No Tricks, Just Treats: Homemade Gluten-Free Halloween Candy

Can Halloween be sinfully good and good for you? The answer is yes. Sweet Medjool dates are transformed into caramel, and extra-dark 91 percent chocolate — the darker, the better — enrobes each candy with its rich, complex flavor. Plus, healthy fats like coconut oil and unrefined sugars like maple syrup mean you can treat yourself to some Halloween fun. One bite of these chocolate candies and you’ll know there are no tricks, just real treats!

Pumpkin Spice Coconut Butter Cups

Makes: 12 cups

Ingredients:

1 cup extra-dark chocolate, preferably made for coating, chopped

1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree

1/2 cup coconut butter

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1 tablespoon pumpkin spice

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Line a 12-cup mini cupcake pan with 12 liners. Bring water to a low simmer in a double boiler. Place two-thirds of the chocolate in the double boiler and melt to 115 degrees.

Stir in the remaining one-third of the chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes; stir to combine. Let the chocolate cool down to 90 degrees.

Pour about 1 teaspoon melted chocolate into each liner and use a butter knife to coat the bottom and sides. Let set, at least 1 hour or overnight.

Reheat the chocolate to 90 degrees F. In a high-speed blender or food processor, combine the pumpkin puree, coconut butter, maple syrup, pumpkin spice, vanilla and salt.

Divide the mixture into 12 balls and flatten slightly; place one in each of the chocolate shells. Top each with melted chocolate to cover completely.

Let set, at least 1 hour or overnight. Store at room temperature in an airtight container or refrigerate.

Per serving: Calories 151; Fat 14 (Saturated 10 g); Sodium 12 mg; Carbohydrate 10 g; Fiber 4 g; Sugars 5 g; Protein 2 g

Superfood Chocolate Bars

Makes: 18 pieces

Ingredients:

1 cup raw whole almonds

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1 cup extra-dark chocolate, preferably made for coating, chopped

Seeds for topping, such as chia seeds, sesame seeds, hemp seeds and pumpkin seeds

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, place the almonds and maple syrup in the middle, and toss to coat; spread evenly in a single layer and roast, stirring once, until toasted, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Bring water to a low simmer in a double boiler. Place two-thirds of the chocolate in the double boiler and melt to 115 degrees F.

Stir in the remaining one-third of the chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes; stir to combine. Let the chocolate cool down to 90 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Fold the almonds into the cooled chocolate and spread in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet. Top with the seeds and let set, at least 1 hour or overnight. Store at room temperature in an airtight container or refrigerate.

Per serving: Calories 128; Fat 12 (Saturated 4 g); Sodium 4 mg; Carbohydrate 7 g; Fiber 3 g; Sugars 3 g; Protein 4 g

Peanut Nougat ‘n’ Caramel Chocolate Bars

Makes: 16 mini bars

1 cup extra-dark chocolate, preferably made for coating, chopped

For the nougat:

3/4 cup almond flour or almond meal

2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

For the caramel:

1/2 cup Medjool dates, soaked in water for at least 4 hours and drained

2 tablespoons unsalted peanut butter

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup roasted peanuts

Bring water to a low simmer in a double boiler. Place two-thirds of the chocolate in the double boiler and melt to 115 degrees F. Stir in the remaining one-third of the chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes; stir to combine. Let the chocolate cool down to 90 degrees.

To make the nougat: In a food processor, pulse together the almond flour, coconut oil, maple syrup, almond milk, vanilla and salt until combined.

To make the caramel: In a food processor, pulse together the dates, peanut butter, salt and 2 tablespoons water until combined.

To assemble, line a 3 1/4-by-5 3/4-inch mini loaf pan with parchment paper, overhanging on 2 sides. Coat with chocolate to cover the bottom about 1/8 inch thick. Let set, at least 1 hour or overnight. Top with the nougat, about 1/2 inch thick. Top with the caramel, about 1/4 inch thick. Scatter over the peanuts. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.

Reheat the chocolate to 90 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the assembled bar to a cutting board and cut into 16 pieces. Dip in chocolate and place on the prepared parchment. Let set, at least 1 hour or overnight.

Per serving: Calories 190; Fat 15 (Saturated 6 g); Sodium 15 mg; Carbohydrate 15 g; Fiber 3 g; Sugars 9 g; Protein 4 g

Looking for more gluten-free food options?

Decadent (Gluten-Free!) Chocolate Cake

The Best Gluten-Free Food

Gluten-Free Breakfast

Ron's Gluten-Free Chocolate Meringue Cookies

Silvana Nardone is the author of the Silvana’s Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Kitchen: Timeless Favorites Transformed.

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