Magic Bars


Holiday baking is a love of mine, a way to exude the Christmas spirit.  I also love magic bars, but had to find a way to make them dairy free and now I know the secret.  All you need to do is make your own condensed milk from scratch using coconut milk, and it couldn’t be easier.  No one will even notice the difference, so make these today to please those with an allergy and those without.


Magic Bars
1 can coconut milk (full fat)
1/2 c brown sugar
1 3/4 c graham cracker crumbs
7 tbs dairy free butter (such as earth balance)
1.5 tbs sugar
1 c semi sweet chocolate chips (ghiradelli)
1 c flaked coconut
1/2 c slivered almonds

In a saucepan over medium heat bring coconut milk and brown sugar to a low boil, reduce heat and simmer for approximately 45 minutes, stirring occasionally until the mixture has reduced by half. The coconut milk mixture should be thick reduced to about ¾ cup. Remove from heat and cool slightly.  While the the coconut milk is cooling make the crust.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line a 9×9 pan with parchment paper.  In a bowl mix the graham cracker crumbs, dairy free butter, and sugar until it resembles wet sand.  Pour graham cracker mixture into pan using hand to evenly distribute.  Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and let cool.  Pour coconut milk over cooled crust then sprinkle with chocolate chips, coconut, and almonds.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and let sit for 1 hour then move to fridge to set up overnight then cut into squares.


Peanut Butter Cups


My boyfriend’s favorite candy is a reese’s peanut butter cup, but due to the dairy ingredients he hasn’t had one in a long time.  So I thought I’d make a special treat for him and our Christmas party guests this past weekend.  Seriously what’s better than peanut butter and chocolate?


Peanut Butter Cups
2 tbs coconut oil
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 tbs almond milk
1/4 powdered sugar
1/2 c peanut butter
1 tbs vegan butter

Place paper liners in a mini muffin tin, set aside.  Add the chocolate chips and coconut oil to a microwave save bowl.  Heat in the microwave for 20 seconds at a time until melted, stir after each increment.  Place 1/2 tsp of chocolate in each muffin tin.  Put in the fridge until chocolate has set.  In the meantime mix almond milk, powdered sugar, peanut butter, and vegan butter until smooth.  Layer peanut butter mixture on top of the bottom chocolate layer.  Then layer the rest of the chocolate over the top.  Shake the tray gently to even out the chocolate, then place in fridge to set.  Bring to room temperature before serving.

Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies


I spent my whole childhood searching for the perfect chocolate chip cookie.  Some were too crumbly, others too crisp, but with one egg and one egg white this recipe is just the right balance.  Chilling the dough also intensifies and deepens the flavor.  And dairy free chips make them a hit in my house.  Bake some for friends, family, or coworkers this holiday season.


Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 c flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks “butter” (e.g. earth balance)
1 c brown sugar
1/2 c sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 egg and 1 egg white (or egg substitutes)
2 c dairy free semi-sweet chocolate chips (e.g. ghirardelli)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Sift flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.  Cream “butter”, brown sugar, and sugar.  Beat in vanilla, egg, and egg white until creamy.  Slowly mix in flour mixture until just blended.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Chill dough for 1 hour.  Drop dough 1/4 c at a time onto a cookie sheet spaced 3 inches apart.  Bake 15-17 minutes.  Cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

For smaller cookies: drop 1 tbs of dough at a time onto a cookie sheet spaced 2 inches a part.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.