It’s almost time!! Lights, presents, good food, family and friends. My favorite time of the year! It’s also one of the most stressful times for me. Between blog work and prepping to host Christmas dinner, to doing all I can as a mom to make it magical for my kids, I tend to go a little nuts. Which is why I LOVE having last minute gift ideas for those I may have forgotten. Enter vegan candy cane brownie bites. Little pillows of soft, chocolatey peppermint perfection.
The base of these vegan brownie bites comes from my favorite brownies I created a while back, Perfect Date Sweetened Brownies. They have the most amazing texture and I have always wanted to do more with them. So I added some peppermint flavor, made little balls of dough, baked them to a soft chewy texture, and smothered them with chocolate and crushed candy cane. It made the perfect gift!
You can even put them in cute jars so it looks like you slaved for hours putting effort into the present. But I won’t tell, promise 😉 We gave them to all of our teachers and even a few friends. I also brought them to all my holiday cookie parties. Who knew that vegan brownie bites would be such a hit!
Along with these delicious bites of goodness, I have a few other amazing yummy treats that would make awesome gifts. First, my friend Brandi from The Vegan 8 has paired with this uber cool company called Cake in a Crate. I mean, does it get any better than a cake in a crate?! She created this to die for vegan vanilla chocolate chip cake with fudge ganache. I may or may not have had this for dinner the day I reviewed it for her. Holidays right? (Don’t judge I know you’ve had those holidays cookies for dinner!)
But really though, this is hands down the easiest way to make a cake. The box comes with everything you need, most are even pre-measured. So all you do is throw it together, mix, pour it in a pan, and bake. Then repeat with the ganache. Barely any effort and you get a moist, amazing cake that you can even serve for dinner and call it a day. Remember the no judging thing? It goes both ways.
To order this beauty, all you have to do is click here, and you’ll even get a code for 20% off! I know if someone sent me a delicious cake, they’d be my bestie for life! I’m pretty easy to please.
A few other awesome gifts that I have created in the past are my Gingerbread Sugar Body Scrub and my Sweet, Spicy and Salty Hot Chocolate Mix. The body scrub smells so good you’ll want to eat it and it feels amazing on your body! The hot chocolate mix is the perfect winter treat and it’s awesome to have laying around for when that chocolate craving attacks. So like daily.
So let’s recap on the perfect gifts:
- Vegan Candy Cane Brownie Bites
- Vegan Vanilla Chocolate Chip Cake in a Crate
- Gingerbread Sugar Body Scrub
- Sweet, Spicy and Salty Hot Chocolate Mix
Get on it friends! All quick and easy gifts that are sure to nab you that new best friend! Happy holidays to all you amazing readers!
- ¼ cup brown rice flour , I use a finely ground brown rice flour
- 1 tablespoon tapioca starch
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cups vegan chocolate chips , divided into ½ cup, ½ cup and 1 cup portions
- ½ cup tahini , room temperature
- 6 Medjool dates , soaked in hot water, plus 2 tablespoons of the soaking water
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
- 2-3 tablespoons crushed candy canes , optional for topping
Preheat oven to 375 F/ 190 C. Soak dates in hot water, allow to soak while prepping the other ingredients. I soak mine with the pits because it is easier to remove the pits once soaked and soft.
Combine flour, starch, baking soda and salt in a small bowl and whisk to break up clumps. Set aside.
- Melt ½ cup chocolate chips with tahini using a microwave or double boiler. If using a microwave, be sure to heat in short 10-15 second increments so you avoid burning it. Stir in between heating to break down large chunks. It took mine about 1 minute to melt, but it will depend on your microwave.
Once melted, pour mixture into a blender or food processor (save the bowl you used for later). Add dates (make sure to remove the pits), 2 tablespoons of the soaking water, molasses, vanilla and peppermint extract. Blend until smooth.
- Add in the flour mixture. Blend again to combine.
- Pour the other ½ cup of chocolate chips into the blender or food processor and pulse to combine.
- Put batter into the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes to harden. You want it pliable but not too sticky or it will be hard to roll into balls.
- Once firm, roll into balls about 1 ½ inches in size. Place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
Bake for 12-13 minutes, until slightly firm. They cook more as they cool so make sure NOT to over bake.
- Allow to cool completely. Once cool melt the remaining 1 cup chocolate chips. Pour melted chocolate into a piping bag used for frosting, make sure it isn’t too hot so you don’t burn yourself. Pipe the melted chocolate over the brownie bites so that it covers the entire top, it’s okay if it melts down the side. Messy is good.
Sprinkle the tops with crushed candy cane if you want and allow the chocolate to harden. You can either put them in the refrigerator or leave them out if the weather isn’t too hot.
- Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature or the melted chocolate will harden and not mix well.
- The way I measure my flours and starches is I use a separate spoon to spoon the flour/starch into the measuring container, then level off with a knife. This ensures the right amount of product, if you use the actual measuring container to scoop the flour or starch it may end up packing in more that is needed.
- You can use another variety of dates, just keep in mind the size and sweetness as compared to Medjool to ensure the same results.
Tips to prep ahead:
- Crush candy canes