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Delish and Healthy Holiday Sweets

Easy-to-Make-and-Give Goodies

Peppermint Bark

9 oz dark chocolate baking chips
9 oz white chocolate baking chips
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
3 regular-size candy canes

Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper. I cut two pieces and have one going in each direction so the whole pan is covered.

Melt the dark chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl in 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until completely melted and smooth. It will take 1 to 3 minutes (depending on your microwave). Do not overheat as the chocolate will scorch. Add 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract and stir. Pour melted chocolate into the prepared pan and spread with the back of a spoon until an even layer
is formed. Place in the fridge to set
for about 30 minutes or until firm
to the touch.

While dark chocolate is chilling, crush your candy canes. You can do this in a food processor or place candy canes in a freezer bag and crush using a rolling pin or the bottom of a heavy-duty bottle or glass. Once candy canes are crushed, set aside.

Once the dark chocolate has set, melt the white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl in 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until completely melted and smooth. It will take 1 to 3 minutes (depending on your microwave). Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract. Pour melted white chocolate over the dark chocolate and spread with the back of a spoon until an even layer
is formed.

Sprinkle the crushed candy cane pieces evenly over the white chocolate layer and lightly press with your hands.

Place the pan back in the fridge to chill until set, about 30 to 60 minutes.

Once chocolate has hardened, cut or break into pieces and serve. Makes approximately 16 servings.


Gluten-Free Iced Sugar Cookies

1/4 cup softened butter or ghee
1/2 cup organic cane sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup coconut flour
1–2 tablespoons arrowroot powder or tapioca flour
Sprinkles

Icing
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 teaspoons almond milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together butter (or ghee), sugar, egg, baking powder, vanilla extract, and sea salt. Add coconut flour and mix until combined. Allow the dough to rest for 5 minutes at room temperature. After 5 minutes, sprinkle 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder over dough and use your hands to knead, until firm. If it is sticky or too wet, add another tablespoon of arrowroot. Dust a clean rolling surface (or a parchment-lined surface) with arrowroot. Using a rolling pin, roll out dough until it’s about 1/4- to 1/3-inch thick.

Use cookie cutters to cut dough into desired shapes and place on cookie sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the bottom of the cookies are golden. Let cool for a few minutes on the sheet before carefully transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cookies are cool, you can frost and decorate them. 

For homemade icing: Combine powdered sugar, vanilla, and almond milk (start with 1 teaspoon) in a small bowl. Whisk until all lumps of sugar have dissolved and icing is the thickness you desire. You don’t want it to be too thick, but if it’s too runny, it melts off the cookies. Frost cookies with icing and add sprinkles right away, before the icing has a chance to set. Makes about a dozen cookies.


Healthy No-Bake Cookies

1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 cup natural creamy peanut butter or almond butter
1/2 cup coconut sugar to taste (Stevia can be substituted)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
Pinch of sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups instant oats

Add melted coconut oil and peanut butter or almond butter in a large bowl and stir until combined. Add coconut sugar, cocoa powder, almond milk, sea salt, vanilla, and oats into the bowl and stir until combined.

Drop dough by the spoonful on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Place the baking sheet in the fridge until cookies are set, then serve. Makes 2 dozen.


Photos: Brittany Mullins

Brittany Mullins is a Richmond native, wife, mother, and founder of Eating Bird Food, an online platform focused on real food recipes and lifestyle content. When she’s not in the kitchen cooking you can find Brittany going on long walks around Northside with her husband, daughter and Yorkshire Terrier. Get inspired to live a healthy, balanced life by connecting with Brittany on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest, on her blog at EatingBirdFood.com.
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