{Recipes Inside!} Healthier Halloween Candy

 photo credit:  Jenna Radomski

photo credit: Jenna Radomski

By: Devon Loftus + the MCB Team

Halloween is my second favorite holiday. As a kid, the magic was in a mixture of things: the cold, crisp weather, the opportunity to dress up and indulge in imagination, spending time with my parents decorating the house and of course, the candy.

The truth is, the candy came last for me.  I loved the act of trick or treating, of visiting people in my neighborhood and feeling inspired by the creativity behind everyone’s costumes, but devouring my candy left me feeling burnt out and with a tummy ache. Was it worth? Every time, because it was a part of our tradition and a part that I loved, even if I didn’t love how I felt afterwards. And I didn’t want to have to give up any part of a holiday I looked so forward to.

Enter healthier (homemade!) Halloween candies to the stage. As you know, we’re big believers that as humans, we’re body and soul, and Moon Cycle Bakery is about encompassing both fully.  So, we came together as a team and created healthier versions of our favorite candies. They’re decadent, gooey, sweet and satisfying but are gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free AND vegan and contain no preservatives/fillers so our bodies can smile along with our taste buds.

Nothing spooky about that.


Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Author: Jenna Radomski | Yield: Makes 12 | Prep time: 10 minutes | Idle time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 (4-ounce) chocolate bar, your choice of milk/dark/100% cacao

  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter

  •  1 tablespoon maple syrup

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 4 tablespoons coconut flour

  • Sea salt, for topping

Directions:

  1. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper muffin cups and set aside.

  2. Break chocolate bar into smaller pieces and add to a double boiler or microwave-safe bowl along with the coconut oil. Melt chocolate and coconut oil until smooth, stirring often.

  3. To make the filling, combine peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla, and coconut flour in a small mixing bowl until a dough forms. Form into small balls (about 1.5 teaspoons each) and flatten with your palm to about ¼ inch thick. Set aside.

  4. Pour 2 teaspoons of melted chocolate into each muffin liner and place in the freezer for 5 minutes, until hardened.

  5. Remove muffin tin from freezer and place one peanut butter piece in the center of each. Spoon 1 tablespoon of melted chocolate on top and return to the freezer for 10 minutes.

  6. Remove from freezer and sprinkle a pinch of sea salt on each and return to freezer for a final 5 minutes. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.


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DSC_4811 2.jpg

Faux Twix Bars


Inspired by The Big Man’s World
Author: Devon Loftus | Yield: Makes 25 - 30 bars | Total Time: 45 minutes - 1 hour

Ingredients:
“Cookie” Base:

  • 1 cup almond flour

  • 3/4 cup coconut flour

  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

  • 1/2-1 cup unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk

“Caramel” Layer:

  • 1/2 cup almond butter (can sub for any nut or seed butter)

  • 1/2 cup maple syrup

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil

Chocolate Shell:

  • 2 cups dark chocolate or dark chocolate chunks (over 70% cacao)

Directions:

  1. Take an 8x8” baking sheet and line with parchment paper. Set to the side.

  2. In a large bowl, mix your dry ingredients for the cookie base: almond flour, coconut flour and coconut sugar. Once combined, add in the maple syrup and mix until the texture is crumbly. Next, add your milk of choice. You want the dough to be thick; keep adding milk until you’ve reached your desired consistency. Pour the cookie base into the lined baking sheet and use a spoon to press down, creating the base. Place in the refrigerator.

  3. Heat a skillet on your stovetop on low and combine the ingredients for the caramel: almond butter, maple syrup, and coconut oil. Combine until just melted and remove from heat.

  4. Pour the caramel over the cookie base and place in the freezer to harden.

  5. Once the cookie base and caramel are firm, cut them into bars and place them back in the freezer.

  6. Use a double boiler to melt your chocolate. While chocolate is melting, put a plate aside lined in parchment paper.

  7. Once chocolate is melted, dip each bar into the melted chocolate and place on the plate lined with parchment paper.

  8. Place the covered bars in the freezer until firm. Once firm, cut in 3 - 3.5” long bars.

  9. Enjoy!

Note: Bars can be out in room temperature, but will begin to melt slightly. If you’d like to keep them firm and with an added crunch, keep in the refrigerator or freezer.


Faux Caramel Apple1-2.jpg
Faux Caramel Apple-2.jpg

Faux Caramel Apple

Inspired by: Dreena Burton
Author: Charlotte Silverstein | Prep: 1 hours | Total time: 1 3/4 hours

Ingredients:

  • 6 organic apples

  • 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract

  • 1 1/2 cups of raw dates (pre pitted dates are recommended, if available)

  • 1/2 cups of almond milk (natural/unsweetened)

  • 4 tbsp of raw cashew butter

  • 1/4 tsp apple pie spice

  • Pinch of sea salt

  • Pinch of cinnamon

Optional:

  • Popsicle sticks

  • Dark chocolate vegan chips

Directions:

  1. Pit dates, and place into small bowl. Combine with almond milk and let soak for one hour.

  2. While your dates are soaking, thoroughly wash and dry your apples and set aside on a large pan. You may choose to line your pan with parchment paper.

  3. If you have chosen to use popsicle sticks, insert sticks into the apples. If not, you may forgo this step.

  4. In large bowl, combine raw cashew butter, vanilla extract, sea salt, apple pie spice and cinnamon. Mix until smooth and let sit.

  5. After an hour has passed, drain dates using your preferred method, removing excess milk.

  6. Add dates to the large bowl mixture and begin mixing. If your mixture is too tough, add to food processor. Mix until extremely smooth. If you feel that your mixture is still too thick, add in a splash of almond milk.

  7. Place large bowl into refrigerator and let sit for 5 minutes.

  8. Remove from refrigerator and begin coating apples. I recommend a thin layer as the faux caramel is naturally very sweet.

  9. Roll apples in chosen toppings. If you are not using additional toppings, you may forgo this step.

  10. Place coated apples back on pan and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

  11. Remove apples from refrigerator and enjoy!

Pro tip: If you have leftover faux caramel, use it as a spread for your toast, fruit, bagels and waffles. Store in refrigerator for up to a week.

Notes:

  • I used Granny Smith apples and Rosalynn apples as I enjoy their tart, crisp and sweet taste. Apple selection is based off of personal preference and availability. Chose the apple variety your heart desires.

  • The cashew butter can be switched out for almond butter, however cashew butter makes for a thicker, more caramel like texture. If you have a nut allergy, sunflower butter is a great option.

  • I chose to finish off some of my faux caramel apples with vegan chocolate chips (I’m a huge fan of chocolate). However you can opt to coat your apples with your favorite topping such as coconut shavings, pecans and more.


Do you have your own homemade Halloween tradition? Did you try these treats? Leave a comment below — we love to hear from you!