Easy Rose Bliss Balls (Healthy, Vegan, Raw, Sugar-free, Gluten-free, Oil-free)

These rose bliss balls are the perfect sweet snack and a great way to indulge without feeling guilty! A delicious bite-sized superfood to keep you going throughout the day! 

rose bliss balls in a glass bowl on a dark surface with dried rose buds, cocoa powder and gray cloth

I’m not much of a health freak, but there are times when I want something sweet but healthy, too. 

I’ve been experimenting with healthy, raw dessert treats lately. And apart from my vegan chocolate truffles, which have raw cashews, I’m not all that familiar with raw desserts.

So, I began playing around with flavors I love with dried Greek figs and turning them into energy balls. 

Boy, was I totally blown away with the results!

These incredible, no-bake energy bites are heavenly!

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THESE ROSE BLISS BALLS

They’re… 

  • simple, no-bake treats.
  • raw.
  • vegan.
  • sugar-free, yet sweet enough to satisfy any sweet tooth.
  • gluten-free.
  • oil-free.
  • incredibly quick and easy to make.
  • moist.
  • healthy.
  • perfect for a snack.
  • easy to pack and they travel really well, too!

WHAT MAKES THESE BLISS BALLS STAND OUT

Most bliss ball recipes are made with dates, but I decided to try using dried figs because they have a bit fewer carbs and less fat than dates and I honestly think they taste a lot better, too. Greek figs are considered one of the best in the world. So, if you can get a hold of Greek figs, you should definitely try them! I’m sure they’re available online or at Greek specialty shops.

In addition, unlike traditional bliss balls, this recipe doesn’t require soaking the figs at all. This makes it even easier and faster to make!

Best of all, though, these bliss balls have a unique flavor unlike anything I’ve ever had – a wonderful medley of unique flavors: figs and roses.

WHAT DO THESE ROSE BLISS BALLS TASTE LIKE?

If you like Fig Newtons, you’ll probably like these, too! They’re sweet and slightly spicy. The dried rose buds don’t taste great on their own, but when they’re mixed with everything else, they really bring out a wonderful, exotic flavor. 

What I think makes these balls phenomenal, though, is the tiny amount of Kahlua. OMG! 

Kahlua and figs are a match made in heaven! 

rose bliss balls in a glass bowl on a dark surface with dried rose buds

WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE THEM – ONLY 5 INGREDIENTS:

Dried Figs:

I use all natural, unsweetened white dried Greek figs, that are naturally sun dried. The variety I use is one from the island of Evia.

Salt & spices:

I use a little cinnamon and just a small amount of salt to enhance the flavors.

Dried Rose Buds:

Dried rose buds really bring out a wonderful flavor! 

Alcohol:

I use a tiny amount of Kahlua, but if you want to avoid alcohol, you could easily replace this with water. 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Are these balls healthy?

Yes! To me, these balls are tiny versions of an energy bar. They contain dried figs, which are excellent sources of iron and calcium and, most importantly, they are also rich in antioxidants.

Can this recipe be customized?

Yes! Here are a few ideas:

  • Substitute Kahlua with orange juice or just water.
  • Instead of dried rose buds, about 1 teaspoon food grade rose water.
  • Add some of your favorite nuts or seeds or even unsweetened shredded coconut.

How long will they last?

They can be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. After that, they begin to dry out.

Can they be frozen?

Yes! Spread them out on a baking sheet and put in the freezer. When they’ve frozen completely, put them in a freezer bag and then in a freezer-safe container. They can be  frozen for about 2 months.

HOW TO MAKE ROSE BLISS BALLS

Rose Bliss Balls 4 Steps

STEP 1 

Put everything in a food processor and pulse until smooth.

STEP 2

It should come together when you pinch some together.

STEP 3 

Form balls, about 1 tablespoon for each. I like to use a small cookie scoop for this because it’s easier and I get the same size for each ball.

STEP 4

Roll the balls in some crushed, dried rose petals or your desired topping.  

How easy is that??

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • The type of dried figs you use may affect the overall texture. If the mixture is too crumbly, add a lit bit of water, a teaspoon at a time, until it comes together.
  • The dough is quite sticky. If you want, you could wet your hands or wear gloves so that they’ll be easier to roll.

IDEAS FOR TOPPINGS

  • dried unsweetened shredded coconut
  • sesame seeds
  • chopped walnuts
  • unsweetened cocoa powder – I use Dutch-processed as it’s less bitter than natural cocoa powder (To learn the difference between these two types of cocoa, check out this post I wrote.)
  • melted dark chocolate

HOW TO ENJOY THESE ROSE FIG BALLS 

First of all, I already keep lots of different sweet treats in the freezer, just in case of an emergency, like chocolate pomegranate bark , and these fig balls make another great addition! 

But apart from eating them on their own, I’ve discovered lots of other ways to enjoy them, too! 

Here are a few ideas:

  • Add them to Greek yogurt for a healthy breakfast or snack.
  • Put 1 (or 2) bliss balls in your favorite smoothie.
  • Add some over a mixed green salad drizzled with some balsamic vinegar.

~Voula

MORE HEALTHY RECIPES

Easy Healthy Watermelon Slushie

Healthy Tahini Breakfast Cookies

Easy Apple Chips

Ancient Greek Sesame Bars – Pasteli 

Easy Fluffy Vegan Chocolate Mousse

MORE FIG RECIPES

Easy honey-baked figs

Let me know how these rose bliss balls turn out for you in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!

Easy Rose Bliss Balls (Healthy, Vegan, Raw, Sugar-free, Gluten-free, Oil-free)

These rose bliss balls are the perfect sweet snack and a great way to indulge without feeling guilty! A delicious bite-sized superfood to keep you going throughout the day! 
Prep Time5 mins
Total Time5 mins
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American, Greek, Mediterranean
Keyword: figs, healthy, rose, bliss balls, kahlua
Servings: 10 balls

Ingredients

  • 10 dried figs, about 6.3 oz / 180 g
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ tablespoon Kahlua (or water)
  • 1 tablespoon dried rose petals (+ extra to coat)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Instructions

  • Put everything in a food processor and pulse until smooth.
  • It should come together when you pinch some together.
  • Form balls, about 1 tablespoon for each. I like to use a small cookie scoop because it’s easier and I get the same size for each ball.
  • Roll the balls in some crushed, dried rose petals or your desired topping.  
  • Enjoy!
  • They can be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks

Notes

FREEZING OPTION
Spread them out on a baking sheet and put in the freezer. When they’ve frozen completely, put them in a freezer bag and then in a freezer-safe container. They can be  frozen for about 2 months.
© Pastry Wishes

 

 

 

 

The Best Vegan Chocolate Chip Muffins (Quick + Easy)

These muffins are soft, moist and delicious! A perfect, one-bowl chocolate chip muffin recipe that only requires a handful of ingredients and can be made in no time! They are the best vegan chocolate chip muffins!

Best Vegan Chocolate Chip Muffins on a white towel with some chocolate chips on the countertop

There’s nothing like a breakfast with a coffee in one hand and one of these yummy chocolate chip muffins in the other! I mean, think about it: dessert AND breakfast all in one!!

I absolutely love blueberry muffins with coffee for breakfast, but I think that these chocolate chip muffins are now officially outranking them in my family! They are so good!

These muffins are especially hard to resist when they come out of the oven! I love how the chocolate chips are slightly melted as you bite into the muffin!

Inside, they are light and fluffy and outside, they have a nice domed, crispy top! These are the best vegan chocolate chip muffins I’ve ever had!

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE 

  • There are no weird ingredients for this recipe. You probably have everything you need in your pantry.
  • This recipe is very simple and pretty quick to make – about half an hour from start to finish.
  • You don’t need any equipment other than a whisk and a bowl, which means less clean-up!
  • They are not dense or overly sweet!
  • These muffins have a pretty little dome on top!
  • Your kitchen will smell like a bakery!

Best Vegan Chocolate Chip Muffins on a white towel with some chocolate chips on the countertop and milk in the background

WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE THEM:

Flour: I use all-purpose flour.

Leaveners: I use both baking powder and baking soda. Together they give a really nice lift.

Salt: Salt always boosts the overall flavor!

Vanilla: I use vanilla extract for this recipe, but I’ve also tried them with my vanilla sugar, too, instead of the extract. If you want the recipe for that, check it out here. If you use vanilla sugar, you won’t need the vanilla extract.

Nutmeg: This is my secret ingredient! I use just a tiny amount of ground nutmeg – it really gives these muffins that ‘something’ that you’re not sure what it is, but they taste great! 

Oil: I use light vegetable oil, which makes these muffins moist.

Vinegar: It helps give the muffins a little tang.

Sugar: I use regular granulated sugar.

Kahlua: I think a little of this coffee liqueur enhances the chocolate. It’s very subtle and not overpowering, but you could omit it if you don’t want any alcohol.

Chocolate chips: I use dark chocolate chips (dairy-free).

Plant-based milk: I use unsweetened almond milk for this recipe, but you could use water if you don’t have any plant-based milk on hand.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What can I substitute for the oil?

I haven’t made these without oil, but I suppose you could substitute apple sauce, however, I don’t think they will be as moist.

How do you store them?

I keep them in an airtight container at room temperature for about 4 days or in the refrigerator for about a week.

Can I freeze these muffins?

Yes! After they cool completely, wrap each one in plastic wrap and then place in a freezer bag. They can be frozen for up to 2 months. To thaw, put them in the refrigerator or on the kitchen counter.

HOW TO MAKE THE BEST VEGAN CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS

 

Vegan Choc Chip Muffins Steps 1-4 NEW

Vegan Choc Chip Muffins steps 5-7 NEW

STEP 1

stir the milk & vinegar together

STEP 2

whisk together the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, baking soda & salt

STEP 3

whisk together the oil, vanilla, sugar & Kahlua

STEP 4

whisk the oil mixture with the flour mixture

STEP 5

fold in the chocolate chips

STEP 6

scoop into the liners

STEP 7

sprinkle more chocolate chips on top

Then you bake them!

 

Best Vegan Chocolate Chip Muffins in a pan on a kitchen towel

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • Measure the flour properly. I suggest using a digital scale, which is such a time-saver in the kitchen. Check out this post for more detailed information about how to measure flour. The batter shouldn’t be that thick, as you can see in the pictures.
  • As with most muffin and cupcake recipes, you don’t want to overmix the batter because this could make the muffins dense rather than fluffy and moist.
  • If you want, you could make these muffins without any muffin liners if you have a non-stick tray. Just grease the tin well with vegan butter, margarine or cooking spray.
  • I use a small cookie scoop to fill the liners instead of a large ice cream scoop. It’s easier and the pan never gets messy that way. If you don’t have a small cookie scoop, you could just spoon the batter into the liners.
  • Make sure you leave some space so that there is room for the muffins to rise. If you fill them all the way to the top they will overflow. As you can see in the pictures, I fill them about 3/4 of the way full.
  • I bake them at a high temperature for about 5 minutes and then lower the temperature and bake them for another 15-20 minutes. I think this helps give them that nice dome on the top. Also, every oven is different, so check on them after about 15 minutes to see if they’re done. Depending on your oven, you may not need a full 20 minutes to bake them.
  • As difficult as it may be to eat them right away, it’s best to let the muffins cool for a few minutes first, otherwise they may fall apart.

VARIATIONS

  • Instead of chocolate chips, you could chop up some dark chocolate and make chocolate chunks (I love couverture chocolate or bittersweet chocolate)! I think the result inside the muffins would be similar to my chocolate chunk cookies!
  • For a nice crunch, you could add your favorite chopped nuts in the batter and then sprinkle the tops with some brown sugar before baking.
  • For a unique flavor contrast, add some vegan white chocolate chips on top instead of the dark chocolate ones!
  • You can drizzle them with a simple glaze or with some of this luscious chocolate syrup!

I hope this becomes your go-to recipe for the best vegan chocolate chip muffins from scratch!

 

~Voula

MORE VEGAN RECIPES

MORE MUFFIN AND CUPCAKE RECIPES

Let me know how these vegan chocolate chip muffins turn out for you in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!

The Best Vegan Chocolate Chip Muffins (Quick + Easy)

These muffins are soft, moist and delicious! A perfect, one-bowl chocolate chip muffin recipe that only requires a handful of ingredients and can be made in no time! They are the best vegan chocolate chip muffins!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: vegan, chocolate chip, muffin, low sugar
Servings: 12

Ingredients

  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk (or other plant-based milk)
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 2 ¼ cups (280 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • a pinch of ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ¾ cup (150 g) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kahlua (optional)
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (170 g / 6 oz) plus 2-3 tablespoons extra for sprinkling on top (dairy-free) (OR add 2-3 tablespoons vegan white chocolate chips for sprinkling on top)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 392°F (200°C) and line the pan with liners. Set aside.
  • Stir the milk and vinegar together. Set aside.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the oil, vanilla, sugar and kahlua.
  • Add the the oil mixture to the flour mixture and whisk together.
  • Fold in the chocolate chips.
  • Fill each muffin liner with the batter, about ¾ full (I use a cookie scoop).
  • Sprinkle the tops with more chocolate chips, if desired.
  • Bake for 5 minutes and then lower the temperature to 356°F (180°C) and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out mostly clean.
  • Let the muffins cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Store the muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for about 4 days or in the refrigerator for about a week.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • As with most muffin and cupcake recipes, you don't want to overmix the batter as this could make the muffins dense rather than fluffy and moist.
  • Make sure you leave some space so that there is room for the muffins to rise. If you fill them all the way to the top they will overflow. 
  • Every oven is different, so check them after 15 minutes and test with a toothpick to see if they're done.
  • As difficult as it may be to eat them right away, it's best to let the muffins cool for a few minutes first, otherwise they may fall apart.
FREEZING OPTIONS
Let the muffins cool completely. Then wrap each one in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag. They can be frozen for up to 2 months. To thaw, put them in the refrigerator or on the kitchen counter.
© Pastry Wishes

 

 

Easy Fluffy Vegan Chocolate Mousse (Only 2 Ingredients)

Looking for a healthier chocolate fix that only takes a few minutes to make? Look no further! This is the BEST vegan mousse you will ever make!  It’s a magical, two ingredient dark chocolate mousse that you can whip up in no time! 

two ingredient chocolate mousse in a glass with chocolate shavings on top on a dark surface

This mousse is so good! It looks fancy, like it would be really complicated to make, but it really isn’t – looks can be so deceiving at times!

This mousse is creamy, decadent and rich in chocolate!

WHAT MAKES THIS RECIPE STAND OUT:

You can make it in less than 20 minutes!

It’s vegan, so there are no eggs or cream.

This recipe doesn’t have any unusual ingredients that are often included in vegan desserts! No tofu, no aquafaba (water used in cooking chickpeas!), no avocado, no gelatin – no fuss! Just 2 simple ingredients are all you need! 

It’s low in sugar, making it a lot healthier than your average mousse.

It looks pretty when piped into glass dishes and would be great for dinner parties!

two ingredient chocolate mousse in a glass with mint leaves and chocolate shavings on top on a dark surface with 2 spoons and another glass of mousse in the background

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

Couverture chocolate:  This is a high-quality chocolate, perfect for melting and baking. You need one with a high percentage of cocoa butter, at least 70%. The one I use is 72% and I really think this high amount of cocoa butter helps to make the mousse thick. It also has a much richer flavor. 

Coconut milk: Coconut milk is usually my go-to whenever I want  to replace heavy cream for a lighter dessert. For this recipe, you do not taste the coconut at all! It just blends well with the couverture chocolate – a real dream to work with!

WHAT COCONUT MILK TO USE

Make sure the coconut milk you are using is NOT in a carton.

The coconut milk that’s in a carton won’t work for this recipe. It isn’t the same as the one in the can – it’s much too watery. You need canned coconut milk, just make sure it’s unsweetened.

I experimented with 2 different kinds of coconut milk: light and full fat. I didn’t really see much of a difference, despite the fact that the regular coconut milk is thicker than the lighter one.

WHAT CHOCOLATE TO USE

I tested this recipe with 2 different kinds of couverture chocolate: one with 54% cocoa butter and one with 72% cocoa butter. The 54%  made the dessert much creamier and more like a pudding rather than a mousse, but it thickened in the fridge after a few hours.  However, with the 72% , the texture was perfect and it was much thicker! So definitely use chocolate that has at least 70% cocoa butter. 

two ingredient chocolate mousse in a glass with a spoon on top on a dark surface

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How do you store this mousse?

I cover it with plastic wrap and keep it in the refrigerator. 

How long does it last?

This dessert lasts for about 4 days in the refrigerator.

HOW TO MAKE THIS TWO INGREDIENT  MOUSSE

I think this is the easiest recipe on the blog! Seriously, it only takes 2 simple steps and a few minutes!

STEP 1

Put the can of coconut milk in the freezer for 10 minutes. 

STEP 2

Take it out of the freezer, pour it into a bowl and beat it for 1 minute. 

Add the melted chocolate and beat for exactly 2 minutes.

That’s it! 

two ingredient chocolate mousse in a glass with chocolate shavings on top on a dark surface with 2 spoons and another glass of mousse in the background

Top Tip

You can either melt the chocolate either by putting it in the microwave in 30 second increments, or by putting it in a bowl over just simmering water and stirring it until it melts. I personally like melting it over hot water – that way I know I won’t risk scorching it.

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

This fluffy vegan mousse is practically foolproof! 

You really need couverture chocolate with a high cocoa ratio for best results. It’s really smooth and perfect for this recipe and creates the right texture. However, if you can’t get it, use dark chocolate, instead.

VARIATIONS, ADD-INS & TOPPINGS

  • Add a shot of your favorite alcohol! I think mint liquor would be nice!
  • Top with your favorite nuts or fruit. I love topping it with chocolate shavings or ground Oreo cookies!
  • Go totally overboard and drizzle some chocolate syrup over it!

MORE NO-BAKE VEGAN RECIPES

Chocolate Pomegranate Bark

Easy Vegan Chocolate Truffles

Easy Egg-free Chocolate Salami – Greek Kormos/Mosaiko 

Let me know how this easy fluffy vegan mousse turns out for you in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!

 

two ingredient chocolate mousse in a glass with mint leaves and chocolate shavings on top on a dark surface with 2 spoons and another glass of mousse in the background
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Easy Fluffy Vegan Chocolate Mousse (Only 2 Ingredients)

Looking for a healthier chocolate fix that only takes a few minutes to make? Look no further! This is the BEST vegan mousse you will ever make!  It’s a magical, two ingredient dark chocolate mousse that you can whip up in no time! 
Prep Time15 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chocolate, no-bake, easy, dessert, kormos, mosaiko, coconut milk mousse, dark chocolate, two ingredient, vegan mousse
Servings: 4 REALLY generous servings or 6 average

Ingredients

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk (400 ml / 13.5 fl oz)
  • 8.8 oz (250 g) dark chocolate (or couverture chocolate), at least 70%, melted*
  • chocolate shavings (optional)

Instructions

  • Put the can of coconut milk in the freezer for 10 minutes.
  • Take it out of the freezer, pour it into a bowl and beat it for 1 minute.
  • Add the melted chocolate and beat for EXACTLY 2 minutes.
  • Divide the mousse into serving bowls or glasses or use a piping bag to do so.
  • Serve with chocoalte shavings, if using.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

*You can either melt the chocolate either by putting it in the microwave in 30 second increments, or by putting it in a bowl over just simmering water and stirring it until it melts. I personally like melting it over hot water - that way I know I won’t risk scorching it.
Cover any leftovers with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
© Pastry Wishes

Greek Style Gingerbread Cookies (NO CHILL, NO SPREAD)

Mavrodaphne wine adds a Greek twist to an all-time favorite Christmas cookie! These gingerbread cookies are slightly crunchy on the outside and chewy inside. They are easy to make and hold their shape perfectly. This recipe is also a real time-saver because you don’t need to chill the dough! 

greek gingerbread cookies on a wooden tray surrounded by christmas decorations on a red satin cloth

Nothing says Christmas like gingerbread cookies! I make them together with the traditional Greek christmas cookies, Melomakarona and Kourabiedes. They also make really nice gifts, too, because they keep so well!

This year, though, I wanted to experiment and make something we could also have during the Orthodox Christian Nativity fast, which is mostly vegan. So, this recipe is vegan, although you could adapt it for non-vegans, as well. For example, you could use regular butter instead of vegan butter/margarine, or regular milk instead of vegan/plant-based milk.

I introduced a Greek flavor to this recipe by adding some Mavrodaphne wine. In my opinion, the result is extraordinary! 

Mavrodaphne wine gives these cookies a beautiful subtle flavor. It really pairs well with the spices, too! It’s a unique flavor combination!

grek gingerbread cookies on a plate with a candy cane and candle in the background

WHAT MAKES THIS RECIPE STAND OUT FROM TRADITIONAL ONES:

  • NO CHILLING REQUIRED! Unlike classic gingerbread cookie recipes where you need to chill the dough, this recipe is pretty quick and convenient because you don’t have to do that. Just roll it out, cut out the cookies and bake! It’s a HUGE timesaver! How many of us actually have a couple of hours to spare to wait for the dough to chill??
  • You don’t need a stand mixer OR a hand mixer! No creaming the butter and sugar here! You just fold the dry ingredients into the wet ones! It really couldn’t be any easier than that!
  • You don’t have to flour your work surface or rolling pin! Just roll out the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper. No extra flour, no mess, no fuss! This also makes cleanup a breeze! 
  • Amazing dough! The dough is a DREAM to work with! It doesn’t even crack while you roll it out (*check out the picture tutorial below)!
  • The cookies DO NOT spread! The cookies really hold their shape well. They don’t really puff up or spread at all. I took pictures of the cookies before and after I baked them. As you can see, there’s not much of a difference – they really maintained their shape! Check out the photos below!

greek gingerbread cookies on tray before and after baking

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is Mavrodaphne wine?

Mavrodaphne wine is a traditional Greek wine. It’s sweet and dark brownish red in color. It’s also known as a dessert wine, similar to Port. It’s most commonly made from a dark grape variety from the Peloponnese, an area in Greece that is famous for its wine-making since ancient times. It is an excellent aperitif, but it’s also used in cooking and baking today.

What does Mavrodaphne wine taste like?

Mavrodaphne wine has a unique exotic aroma and flavor. It’s rich and sweet with subtle hints of caramelized raisins.

Can I omit the wine?

Of course! If you don’t want any alcohol, you could easily replace the Mavrodaphne wine with regular milk or a plant-based, non-dairy milk for a vegan option.

What’s a good substitute for molasses?

If you don’t have molasses, you could replace it with equal amounts of good-quality honey. The taste will be different, though, as molasses has a very distinct flavor. I’ve made these cookies with honey and they were much lighter in flavor, but I much prefer them made with molasses! Molasses and Mavrodaphne wine really compliment each other!

