There is something magical about the Nutcracker ballet... the music, the story, the thought of a land filled with endless sweets. Many years growing up, I looked forward to wearing my holiday dress and using those little glasses to magnify the dancers up on their toes. I would leave the theatre feeling like I too had been transported to the land of the sugar plum fairy with a nutcracker prince at my side. Since I didn't make it to the ballet this year, I put together my own little video to whisk me away to that magical place filled with holiday sweets...
(music from Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker)
This year's holiday baking included veganizing some of my childhood favorites. They turned out so well that I'm going to share the recipes...
Mounds Bars - a graham cracker crust with a gooey coconut filling and topped with a layer of chocolate
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup Earth Balance vegan butter, melted
1 cup coconut (sweetened, not dessicated)
3/4 cup sweetened condensed soy milk (recipe here)
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup vegan chocolate chips
1 T chunky peanut butter
1. Preheat oven to 350. Mix crumbs, sugar, and melted earth balance and press into an 8x8 pyrex dish.
2. Combine coconut, sweetened condensed soymilk, and vanilla in a small bowl. Spread carefully on top of crumbs in an even layer.
3. Bake for 15 minutes in 350 oven. Remove from oven and cool.
4. Melt chocolate chips on a double broiler. Add in peanut butter. Spread on top of baked bars.
5. Refrigerate until chocolate has set and ready to serve. Store in refrigerator.
Pecan Tassies - a creamy dough with a sugary sweet pecan filling
1/3 cup vegan cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup Earth Balance vegan butter, softened
1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp EnerG egg replacer + 2 T water
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 T Earth Balance vegan butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup pecans, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 325. Line a mini muffin pan with liners and lightly oil. Set aside.
2. In a stand mixer, cream together softened cream cheese and butter. Mix in flour until well incorporated. Chill in the refrigerator for an hour.
3. Shape dough into 24 - 1 inch balls. Place balls into greased muffin cups. Press dough into the bottom and up the sides of the cups.
4. Beat together the EnerG, sugar, butter, vanilla, and salt until well combined. Add the chopped pecans.
5. Fill the dough lined muffin cups with the pecan mixture. Top with extra pecans if desired.
6. Bake for 25 minutes at 325, or until filling is set. Remove from oven and cool until able to remove the tassies to a wire rack to cool completely.
Crispy Peanut Butter Balls
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup chunky natural peanut butter
2 cups crisped brown rice cereal
1/2 cup sweetened coconut
1. In a large bowl, combin rice cereal and coconut, set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, bring sugar and corn syrup to a boil.
3. Add peanut butter and return to a boil. Continue to boil for approximately one minute.
4. Pour sugar and corn syrup mixture over cereal mixture and quickly coat the cereal.
5. Drop 1 T sized balls onto waxed paper and allow to cool. Store in an airtight container.
I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday full of friends, family, and of course, lots of vegan sweets.