Happy Sweet-Tooth Friday! This is Christine here with an extra special recipe for Valentine’s day. Forget the roses this Sunday and whip up a box of my homemade vegan chocolates instead! Don’t worry, there are no candy thermometers or boiling hot sugar—just simple stir-together ingredients. I came up with four yummy fillings for a really gourmet experience. No one will believe that these decadent little goodies are vegan!
Life is like a box of chocolates
…you never know what you’re gonna get. Unfortunately, ‘what you’re gonna get’ with your store-bought box is a most likely a belly full of corn starch, high fructose corn syrup, dehydrated milk powder, and preservatives. Heck, you may even have a box of Halloween candy slapped into a new heart shaped box!
So maybe it’s better to imagine that life is like a box of vegan chocolates. I like the idea of uncompromising quality and controlling my own destiny much better than just accepting whatever society doles out as the norm. Besides, how impressed will your Valentine be that you made these yourself?! Making homemade gifts is one of my genuine pleasures and these chocolates would even be fun to make together!
This recipe makes about three dozen mini-cupcake sized chocolates—that’s pretty big, so this is perfect for dividing between friends or just keeping a little extra for yourself! I started making the fillings based on two good fats, nut butter and coconut oil, and just added brown rice syrup and other flavors little by little. In the end I came up with a luscious vegan peanut butter, raspberry almond, cherry-coconut, and Kahlua cocoa filling. I fullheartedly recommend tweaking these flavors to your preference—maybe a chopped pistachio filling instead of coconut or Grand Marnier instead of Kahlua! Let the vegan creative juices flow!
Vegan Box of Chocolates
- two 10 oz bags of vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips, about 3 cups
- 2 tbsp canola oil
For the peanut butter cups:
- 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
- 3 tbsp brown rice syrup
- 3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the almond raspberry cups:
- 1/4 cup natural almond butter
- 2 tbsp organic raspberry jam
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
For the cherry coconut cups:
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp chopped natural maraschino cherries, about 7 cherries
- 1/2 cup sweetened coconut, chopped fine
- 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the Kahlua cocoa cups:
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp natural almond butter
- 1 tbsp brown rice syrup
- 1 tbsp Kahlua or strong brewed coffee
- 1 tbsp extra dark unsweetened cocoa powder
For each filling, stir the ingredients together. Because nut butters vary in flavor, add a pinch of salt to each filling to taste. Depending on the temperature of your kitchen, the coconut oil may need to be melted first in the microwave in order to mix smoothly. Place the fillings in the fridge while you work on the chocolate cups.
Line a mini cupcake tin with mini papers and spray thoroughly with cooking spray, taking care to get the sides of the cups. Combine 1 bag of chocolate chips with 1 tbsp of the canola oil and place in the microwave for 40 seconds. Remove and stir, then microwave for another 30 seconds. You can do the next bag of chocolate and oil the same way when you run out, it’s just easier to keep warm by doing it twice.
Spoon a about 1 tsp of chocolate into the bottom of each cup. Use the back of a spoon or a small spatula to push the chocolate up the sides of each cup. It’s ok if it’s not perfect because more chocolate will be poured in later.
Refrigerate the cups for about 10 minutes. When the chocolate is hard, add a small amount of filling to each cup using a mini ice cream scoop or melon baller. You want the filling to be lower than the level of the cup so that the tops will be smooth.
Spoon chocolate over the fillings and spread smooth. If your chocolate is too cold, just stick it back in the microwave. If you’d like, add different colored sprinkles to the tops to help you identify the fillings. Do this while the chocolate is still wet.
Refrigerate the chocolates for 10 more minutes or until firm. Keep the chocolates in the fridge until you are ready to serve them, then let come to room temperature.
And that is how you make a kick-ass vegan box of chocolates! These are honestly so amazingly rich and delicious. They the perfect decadent treat to celebrate Valentine’s day; that is, if you can even make it to Sunday without polishing them off first! Come to think of it, these would be excellent paired with my vegan merlot-berry sorbet—what a romantic combination!
Hope you have a lovely snowy weekend!
Vegan Supplements: Which Ones Do You Need?
Written by Matt Frazier
I’m here with a message that, without a doubt, isn’t going to make me the most popular guy at the vegan potluck.
But it’s one I believe is absolutely critical to the long term health of our movement, and that’s why I’m committed to sharing it. Here goes…
Vegans need more than just B12.
Sure, Vitamin B12 might be the only supplement required by vegans in order to survive. But if you’re anything like me, you’re interested in much more than survival — you want to thrive.
So what else do vegans need?