The past few years I’ve been spending Christmas with my friend Kim and her family in Virginia and every year one thing remains the same: Sweets. Everywhere. All the time. Even for breakfast (woo-who!).
In order to make this a reality though, we have to spend some prep time in the kitchen. First (and forever my favorite) are the chocolate-peanut-rice crispy candies we make every year.
Begin by melting down an entire bag of chocolate chips, either in the microwave or in a double boiler. We used these vegan chips from Whole Foods:
Then add in about 2 cups of peanuts and 1 cup of rice crispies. To keep it GF, just make sure to get gluten-free crispies. I can usually only find the brown rice variety, but don’t worry, it won’t affect the taste. You want enough peanuts and crispies so that the chocolate isn’t runny and you can spoon out the candies onto wax paper. They should be the size of about two or three bites.
Let them harden and then store in a tupperware container. I’m warning you though, they’ll go pretty fast so make a few batches. In previous years, we’ve also made a butterscotch version, however this year, and a few batches of uncooperative butterscotch later, Kim threw in the towel. I’m considering ordering this brand of butterscotch chips in an attempt to make a vegan version. Has anyone tried them? Are they worth it?
Next up were the rosettes. If you’ve never heard of them, they’re a fried dessert similar to funnel cake, but individually made using a hot iron dipped in batter and then fried in hot oil or crisco. The little cake comes out in whatever shape the iron is. We used a snowflake.
Traditionally, this dessert contains both milk and eggs and I had a feeling replacing both of them would be a stretch. Our VGF batter used almond milk and Ener-G egg replacer, making it a little runny from the start. We added in two tablespoons of melted Earth Balance to try and thicken it up with some more fat, but it didn’t really help and the batter didn’t stick to the iron that well.
Given the state of the batter come frying time, it was no surprise they came out quite thin. We weren’t expecting them to taste so much like corn flakes though. Not exactly a match for the taste of traditional rosette, which is basically fried goodness covered in powdered sugar. We only ended up making two.
It’s okay though, I’m confident there will still be plenty of dessert to go around. In previous years, cakes balls and other assorted cookies have also been present. I think one year there was even a pink pudding pie. I have to come up with something else to bring, but I can’t seem to just decide on a recipe and stick with it!
Any crowd pleasing suggestions for non-vegan and gluten-free eaters?