snowmen.
You certainly can't bite the head off a snow-made snowman!
Storing Your Snowmen: These snowmen melt! Store them in the fridge until ready to be eaten.
First set the snowy scene:
Then add in the men: