I’m thrilled that my holidays has officially begun, despite the ice storm raging outside, and I can finally relax and enjoy this time with family and friends, and have some personal me time as well. 🙂 It’s been a crazy past two weeks trying to balance everything from Christmas shopping, personal appointments and commitments to work demands etc.
During these past two intense weeks I also began my holiday baking. In fact, I have been baking daily for about a week now. I have decided that this year I just want to bake for family and friends as gifts. While it is time- consuming, it is also very pleasurable and rewarding!
I’m super excited to share with you two easy and quick yummy recipes that was a big hit with my family and friends, and these baked goods also look very festive as part of a dessert platter for any party this holiday season!
Here’s recipe #1: Candy Cane Breton Brittle
*I got this Breton Brittle recipe from a classmate in my cooking class; I altered it slightly to make it gluten-free, dairy-free and “Christmas-y” too!
Makes: 1 pan
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: about 20 minutes
Gluten-Free Crackers (I used Glutino’s Gluten Free Crackers, see: http://www.glutino.com/products/crackers/)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup organic coconut palm sugar
1 cup vegan margarine
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used this one that is dairy-free and gluten-free: http://www.enjoylifefoods.com/chocolate-for-baking/mini-chips/)
1/2 cup crushed candy canes
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or other nuts (instead of crushed candy canes)
- Line the bottom and sides of a cookie sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
- Arrange a layer of crackers on the foil/parchment paper. Fill in spaces with broken crackers.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and margarine. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until the mixture comes to a boil and appears “frothy”. Keep stirring and don’t let the mixture burn!
- Pour the mixture evenly over the crackers.
- Bake at 400°F for 6 minutes.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips. When the chips become soft, spread evenly over the cracker mixtures.
- Sprinkle with crushed candy canes.
- Chill until chocolate is set.
- Break into pieces to serve.
- Enjoy!! 🙂
-The longer you let the sugar/butter mixture “froth”, the harder the caramel will be. If you like a softer caramel, pour it on the crackers right after it comes to a boil.
Here’s a picture of how the caramel should look when it is frothy:
-I used 1/2 cup of organic coconut palm sugar instead of an entire cup of brown sugar because I like the fact that the organic coconut palm sugar has a low glycemic index (this holiday treat is so sweet already so trying to look for a way to “lower” a bit of the sugar level and make it slightly “healthier”). Plus, it has a richer caramel and/or butterscotch flavour than brown sugar. I wish an entire cup of organic coconut palm sugar could have been used to make the caramel. Unfortunately while experimenting with only a cup of coconut palm sugar, I discovered it wasn’t combining well with the margarine, so a little bit of brown sugar had to be added in order for the caramel to form.
Recipe #2 for healthy holiday baking is on its way soon so stay tuned! 🙂