Chocolate Candy Halloween Bark

Halloween-themed candy bark that takes five minutes to prepare and tastes sinfully delicious? Yes PLEASE.

All you have to do is melt some chocolate, add your favorite candy into it, and refrigerate it for about an hour to make a simple, sugar-filled bark. It’s a fun and different way to eat Halloween candy.

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The nice thing about this bark is that you can tailor it to your dietary restrictions. Make it gluten-free by using certified gluten-free chocolate and candy (so leave out the Oreos and swap the pretzel M&M’s for crushed gluten-free pretzels). Make it vegan by using vegan chocolate chipsnon-dairy milk, and your favorite vegan halloween candies. No Whey Chocolate makes vegan versions of pretzel M&M’s and Reese’s piecescalled NoNo’s that you can order online and use instead of the originals.

I made this candy bark in my dorm room microwave but couldn’t find vegan chocolate candy on my college campus. Thus, the chocolate was vegan but the candy was not so I just gave it to some friends.

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There’s no reason not to make this chocolatey treat. It’s so simple that even the laziest college student can make it. As I said, I made it in my dorm room microwave! Plus, you can snack on the chocolate as you make it.

Gift everyone you know, from your friends to your arch-enemy, this treat (instead of a trick)!

Chocolate Candy Halloween Bark

makes 8 servings

this recipe was first published in my second Spoon University article!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1 package pretzel M&M’s/ NoNo’s
  • 1 package peanut M&M’s/ 1/4 cup peanuts
  • 1 package Reese’s pieces/ Pea”not” butter NoNo’s
  • 8 crushed Oreos

Instructions

Gather your ingredients.

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Measure out chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli semi-sweet) and milk (I used soy) into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir the mixture to smoothen it out. Add in more milk as needed.

Add the candy to the chocolate and mix everything together.

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Line a cutting board, piece of cardboard, or cardstock with plastic wrap. Pour the bark mixture onto the plastic wrap and smooth it out so it’s about a ½ inch thick.

Happy Halloween! Eat all the candy you want today and have fun seeing all the trick-or-treaters! Let me know the coolest costume you saw.

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Coconut Peanut Butter Cups (v, gf, raw)

I’m sorry I haven’t blogged in a few weeks. Tennis and school took over my life! I’m back now, though. Yay!

Please accept these GIANT coconut peanut butter cups as my apology!

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excuse the weird lighting and focus the CHOCOLATE COCONUT! OH MAMA!

Chocolate, coconut, and peanut butter. Is there anything better?

How about them all together!?  Ohhhh babyyy!

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These coconut chocolate peanut butter cups can be made two different ways. One in the normal way, where you pour chocolate, then peanut butter, then chocolate again into a cupcake liner. The other way is in an ice cube maker! Thanks for the idea, Pinterest.

These cups are so sweet and rich that you really only need one! Trust me, I know from experience… They make a great after-dinner dessert, as well as a nice afternoon pick-me-up snack. They’re also super quick and easy to make, and they’d be fun to make with kiddos. If you don’t like coconut, you can take out the shredded coconut and just melt your favorite chocolate chips in place of the coconut chocolate.

Give them a try! I know I’ll be making a second batch soon, since I ate half the batch the day I made them (sorry not sorry). Enjoy and get your choco coco peanut butta ON!

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peanut butter cups cubes : the ice tray way

GIANT Coconut Peanut Butter Cups

makes around 10 peanut butter cups / cubes

Peanut Butter Mixture

  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1-2 tablespoons nondairy milk (depending on how thick you want the peanut butter middle to be)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of coconut flakes

Coconut Chocolate

  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3-4 tablespoons agave nectar (or maple syrup, but it will add a slight maple flavor to the chocolate)
  1. Whisk everything together for the coconut chocolate. If the mixture is too thick / hard to whisk, add a splash of nondairy milk.
  2. Whisk everything together for the coconut peanut butter.
  3. Pour a tablespoon or so of the chocolate mixture into the bottom of an ice cube tray or a cupcake liner. Put in the freezer for a few minutes to harden up.
  4. Drop in a teaspoon or so of the peanut butter mixture on top of the chocolate mixture. Put in the freezer for a few minutes to harden up.
  5. Top the pb chocolate bite off with a tablespoon or so more chocolate. Top with coconut!
  6. FREEZE for a few hours, then take out and enjoy right away!

xx Ellie

P.S. — This post is part of the Peanut Butter Bash, hosted  by Miranda from Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt! This month’s ingredient theme was peanut butter + coconut. For more peanut butter goodies, check out the Peanut Butter Bash Facebook Page and the Pinterest page.  Want to join the party!? Join the Peanut Butter Bash Recipe Group on Facebook!

