Need some last-minute treats to give to a friend or serve with your holiday dinner that are not sugar-laden? Try one of these simple recipes made from natural foods. You will only need 10 minutes in prep time for each one. Nobody will know that both recipes are dairy-free, gluten-free, and low in natural sugar. The cookies have an egg-free alternative.
Creamy Cashew Fudge
With only 6 ingredients, this recipe is simple. You won’t use cups and cups of sugar – just a few ounces of pure maple syrup. But best of all, you don’t need to cook it on the stove like a traditional fudge. Melt the chocolate in the microwave in less than a minute, and stir it into cashew butter.
Palm shortening makes it set. This is not the same thing as traditional shortening, which is full of trans fats. Rather, it is palm oil with some of the unsaturated oils removed to make it firm yet creamy at room temperature. Palm oil, the second most-common cooking oil in the world, comes from tropical palm trees.
These luxurious fudge squares keep best in the refrigerator; they tend to be soft if left out.
Soft Molasses Cookies
You’ll never guess what sweetens these chewy gems. The secret is golden raisins! A little pumpkin pie spice turns them into a holiday ginger cookie that can be rolled and cut into shapes if you’re not in a hurry. Although for a last-minute treat, you can drop them onto your cookie sheet with a spoon. Then flatten them slightly, and they’ll come out in pretty little circles.
For egg-free cooking, I find it works well to blend some water, avocado oil, and baking powder with the raisins. The cookies hold together just as well, and the liquid helps puree the raisins, just as the eggs would.
Last Minute Treats
For the Creamy Cashew Fudge
- 6-10 oz. 70% cacao bar (depending on how dark you like it)
- 1/2 cup palm shortening
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 1/2 cups cashew butter (no additives)
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla
- 1/2 tsp. salt
For the Soft Molasses Cookies
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 2 eggs ( or use 1/4 c. water, 2 tsp. avocado oil, 1 Tbsp. baking powder)
- 2 cups almond butter (no additives)
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 tsp. salt
For the Fudge
- Break the cacao bars into 1" pieces. Add them to the palm shortening in a microwave-safe container. Microwave in 20-second bursts, stirring in between, until chocolate is melted, but not hot.
- In a mixing bowl, beat together the cashew butter, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt. Pour in the melted shortening and cacao bars. Beat again until smooth.
- Spray a 9X9 pan with cooking spray. Spread the fudge in the pan with a rubber spatula. Chill until set. Cut into 1/2" squares.
For the Cookies
- In a high-speed blender, puree the raisins with the egg or egg substitute until no pieces remain.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the almond butter, molasses, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Add the raisin puree and mix until completely incorporated.
- If cutting shapes, chill for at least 30 minutes before rolling to 1/4" thick. Use a spatula after cutting to lift onto parchment-lined cookie sheets.Otherwise, drop by tablespoon onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Flatten slightly.
- Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes, until browned and set. Cool slightly. Remove to cooling racks.