Between Paul’s finals, moving and our gluten free diet Christmas baking hasn’t been on any of the to-do lists. That is, until late night cravings hit or too many friends sharing pictures of their own delicious creations, and I try to make do with what we have on hand with the smidgen of sanity that remains.
I need to write these easy dessert recipes down, otherwise they will get lost in the mess of details that are randomly floating through my mind right now. Actually, I feel a bit silly even calling them recipes. These are really easy dessert recipes that are really more like “throw these yummy things in a bowl and *voila!*”
And they are so flexible. If you want to add more of something, do. It’ll probably work out just fine. Want to add something else to one of these easy dessert recipes?! Do it. It’ll probably taste good. In fact, I am going to be adding candied ginger to the second recipe next time I make it. I think it will be a rather complimentary flavor.
It use to bug me so much when my mom would give measurements like “Just a bit of this. A bit more of that.” But, I am getting it. It’s kind of fun to make food that way. And since there is no baking needed for either of these recipes, so you can sample along the way to make sure the flavor is just as you imagine it should be – add more of whatever you think will make the recipe better.
The first of the easy dessert recipes we have been enjoying are these Peppermint Coconut Balls. If you like peppermint and if you like coconut, then these are for you!
If you like chocolate, these are pretty fantastic dipped in chocolate, too! I used some of the melted chocolate from the recipe below to dip some of these peppermint coconut balls.
The second of the easy dessert recipes is a twist on those turtle caramel chocolates. Only, it’s pretty much all healthy ingredients! We polished them off pretty quickly, they were really tasty.I am calling them date and nut clusters … but don’t let that rather un-fabulous name deter you. These are fantastic. And my recipe is pretty pathetic. You are going to need a few simple ingredients.
1. Dates (I have started buying this 5lb bag!) 2. Date paste – it’s just water soaked dates blended with a bit more water, but here is a great tutorial for reference. 3. Nuts – I buy Target brand raw Mixed Nuts – it is a GREAT assortment of nuts. Use your favorite. I roasted mine before using them for this treat. 4. Chocolate – I love (love LOVE!) dark chocolate. Use whatever you like.
The steps are super simple, once you have the ensemble of ingredients collected.
Slice the dates lengthwise, trying to keep them together. If they split, no big deal. But they make a more satisfying treat and look more impressive as one large date.
Spoon a bit of the date paste inside the sliced date. Trust me. While it seems silly to add date paste to a date, it makes a difference. I made half without and half with date paste and we fought over the date paste ones. SO yummy.
Place a few nuts on top of the date paste. I fit 2-3 nuts on each.
Melt the chocolate (double boiler or in microwave) and, once melted, spoon over each date. Give it enough chocolate to bind the entire treat together.
Place in fridge until chocolate sets and then enjoy!