Samoas + My STRANGE Day

Baking soda doesn’t just help baked goods rise. It also neutralizes acid. Want to know how I know this?

It was a typical Tuesday morning (well except for the fact that it was St. Patrick’s day so I was wearing green and orange). I woke up, ate breakfast, and got ready for school like usual. I arrived in first hour with seconds to spare, like usual. In first hour, Chemistry, we did a lab, which is relatively usual.

The lab involved  Hydrochloric acid, and you can watch the first 5 minutes of this video to see what we did if you are really interested in chemistry and FIRE. The purpose of the lab was to combine the acid with zinc to create a reaction. Then we would capture the gas it released and determine its mass. We could light the collected gas on fire if we wanted, which was pretty cool.

However, near the end of the hour I looked down at my pants and noticed grayish colored spots on my bright orange pants. I first thought, “what is that?” Then I realized that I had somehow gotten acid on my pants! I had been measuring acid into a test tube, but I had no idea how it had gotten from the tube onto my pants! I told my teacher, Mr. L, that I got acid on my pants and he immediately got worried. “Do you feel any pain in your legs? Any burning sensations?” He questioned.

“No…” I replied.

“Do you have any extra pants at school!?” he asked.

“Uh… I have gym shorts in my gym locker,” I answered, realizing that he probably wanted me to put them on. Keep in mind, it was 30-something degrees outside, so most sane people weren’t wearing shorts.

“Go as fast as you can and put them on!” He urged. So, I speed-walked to the gym lockers to put on my gym shorts, navigating through a crowd of orchestra students as I made my way. I hadn’t thought that getting acid on my pants would be a big deal, but apparently it was a big enough deal that I had to freeze in gym shorts for the rest of the day! I yanked off my pants and slid on my shorts. I bounced out of the locker room and into the hallway. There were only about 3 minutes left of class, so the hallways were pretty crowded. I had to maneuver around people who started at me and my acid pants to get back to the classroom. When I arrived, everyone was silent as Mr. L instructed me to take off my shoes and socks. “What in the world?” I thought.

Then it dawned on me: I was going to have to be sprayed off with copious amounts of water by the green chem wash station!

Mr. L instructed me to rub baking soda all over my legs. It sounds ridiculous, but the baking soda would neutralize the acid that may or may not have been on my skin. So, I massaged baking soda all over my pale, hairy legs. I couldn’t stop laughing at the ridiculousness of the situation! After my legs were covered in baking soda, Mr. L hosed down my legs with copious (Mr. L’s favorite word) amounts of water. Then I wiped myself off with scratchy brown paper towels.

My shorts got a little wet, but it was better than possibly having acid on my legs and getting acid burns (well duh).  Mr. L told me to contact my doctor if I felt any strange burning sensations. I couldn’t believe that a little acid could possibly be so harmful! Good thing it wasn’t! When my teacher finished hosing me down, he put baking soda all over my pants. We decided to leave the pants in his room so they could dry. With any luck, I’d be able to wear them again. The bell had rung a few minutes before (but after I was rinsed down so my whole class got to watch that), so I grabbed my stuff and headed out of the classroom. I thought to myself that it was a good thing I was taking team games, or I’d probably have to get hosed down in my underwear. Or Mr. Larson’s lab coat.

All I can say is, good thing I was wearing pants!

At tennis practice after school, I told my tennis buddies about my adventure to acid land. Now my tennis coach is calling me the acid queen. I brought them treats and he asked if he would hallucinate if he ate one (he didn’t). Haha.

