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By Jessica Carter

TryVeg

There’s still time to make your own compassionate vegan sweets for your sweetie this Valentine’s Day!

Rich chocolate, tart strawberries, and creamy coconut come together in these delicious sweets that are simple to prepare and spread kindness with every bite.

Ingredients:
1 – 12oz bag vegan chocolate chips (We recommend Trader Joe’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips)
1 – 1.2oz bag freeze-dried strawberries (We recommend Trader Joe’s Brand)
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
¼ cup coconut butter (you can also use food-grade cocoa butter)
¼ cup coconut oil

Special Tools: Silicone Candy mold (We recommend the Silicone Gem Mold)

Preparation time: approx. 90 minutes
Servings: Makes approx. 24 candies, but varies based on size of candy mold used.

Instructions:
1. Fill a medium saucepan about ¼ full with water and bring to a simmer.
2. Place a heat-safe bowl on top of the pot so that the steam touches the base of the bowl.
3. Add the vegan chocolate chips to the bowl and stir occasionally with a spatula until smooth and melted.
4. Remove the bowl from the heat and set aside.
5. If necessary, melt the coconut butter and coconut oil in the double boiler using the same method used to melt the chocolate, and set aside. (Coconut butter and oil may be soft or liquid at room temperature)
6. Grind the freeze dried berries into a powder using a food processor or blender. You can also break them down to a powder by pouring them into a freezer bag and gently pounding them with a rolling pin. NOTE: Be sure to look remove the small fresh pack from the strawberries before grinding. The contents are not safe for consumption.
7. To make the strawberry crème filling, pour the ground strawberries, confectioners’ sugar, and melted coconut oil and butter into a mixing bowl and stir until evenly combined. The texture should be similar to sandy clay. Set in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
8. Take your silicone candy molds and fill each one about 1/3 of the way full with melted chocolate. NOTE: If you use the suggested mold, this will be about ½ tsp.
9. Remove the strawberry crème filling from the refrigerator and add about ¼ tsp of the filling to each of the molds.
10. Use about ½ tsp of melted chocolate to cover the filling and evenly fill each mold. Place in the freezer to firm for at least 30 minutes.
11. Remove candies from the silicone mold and store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week.

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Jessica Carter is the Vegan Food and Lifestyle Educator at Compassion Over Killing (COK). 
Committed to making plant-based eating more accessible for all, she organizes and hosts cooking demos, develops online trainings and multimedia content for TryVeg.com, and coordinates collaborations with vegan influencers. Her recipes have been featured on FOX45 BaltimoreLet’s Talk Live, and Good Morning Washington.