Category Archives: Chocolate

No Bake Ghirardelli Chocolate Chews

No Bake Ghirardelli Chocolate Chews
If you’re in a hurry and don’t feel like pulling out the mixer then you will love these.  Other than the below ingredients, you will only need a pot on a stove.  Easy to make and very delicious.  And you will get plenty of chews.  This recipe makes around 60 chocolate chews.

2 cups organic sugar
1⁄2 cup  Earth Balance vegan buttery sticks or unsalted butter (for non-vegan version)
1⁄2 cup full fat milk such as almond milk, coconut milk, cashew milk
1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey (for non-vegan version)
1 cup Ghirardelli Bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1⁄4 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1⁄2 cup coarsely chopped almonds (walnuts or pecans may also be used)


Homemade Marzipan Candy

Homemade Marzipan Candy

Marzipan is a sweet tasting doughy molding paste made from ground almonds.  It can be used in place of gum paste or fondant for sculpting and molding flowers and decorations.  It’s also used as a confection.  It’s easy and far less expensive to make it yourself.  Just keep it wrapped well in airtight plastic wrap for up to two weeks.

2 cups granulated sugar (I used a combination of stevia blend and organic sugar)
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
4 cups almond meal or almond flour
2 egg whites
Powdered sugar for dusting

Optional: melted chocolate for dipping


Chocolate Bowls

Chocolate Bowls.
Looking for a quick, easy and impressive party idea?  Look no further.  All you need are small balloons and chocolate to make the bowl.  Fill them with any treat you choose.

I made these with bittersweet chocolate but you can use white chocolate, semi-sweet, or milk chocolate.

Chocolate Coconut Almond Candy

I’ve said often times that I’m not a big lover of coconut.  With that said, there are some recipes that have coconut in it, that I either don’t mind or I really like.  This is one of the recipes that I really like.  It tastes just like a Mounds candy bar but this version is healthier, vegan, and gluten free.

1  1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Stick, softened (Smart Balance brand is also good)
2 1/2 cups organic powdered sugar (Learn to make your own here )
1 tablespoon cashew milk (almond, soy, coconut, or any other unsweetened high fat milk can be used)
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups shredded coconut
1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds

Melted chocolate for decoration

To toast coconut and almonds, spread out in a pan and bake at 350 oven for 5 to 10 minutes.  Keep an eye on them because they will go from lightly toasted to burnt very quickly.

Strawberry Brigadeiros

Chocolate brigadeiros are one of my favorite treats to make.  They are easy, only take a few ingredients and they taste great!  So why not make them with strawberries?

You can find my original chocolate brigadeiro recipe here!

This one below is 99% the same as the one above but the measurements are slightly different and you’ll need strawberries.  You’ll also want to have a hand towel and vegetable oil spray on hand as the brigadeiro is sticky and wrapping it around the strawberry  will either be really fun, if you like molding, or really messy.  It all depends on your perception.  But in the end, they are so good it’s really worth the mess.

1 14oz can of condensed milk
2 tbsp butter
5 tbsp chocolate powder
Chocolate Sprinkles for rolling  and decorating
12 medium strawberries, stemmed
Vegetable oil spray

Follow directions in the above video.


Can You Use Chocolate Chips Instead of A Baking Bar?

This is a question that is asked all of the time.   Today while I was snowed in for what I hope to be our last snowstorm of the season, I filmed this video with an answer.

Chocolate Heart Candy

Heart Candy

These chocolate hearts are were made using a Wilton candy pop mold and left out the stick.  They are part of these cookies I am making.


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Pecan Toffee Chocolate Candy (Vegan and clean eating alternative included)


The holidays are over and that means re-starting that weight loss/healthy lifestyle resolution that you never followed through with last year.  Or the year before that.  My approach to any healthy lifestyle is “moderation” which includes healthy treats and  unhealthy treats.  So here is a recipe for pecan toffee.  Even the healthier clean eating version is still high in calories but toffee can be broken into smaller size portions for those days that you allow yourself a treat, in moderation of course.  And the rest can be sealed and saved for up to a month or more.