Now I’ll change the subject to food since this is a food blog and stuff. The treats I brought to my teammates were Samoas, and they were DELICIOUS! 7 healthy, wholesome ingredients. They’re also vegan, gluten free, practically raw, and almost sugar-free! Win-win-win! The recipe is from Chocolate Covered Katie.com. I used water instead of agave nectar for the recipe because the coconut I used was sweetened. I also made them into bars because that’s a whole lot easier than cutting them into cookie shapes. Dare I say they were better than Girl Scout Cookies? They were!

Here’s a picture of them from my Instagram: 

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So, my St. Patty’s day consisted of acid and Samoas. An interesting mix. It was an interesting and eventful day! I hope yours was too (in a good way)!

xx Ellie

Ps: have you ever been hosed off or had to use the eyewash machine in science class? Or, have you seen someone use it?

Raw Snickers (v, gf, r)

mmm Snickers. Melt-in-your-mouth chocolate, gooey caramel, crunchy peanuts, and soft nougat all wrapped together into a satisfying bar of yumminess. The ingredients in this “satisfying” bar? MILK CHOCOLATE (SUGAR, COCOA BUTTER, CHOCOLATE, SKIM MILK, LACTOSE, MILKFAT, SOY LECITHIN, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR), PEANUTS, CORN SYRUP, SUGAR, PALM OIL, SKIM MILK, LACTOSE, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN OIL, SALT, EGG WHITES, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR. (Source: Snickers.com) Still sound yummy to you? Not to me! Therefore, I made my own version of snickers. They still include that melt-in-your-mouth chocolate, gooey caramel, crunchy peanuts, and soft nougat, but are much yummier (and healthier!) than the real Snickers because they don’t contain tons of artificial ingredients. Dig in!  P1240783 P1240785

“Raw” Snickers

makes 10 medium-sized Snickers bars

Nougat

Nougat layer adapted from Emily Von Euw

  • 3/4 cup oat flour
  • 1/4 cup agave
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 cup sliced almonds

Blend everything together in a food processor until smooth. Pour the yummy mixture into a medium-sized container and spread it around (so it’s one layer). Put it in the freezer to set.

Date Caramel

  • around 17 dates
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 2-3 tablespoons nondairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Pulse the dates in a food processor until they are small chunks. Add everything else and blend! Pour it on top of the nougat layer.

peanuts

Sprinkle peanuts on top of the caramel layer. Put the container in the freezer.

Chocolate

  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I love Ghiradelli Semisweet)
  • 2-3 tablespoons nondairy milk

Or if you really like coconut, you can use this recipe for the chocolate. Melt the chocolate and milk in a double boiler or in a bowl in the microwave. Stir. Pour on top of the peanut/caramel/nougat mixture and put in the freezer to set. These take 2-3 hours to set. After they’ve set (chocolate is hardened and the bar is firm), cut it into 10 pieces. ENJOY plant-based happiness! P1240784

Have a fun day!

xx Ellie

MONKEY BITES (v, gf)

Happy almost Valentine’s day! 

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These babies…

  • take 5 minutes to make
  • are easy to make 
  • have only 3 ingredients
  • are healthy
  • are insanely delicious!

I am definitely not the first to make bananas dipped in chocolate and frozen. Whoever came up with the idea is a genius! I was craving a sweet treat after dinner last night, but I didn’t want something bread-y and super sugary. The solution to my craving? These monkey bites! No monkeying around here! All you have to do is melt some chocolate chips, chop up banana and smother it in peanut butter and chocolate, and put the bites in the freezer. An hour later, you have a delectable treat. 

This treat is so fun! Everyone will go “bananas” over it (hahahaha)!

Enjoy!

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Monkey Bites

Makes around 25 bites

  • 1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips (I heart Ghiradelli semisweet chocolate chips)
  • a teaspoon or two of nondairy milk to dilute the chocolate
  • 2 bananas
  • peanut butter

Cut up two bananas into 1 inch slices. Spread a ½ teaspoon or so of peanut butter on to each banana slice. Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl for 30 seconds. Pull the bowl out after 30 seconds (be careful because it will be hot!) and add a teaspoon of nondairy milk to the chocolate if it’s too thick. Dip the bananas in the chocolate mixture! You can always just add the peanut butter to the chocolate mixture so you don’t have to spread peanut butter onto each banana slice. I just held the banana bite and dipped the top of it into chocolate. Place dipped bananas onto parchment paper and put them in the freezer for an hour or so to harden the chocolate. When the chocolate is hardened, take out and enjoy! 

