Is your house brimming with christmas excitement? Ours is. One of the purest joys of having small children is watching them anticipating christmas with so much glee. We have many traditions which have been gleamed from both sides of our family but also some that we have decided to make as our own. We do a christmas countdown like any other house but we decided to fill the beautiful handmade advent calendar with slips of paper giving the day a kindness act. This helps us to focus on giving, something we desperately want to in still in our children. So what does this advent calendar have to do with my crunch bars?…plenty! One of the tasks in the calendar is to give personal baking to someone who may not have time or ability to do so. And of course, chocolate is a big part of our christmas. But since dairy destroys the body, we try to do everything dairy free. These bars are easy, quick, and my kids love to help make the chocolate. We can hand out these yummy morsels to college students, busy single moms, or people just don’t like baking. Not to mention the thousand and one christmas concerts the kids are involved in. They freeze very well and thaw quickly for unexpected company.
So while we do enjoy this as a treat, it is just that. I’m not a big fan of using oil in my baking and cooking as it is extremely processed (yes even coconut!) these just aren’t the same without it. To make them extra festive, if you don’t mind the extra processed sugars, add crushed candy canes on top!
Vegan Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Bars
1 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1 Cup coconut milk- Full fat
1 Cup Cocoa Powder**
2 tsp Vanilla
2 tsp peppermint extract (or more if you love minty flavour!)
2 Cups Rice Crips (I used brown but white would work too)
*If you aren’t confident in making your own vegan chocolate, melt down one bag of store bought vegan chocolate and add in the peppermint, 2 tbsp coconut oil and rice crisps.
** I’ve mentioned it before but I will say it again, please make sure your cocoa is ethically sourced, there is so much slavery involved in this product!
Start by bringing a pot of water to a boil and placing another bowl that can stand a little heat directly over top. This makes your chocolate smooth instead of clumpy and prevents burning. Place your coconut oil, and extracts into the bowl and wait for it to be completely melted
Next, add in the coconut sugar, and coconut milk and stir until completely dissolved. It will look a little odd as the oil and milk don’t mix well at this stage but I promise they will resolve their differences. You should have little bubbles of oil and milk. Once you are at this stage, add in your cocoa and stir gently JUST until there are no more clumps then take it off the heat quickly. Over cook and it will be clumpy. Should look like this:
Next pour the chocolate mixture over the rice crisps and stir till mixed.
Pour into a parchment paper lined pan and smooth out. I used a 9X13 pan once and made another batch into a 9X9. Both worked well, it depends how thick you want your bars. Now just put the pan into the fridge or freezer to cool. Takes about an hour to cool in the fridge. Enjoy!