Halloween time is the perfect time to turn your kitchen into your very own DIY candy station. From Almond Joy to Peanut or Almond Butter Cups and some creative creations of your own. I love veganizing some of my old favorite classic candy bars, and this week brings some marshmallow-filled Rocky Road fun. And this recipe offers up a new discovery: how to make a “milk chocolate” candy bar base instead of the dark chocolate version I usually use, combining dark chocolate chips and virgin coconut oil. Get the recipe and my milk chocolate trick! (Er, treat..)..
I love Halloween time! The glowing pumpkins, that spooky-fun feeling and costumes galore. I went to Disneyland over the weekend, and it was my first time there with all the Halloween decorations, and I loved it! If any place knows how to make an average Saturday night in October feel festive and special, it is Disneyland. From the giant Mickey Mouse Pumpkin plopped on the center of Main Street, cradled by a rippling pile of glowing pumpkins, to the fall foliage and orange and gold striped banners, to the playful Disney character statues, all dressed in Halloween costumes, surrounded by twinkly lights. I sometimes miss that east coast “fall feeling” but this made it feel brisk and cozy. Even if it was 75 degrees out.
Milk Chocolate Trick: I discovered a new product! Coconut Butter. Artisana sent me a jar a while back and I am just now experimenting with it. It is whole coconuts made into a butter. So while coconut oil takes only the oil part, the coconut butter takes the entire coconut making a white opaque substance that stays white even when softened. So, when you use coconut butter instead of coconut oil to make a chocolate melted candy base, the results look and taste a bit more like milk chocolate than dark chocolate.
Coconut Butter Info from Artisana: “The difference between the Coconut Butter and the coconut Oil is actually the fiber content. Coconut Butter is the pureed meat of mature coconuts. It is roughly 60% oil, but it also has the fiber from the meat in it. It is solid at room temperature, a creamy white/beige color and when warmed up is thick and creamy and smooth. Coconut Oil on the other hand has no fiber .. and is clear when warmed.”
How to make vegan (coconut) milk chocolate: Simply soften 1 part coconut butter with 1 part vegan chocolate chips. Stir briskly until smooth. Use for candy bars or chocolate drizzle. To harden chocolate, place in the freezer for a few minutes.
Vegan Marshmallows: There are a few vegan marshmallow recipes out there, but I prefer to simply delegate that recipe to the experts. Sweet and Sara have been perfecting the art of vegan marshmallows for a while now, and they are my favorite brand. Dandies are also amazing. But for today’s recipe, I am using seasonal Pumpkin Spice vegan marshmallows from Sweet and Sara.
Vegan Chocolate Marshmallow Candy Bar
- 6 vegan marshmallows, chopped into tiny bits
- 1/2 cup coconut butter
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips, vegan
- 2 Tbsp chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans or cashews)
- optional: pinch of sea salt
- Combine the coconut butter and chocolate chips in a small bowl to melt. You can easily melt them in the microwave, heat for twenty second intervals until melted enough to stir until smooth. Stovetop method: melt chips and butter over very low heat in a saucepan on the stove. Briskly stir the mixture until smooth and creamy and resembling melted milk chocolate. You could also use a hot water bath — which is actually my preferred method. Get a nice how-to here on TheKitchn. Set aside.
- Next comes your candy bar mold. (If you do not have a “bar” mold, you could use lightly greased muffin tins, or make one large candy bar in a 9″ brownie or bread pan and slice or break the candy into bars. For even thinner Rocky Road bark, you can use a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.) To layer the candy bars: Add 3/4 -1 teaspoon of chocolate, then about 3-4 bits of marshmallow, a 1/2 tsp of nuts, then another 1/2 -1 tsp layer of chocolate on top. Optional: Add a teeny-tiny pinch of sea salt on each bar.
- Place the bars in the freezer to chill until firm.
Yield: 7-8 bars, mini
Prep Time: 00 hrs. 10 mins.