Have a fun day!

xx Ellie

Crunch-y Bars

Fall is a busy time of year. This week is especially busy for me! Meetings, homework, and the fall play (at my high school) that I’m in opens this weekend! My schedule looks like this: school, homework, play dress rehearsal, eat chocolate, and curl my hair and get it ready for rehearsal the next day! Yes, I put my hair in curlers and wear a turban that covers the curlers to school. This is what I look like today:

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It’s all fun, though (well, minus the homework)! The show is called The Matchmaker, and it is the play version of the musical Hello, Dolly! . I play a gypsy. I need chocolate to get me through this busy show week!!! A great way to get my chocolate fix is through these crunchy bars! They’re basically my homemade version of Nestlé Crunch Bars. Crunchy and chocolatey, they’re a perfect snack and a cure to a chocolate craving. 100_3200

Crunch-y Bars

makes a small pan full (about 20 1 inch by 1 inch squares)

  • 1 cup of chocolate chips
  • dash of nondairy milk
  • 1 and 1/4 cup of regular or cocoa crisp rice cereal (like Rice Krispies)

Cover a pan in parchment paper. Get out a double boiler and melt the chocolate in it. Then add in the chocolate chips and a bit of nondairy milk (only a tablespoon or two) to the boiler. When the chocolate is melted, add in the crisp rice cereal. I used Cocoa Krispies for an extra chocolatey crunch! Stir it all around, then pour the mixture into the papered pan. Put the pan in the freezer for about half an hour, or until the chocolate hardens. Then take out, cut, and enjoy! Store in the freezer. 100_3210 Eat some chocolate and enjoy your day!

xx Ellie

Peanut Butter Popcorn Balls (PB squared)

Hello! Time for another Halloween-inspired post! After all, it’s less than two days away!

I have no idea what I am going to be doing on Halloween night. I won’t trick or treat for candy I can’t eat (unintentional rhyme right there). Also, I am probably a little too old to trick-or-treat. This is probably good, because when I was younger, I was a CRAZY trick-or-treater. I probably ate 2 or 3 king-sized candy bars and lots of little candies during and after trick-or-treating. Then I proceeded to spazz out. For example: in fifth grade, I had a sleepover on Halloween but I didn’t sleep because I was literally bouncing off the walls.

However, passing out candy is still fun (which is probably what I will end up doing) because you get to see cute kids wearing classic/ adorable/ scary/ innovative (choose one) costumes!

A great snack to enjoy while giving candy and other treats to younguns is peanut butter popcorn balls! They’re filled with fiber, so you’ll stay full and won’t be tempted to eat candy. They also taste yummy, especially if you love peanut butter (look at my blog name and you’ll see that I sure do).  Plus, they’re made with ingredients that you probably have on hand!

So without further ado, I present PB2!

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Peanut Butter Popcorn Balls (aka PB squared)

These treats are adapted from a recipe on the blog Keeping It Kind.

makes around 22 truffles

Ingredients

  • 4 and 1/4 cups popped popcorn
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup agave syrup
  • 1 cup (vegan) chocolate chips
  • peanuts to top the balls

Directions

  1. Combine the peanut butter and agave.
  2. Add this mixture to the popcorn and use a spatula, a stand mixer, or handheld mixer to mix everything together.
  3. Line a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper. Get your hands wet and then shape the popcorn mixture into small balls (think ping pong balls).
  4. Place the balls on the baking sheet and freeze or refrigerate until hardened (15 to 30 minutes).
  5. Just before you pull the balls out, melt the chocolate in a double broiler or a microwave (if you’re lazy like I am).
  6. Then take out the balls and dip each ball into the chocolate using a spoon to coat it. Or you can just spoon chocolate on top of each ball. Add a peanut to the top of each ball. When all of the balls have been coated in chocolate, put them back in the fridge/ freezer.
  7. When the chocolate has hardened… bon appétit! Keep these babies in the fridge/ freezer. They are best eaten within 24 hours because the popcorn starts to get soggy afterwards.

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I hope you have a fun (and safe) Halloween!

xx Ellie