I changed a few things around to make it just a smidgeon healthier.  For one, corn syrup is forbidden in my home.  As an alternative, I use tapioca syrup.


Here’s is what you need:

2 sticks unsalted butter (For a vegan and healthier version, use 2 sticks Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks)
200 grams raw organic sugar (I haven’t tried this with coconut palm sugar and don’t know how the results will be.  If you try it, let me know)
1/4 cup water
1 tsp Tapioca Syrup (You know how I feel about corn syrup but if you want, you can use that or glucose instead)
a pinch of salt (I usually leave salt out but sea salt would be a cleaner option)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips (cane sweetened for a cleaner choice)
3/4 cup chopped pecan nuts.
Prepare a sheet pan with either a silicone mat or spray the pan liberally with cooking spray.

Melt the butter and sugar.  Add in the water, tapioca syrup, and salt and bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Once at a boil attach a candy thermometer. Stir occasionally to ensure an even color.  Cook sugar mixture until thermometer reaches 300 degrees.  It could take anywhere 10-15 minutes or longer depending on the depth of your pot.  Be patient!  It must reach this temperature for toffee to set up and harden.  Once the mixture reaches 300 degrees, remove from heat and while stirring, add in vanilla extract.

Pour onto prepared pan and wait about two minutes to slightly cool.  Sprinkle chocolate chips.  The heat of the toffee will melt the chips.  With a spatula, spread the melted chocolate across the toffee completely covering it.  Then sprinkle pecans on top.

Wait about 2-3 hours to harden at room temperature.  Break apart into desired sizes.

Toffee can be stored in an airtight container for at least a month.  Never refrigerate or freeze it as the condensation with make it soft and gummy in texture.

Double and Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies. Clean Eating and Vegan Too!


It’s snowing!  And while I’m cooped up at home, that’s usually when my baking urge comes out.  This is a unique recipe in that it not only tastes really good, but it’s healthier than your average chocolate cookie and vegan.  The best part of vegan/egg free cookie dough is that you can eat it raw too!

Pictured above I have three variations to the same recipe.  The cookies on the left are Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Cookies.  In the center, I mixed in some white chocolate as well as chocolate chips into the batter.  And on the right, I topped the chocolate, chocolate chip cookies with cacao nibs.

These are clean eating and a trip to the health food store might be in order.

This recipe makes about 15 cookies.

8 tablespoons (1 stick) vegan buttery “baking sticks,” , like Earth Balance , softened
½ cup brown rice syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ cup coconut sugar (also known as palm sugar or coconut palm sugar See here)
1 ½ cups whole¬wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
Pinch ground cinnamon
Pinch sea salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 (3.5-ounce) bar dark chocolate (70 percent% or more), coarsely chopped or 4 ounces of bittersweet chocolate chips, preferably cane sweetened. (The cookies in the center have a combination of white chocolate chips and bittersweet chocolate chips).

Optional: nuts and or cacao nibs (I made my own nibs by crumbling roasted cacao beans I purchased in Costa Rica but cacao nibs are available at most health food stores and also available online here 

Cacao Nibs

Pre-heat oven to 350 and line two baking sheets with either parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

IMG_2211Coconut sugar mixed with brown rice syrup

Using a mixer or a whisk, blend the buttery stick with syrup, vanilla, and coconut sugar until creamy. Mix in flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda to form a stiff cookie dough.  Fold in nuts, chocolate chips, or chocolate chunks if using.  Using cookie scoop or large spoon, scoop out 2 tablespoons of cookie dough and roll into a ball.  Place each ball about 2 inches apart on lined cookie sheet.  With the palm of your hand, slightly flatten each cookie.  If you are using Cacao nibs, top each cookie with 1/4 teaspoon of nibs.

Bake for 15-18 minutes until the tops start to crack.  Do not overbake.  Let cool on a wire rack.

WARNING:  Baking these cookies will give your entire house a rich chocolatey aroma.