Thursday, December 2, 2010

vegan chocolate cups!

After reading this post over on The Dainty Squid I realized it was once again that time of year. The time of year I always try to make candies but fail miserably. But, I always try and try again.  This year = success! These vegan chocolate cups turned out marvelously, but I changed a few things around. 

What you need: 

chocolate cups:
1+1/4 c vegan chocolate chips
candy cup liners

1 large spoonful of peanut butter + dash of salt + 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 large spoonful of Suzannes RiceMellow
1 tbsp chopped crystallized ginger
(or whatever other yummy stuff you have in your pantry!)

What you do:

1.  Melt chocolate chips over burner - use a double boiler if you have one or - heat water in large saucepan, melt chips in large bowl over saucepan.  DO NOT boil water! Just heat water enough to melt chocolate chips - about medium heat will do.

 2. When your chocolate is nice & melty, gently fill paper cups with thin layer of chocolate. I found the best way to do so is to use a teaspoon measure. Scoop warm chocolate out with measure and fill each cup with just a bit less than a spoonful.  After filling about 20 cups, place in freezer on plate or pie pan for about 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, prepare your fillings. Heat the peanut butter over the "double-boiler" just until easy enough to work with, then add in salt and vanilla extract.  Mix thoroughly. (At this point, if you've removed the chocolate bowl to heat the peanut butter, put that chocolate back over the warm water! You need it warmed again!) Fill a ziploc bag with the warm peanut butter mixture, then cut off the tube. (Alternatively, if you have pasty bags, use those!) Repeat process for RiceMellow.

4. Pull hardened chocolate cups out of freezer, and proceed to put fillings in. Squeeze small amount of peanut butter or RiceMellow in cups, or place a few pieces of chopped crystallized ginger.  After filling all cups, pour just enough warmed chocolate on top to cover.

5. Stick filled cups back in freezer to harden tops. I suggest freezing at least 20 minutes more, overnight is even better. It's easy to use these as holiday candy gifts! Pop them in a clear plastic bag, tie a ribbon around the top - and voila! 

Last but not least - check out what a cheap, easy, and handmade gift these can be! (ode to Lilly over at vegan on a budget)

1.  Vegan Chocolate Chips - bags cost about $4 - $5 (depending on the brand).  I went with bulk grain-sweetened chocolate chips from Georgetown Market for $7.29 per pound.  About half a pound ($3.65) is all you need.

2.  Peanut Butter - I don't usually keep peanut butter around, so I picked up some bulk peanut butter for $2.79 per pound (at Georgetown Market, of course). For one batch of 20 cups, you don't need much! Half a pound ($1.40) is more than enough for about 3 batches.  

3.  Salt - most of us have salt laying around. But, for fun, let's say I had to buy a small jar of sea salt for $1.99.

4. Vanilla Extract - again, most bakers have this laying around. But you can pick up a bottle of organic vanilla extract for about $5 - and this will last for way more chocolate cups than you could ever need.

5. Suzanne's RiceMellow - these 10oz jars cost around $5.  You will have plenty of left to make peanut butter & ricemellow sammiches (just like grandma used to make)!

6. Crystallized Ginger - you can get ginger in bulk & packages - it's so cheap! Pick up what you need - it's no big deal having some extra lying around for when you have a tummy ache.  A nice sized jar will cost you about $5.  

So, if we add up the ingredients, we get $22.04.  That's including buying all the ingredients from scratch.  If you're like most people, lots of these ingredients are ones you already have. And you don't have to even use ricemellow or ginger! That takes the cost down to about $5 - that's only 25 cents per cup! You can give friends & family a delicious handmade gift for about $2!

Don't worry, I won't be giving EVERYONE these for Christmas. But I will if you ask...

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