Dr. Joy’s Joyful Pleasures: DIY Holiday Gifts From Your Kitchen 

 December 17, 2020

By  Dr. Joy Lasseter

I enjoy receiving a home cooked treat as a holiday gift.
You can brighten their day by baking something special for your loved ones.

Plan ahead for your recipients food allergies first by substituting ingredients!
Then they can fully enjoy your gift of labor from your heart!

Try some of these healthier versions of traditional delights for your holiday gift giving.
Have Christmas tins ready, lined in wax paper, pack the treats and snap the lid tight. Refrigerate until you deliver them.

Celebration Fudge with Craisins and Slivered Almonds

Lightly oil 8 X 8 baking pan and line with wax paper.
Melt 1 pound simi-sweet chocolate chunks and 3/4 cups
heavy coconut cream in a double boiler over water.
Watch and stir. Whisk until smooth.
Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 tsp. vanilla and a pinch of salt.
Spread 1/2 cup sliced almonds first, then 1/2 cup Craisins evenly over the empty pan.
Pour Chocolate mixture over the Craisins and nuts.
Cool to room temperature, cover and chill in refrigerator for 4 hours.
Run knife along the edge. Place pan upside down on cutting board.
Gently remove paper. Cut into squares. Fill your gift tins!


Festive Oatmeal Cookies with Candied Ginger and Craisins

Preheat oven to 375 F. In large bowl cream 1 1/4 cups softened butter with 1 1/4 cups
Lakanto Monk Fruit golden sweetener using the back of a large spoon.
Add 1 egg and 1 tsp. vanilla, beating thoroughly.
In separate bowl combine: 1 ½ cup gluten free cake flour, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. ground cinnamon,
½ tsp. salt, ½ cup Craisins and ¼ cup diced candied ginger.
Fold this mixture into the sugar and butter bowl and combine thoroughly.
Add 3 cups uncooked old fashioned rolled oats and mix in well.
Drop 1 tablespoon of dough for each cookie.
Keep them small to fit into the tins.
Bake for 8 to 9 minutes. Cool in pan briefly then place on rack to cool.
When cooled fill your gift tins!


Holiday Brownies

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Melt ½ cup unsalted butter and ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate in double boiler over water. Stir constantly.
In large bowl mix 2 eggs, 1 cup Lakanto Monk Fruit golden sweetener, 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder,
1 tsp. aluminum free baking powder, 1 tsp. vanilla, and finally 1 cup of gluten free flour.
Cool the melted chocolate and butter mixture 10 minutes then fold into the separate bowl.

Pour batter into prepared, lightly oiled, 8 X 8 baking pan. Bake for 35 minutes.
Cool then decorate with sliced almonds and red Craisins on top. Pack your gift tins!


Dr. Joy’s Health Notes: These holiday recipes are lower in calories because I have substituted Monk Fruit sweetener at zero net calories for the higher calorie cane sugar! I have also substituted gluten free flour and coconut cream for your gluten and dairy allergic guests. Oats do not contain gluten. Margarine can replace butter if that is an issue.  Coconut cream is a very nutritious plant fat and works well for vegetarians. The nuts can easily be removed from the recipes as well.

Enjoy your holidays and stay healthy!

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