With all the planning it took for me to get ready for India; not to mention all the meals I preparing for Kevin for while I was gone, I didn’t get much of a chance to think about Valentine’s Day baking. Thankfully, Cara took one for the team and came up with a deliciously creative treat for us all! I ended up making these a couple of weeks before I left and was surprised at just how easy they were.
If you’re like me and are a bit sensitive to chocolate, you could also make these little chocolate smooches with carob chips. And; as I announced on the weekend, HP readers receive 10% off all carob chip and other gluten-free, vegan baking products from now until March 26. The items can be shipped internationally, so everyone can join in!
Take it away, Cara!
When I was diagnosed with a dairy allergy and gluten intolerance 6 months ago, I couldn’t help but feel completely at a loss.
I had no idea how to bake with my newly introduced diet, let alone know where to turn to figure it all out. So when I came upon Leanne’s blog, I immediately took advantage of her incredible talent in the kitchen, not to mention her impeccable ability to connect with her readers.
I was floored. It meant the world to me that she took the time to carefully respond to all of my emails. So naturally, I have loyalty to this girl. When asked to do this guest post, that was a no-brainer. I am indebted to this woman’s kindness. So in honor of the love given to me from Leanne and in honor of Valentine’s Day, I really wanted to create something special.
One of the things that I try to do over at Fork and Beans is to make food fun, especially for those of us who have dietary restrictions. My mission in life now is to show others that not only can you still eat the foods you once loved, but anything is possible once you allow your creativity to run amuck in the kitchen.
One thing that I have yet to recreate is the childhood favorite Hershey Chocolate Kiss, that is, until now. What better way to say “I love you” to your special someone (even if that someone is yourself!) than to give the gift of chocolate?!
Now, this isn’t the healthiest thing to eat (Hey, they are bite-sized though. Automatic portion control right? Who’s with me?), but my goodness, it just might be the most adorable thing you ever make!
Whoever the recipient is of these homemade Smooches will know that a lot of time and effort went into it, and will be all the more appreciative of each bite. Maybe they might even share a Smooch with you…
Vegan, Gluten free, Dairy free, Yeast free, Corn free, Grain free
Give your sweetheart the gift of allergen free smooches for Valentine’s Day!
Yield: 12 smooches
- 1/2 c. Enjoy Life non-dairy chocolate chips
- 12 almonds
- mini funnels *see note
- silver foil candy wrappers
- “Happy Valentine’s Day” printed strips
- Melt the chocolate chips in a double broiler or in a large metal bowl over top a saucepan filled with water to touch the bottom of the bowl. Alternatively, place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave at 30 second increments. Stirring at each stop. This should take about 90 seconds total.
- Fill the funnel half way with melted chocolate, making sure the chocolate fills a little into the narrowest part. Place almond in middle, making sure that the chocolate is covering it entirely.
- Standing upright, freeze for 10 minutes. Remove smooches from funnel by gently squeezing the chocolate mold out. This should easily slip out. If not, freeze for another minute.
- After you cut out Happy Valentine’s Day paper strips (I printed mine out from the computer at size 8 Typewriter font), fold 1/4″ inch of the paper under the smooch, making it stand upright. Proceed to wrap with silver candy foil (you will need to cut the wrap to fit each individual kiss).
Note: Hi, Leanne here! I made these smooches a couple of weekends before I headed to India and didn’t end up purchasing the funnels Cara recommended. Because my funnels were bigger, I had to plug the end so the chocolate wouldn’t spill out. To do this, I ripped off a small piece of plastic wrap, rolled it into a ball and placed it inside the funnel, then took the end of a meat thermometer (whatever pointy thing you have on hand) and pushed it into the neck of the funnel. Don’t push it too hard or you’ll have a very pointy tip!
So while Leanne is exhaling prayers, let us inhale our fair share of homemade smooches this Valentine’s Day.