The winter holiday season is in full swing, and in my family that means Christmas preparations have begun even for Grinch types like myself. As part of @dawnsplantkitchen’s #VeganWeekendPotluck we’re sharing some of our favourite #VeganWeekendTraditions in a theme suggested by @superpancake.vegan.glutenfree. Follow the hashtag for fantastic seasonal inspiration or join in if you’re so inclined!
In my family, Christmas is not Christmas without a few key homemade sweet gifts. When I was two and my sister was four, my mum made special treats with each of us to give to my dad. Many (MANY) years later, my mum is no longer with us and my sister and I have homes of our own, but without fail we still make my dad his special Christmas treats.
My sister makes chocolate chip cookies, but since I was so young when we started this tradition I have one of the easiest no-bake recipes in the world. My mum called these chocolate balls, but I’ve heard similar recipes called haystacks as well. Whatever you call them, they’re fun and tasty (even though they do have dried fruit in them, and I do not like dried fruit).
There is no tempering of chocolate involved, though you could do so if you’re inclined. It does mean that these keep best in the fridge, and even freeze well for several weeks if you’re making treats early.
In recent years, the boyfriend’s mother has fallen in love with chocolate balls as well, and we make a separate batch with vegan white chocolate for the boyfriend’s sister. The tradition has evolved, and that makes it even sweeter!
Chocolate Balls (Yields 50-60 ish)
• 1 cup semi-sweet, mylk or vegan white chocolate chips
• 1 cup dark chocolate chips
• 1 cup salted peanut halves
• 1 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut
• 1 cup raisins
• 1 cup crisp rice cereal
On a large baking tray, set out 50-60 paper candy cups.
Either in a double boiler or a large pot, melt all the chocolate chips until just liquid. Add in all ither ingredients and stir well until thoroughly combined.
Reduce heat to minimum and, working quickly, place 1-2 tsp of filling in each cup. Place in the fridge to cool and solidify . Keep in the fridge or freezer until ready to serve.