Christmas will soon be knocking at our front doors and with families gathering, it is a great time to talk about easy homemade Christmas candies. These are low or no - sugar and a big hit at any of Santa’s tables.
With the consumption of savory foods, holiday drinks, and deserts during the holidays, it is nice to take a look at great tasting easy recipes that will keep us closer to our goals and on track with our health. I am the no. 1 offender for going overboard for the holidays with the many varieties of foods available, so saving a few calories here and there and consuming less sugar, keep me more in tune to my dietary needs.
Here are a few selections from my personal achieves that are enjoyable, easy-to-make, low-sugar and fewer calories, enjoyed without guilt.
So the Christmas Season has begun, we find that going overboard and creating unique foods and deserts is fun and brings families together.
Providing a sugar-free alternative is a must in many families. Whether it is for medical reasons, staying on track for a fitness program, or that you just enjoy sugar free alternatives you will find these recipes yummy!
And with this, I could not agree more!
Jacqueline Iannazzo-Corser is a contributing writer to The Monroe News, writing about food and recipes. She is a chef, co-owner of Public House, Culinary Specialist at the Opportunity Center at the Arthur Lesow Community Center, and an adjunct professor of culinary arts at Monroe County Community College. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Low Sugar Hazel Nut Balls
1 cup Homemade Nutella or Store Brand
4 oz. of sugar free chocolate bar or Personal Selection
½ cup chopped hazelnuts (reserve some chopped for rolling balls)
Toast hazelnuts in a dry skillet until fragrant.
Remove as much of skin as possible.
Refrigerate Nutella for 30 minutes then take 1 teaspoon and flatten like a mini pancake. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Place a hazelnut on top of flattened Nutella
Then add 1 more teaspoon of Nutella on top of the hazelnut and mold into a ball shape.
Finely chop the reminder of the hazelnuts
Melt chocolate bar and stir in chopped hazelnuts and mix.
Take one Nutella ball at a time and dip in chocolate coating.
Remove with a fork or skewer to remove excess and place on parchment-lined baking sheet topped with a wire rack.
Continue with the rest and refrigerate to harden.
Individually wrap in colorful foil if desired
Store in an air tight container and refrigerate
Note: You can also use chopped fruit filling, jellies or jams, or use peanut butter. Additional ingredients can be lower in fat value and still remain flavorful. You can also add holiday sprinkles.
Holiday Peppermint Patties – Sugar Free
0.86 cups of coconut oil softened
1.71 tsp. of peppermint extract
1.71 tsp. of vanilla liquid stevia
1.71 tbsp. of heavy cream
8.57 ounces sugar free chocolate chips
3.43 tablespoons coconut oil
In a blender add all ingredients except chocolate coating then blend until combined.
Spread evenly into molds or free form small circles on a parchment lined baking pan. Make circles 2 inches by 1 1/2 inches.
Freeze patties for approximately 20 to 30 minutes.
Melt chocolate and coconut oil together in a bowl and mix until smooth.
Remove patties from freezer
Dip one patty into melted chocolate at a time using a fork, tapping off excess chocolate and place on parchment-lined baking pan.
Allow to set in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Serve and place any refrigerated patties in an air tight container.
Easy Chocolate Bark – Sugar Free
2 cups Sugar Free Chocolate Chips
½ to 3/4 cups of white Sugar Free Chips (optional)
½ tsp Vanilla Extract
1 cup Peanuts
1 cup Barberries
Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper that overlaps the edges enough to use the overlap as a handle to grab on later on.
Use a microwave or double boiler to melt the chocolate chips. Do it in stages if necessary. Check and stir the chocolate every 30 seconds. When using a double boiler, continually stirred and on low heat.
Stir the vanilla extract into the chocolate and then transfer the melted chocolate to the prepared rimmed baking sheet.
Be sure to evenly spread the chocolate out. The bark should be about 1/8”- ¼” thick for best results.
If you are using melted white chocolate to pour over the top of bark, you must allow the darker chocolate to harden, wait time approximately 1 hour.
Next, evenly sprinkle the nuts and barberries on top while the chocolate is still warm.
Then allow the chocolate bark to cool and harden.
Once the bark has hardened you can break into pieces.
Note: Barberries are very similar to unsweetened dried cranberries. You can find dried barberries at Middle Eastern grocery stores, but besides cranberries I have used apricots, sour cherries, goji berries, mulberries, and currants can all stand in for barberries. Included other fruit items of your liking.
Chocolate Santa’s Sugar Free
Make 60 Pieces
1 cup of non-salted butter
1 cup peanut butter
½ cup of coconut oil
½ cup of coconut butter
1 tsp. of pure stevia extract
2 Tbsp. & 1 tsp. of cocoa powder
Selected Holiday Candy Mold (I use a Santa & Tree Mold)
In a small saucepan melt the butter, peanut butter, coconut oil, and coconut butter over medium-low heat.
Add the stevia and cocoa powder and mix thoroughly.
Pour into candy molds.
Place the candies in the freezer so they can set up.
Once the chocolate is set up they are ready to eat.
Store in freezer bags
Note: I like to use a variety of holiday molds and place in candy bags or boxes.
This article originally appeared on The Monroe News: Jackie Corser: Christmas candies recipies