Can I freeze the dough?

Yes! Just wrap the dough in some plastic wrap and then put it in a freezer-safe container. You can freeze the dough for about a month.

Can I make these cookies crunchy?

Sure! There are 2 ways to get crunchier cookies. You could either roll the dough really thin before cutting them out and baking them. Or, you can bake them a few minutes longer.

How long will these cookies stay fresh?

These cookies will last for about 2 ½ weeks in an airtight container.

How do you store these cookies?

I store them in an airtight container. You could also put a small piece of parchment paper between each cookie to prevent them from sticking together.

Can I freeze these  cookies?

Yes! I always freeze my cookies undecorated. I wrap each cookie in plastic wrap and then I put them in a freezer-safe container. You can store them in the freezer for a couple of months.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • Flour: I  use all-purpose flour. 
  • Margarine: I always use block margarine, not the spreadable tub kind because there’s too much moisture in it. Margarine makes the dough really pliable. If you want, you could use vegan butter or regular butter.
  • Mavrodaphne wine : This is the secret ingredient! If you don’t have it, you could omit it from the recipe, but it will have a different flavor. I’ve tried it with and without the Mavrodaphne wine and it’s still delicious, but the Mavrodaphne wine really gives it a richer flavor!
  • Spices: I use a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger, of course!
  • Sweeteners: I use molasses and dark brown sugar.
  • Salt: I use a little to boost the flavors.
  • For the Eggless Icing I use powdered sugar, cornstarch, and some milk.

5 IMPORTANT SUPER TIPS! 

SUPER TIP #1: MAKING THE DOUGH 

In the recipe, I started off with 2 ½ cups flour and ended up adding ½ cup more to get the right consistency. You should just add enough flour, a little at a time, until it comes together and doesn’t stick to your hands. This dough should be thick enough to pick up and hold in your hand (see the picture tutorial below). 

SUPER TIP #2: PREP YOUR COOKIE CUTTERS 

Have a small bowl of flour nearby and dip each cookie cutter in it before placing it on the dough to cut out shapes. This will help prevent any dough from sticking to the cookie cutters.

SUPER TIP #3: HOW TO MAKE USE OF AS MUCH DOUGH AS POSSIBLE

Whenever I make these cookies (or any cut out cookies), I need to use up as much dough as I possibly can, because I don’t want to roll it out too many times, as this would risk overworking the dough. If you overwork the dough, it can make the cookies tough and hard.

Here’s what I do to avoid this:

After I roll out the dough, I place my cookie cutters as close together as I can. That way I make use of as much dough as possible because I have fewer scraps to re-roll.

SUPER TIP #4: HOW TO PREVENT THE COOKIES FROM SPREADING WHILE BAKING

I don’t use any baking powder or baking soda in this recipe, so they aren’t very light and airy. However, I found that omitting the leaveners made a stronger cookie – perfect for packing and shipping them without sacrificing the flavor.

SUPER TIP #5: HOW TO PREVENT THE COOKIES FROM LOSING THEIR SHAPE WHEN TRANSFERRING THEM TO A BAKING SHEET

Here’s a trick I do that keeps the cookies from falling apart or getting misshapen when I transfer them onto a baking sheet! It’s really simple! 

First, cut some parchment paper the same size as your baking sheet.

Place your dough on top of the parchment paper and then place another sheet of parchment paper on top of the dough. If you want, you could use plastic wrap on top, instead.

Roll out the dough to your desired thickness.

Then LIFT OR SLIDE the entire sheet of parchment paper onto your baking sheet.

Remove the top parchment paper & cut out your shapes with your cookie cutters.

Then carefully remove all the scraps.

Voila! 

This trick is perfect for whenever you’re making really intricate cookies, too, because you don’t touch the cookies at all!

HOW TO MAKE THESE GREEK STYLE GINGERBREAD COOKIES

greekgingerbreadcookiessteps1-3

greekgingerbreadcookiessteps4-5

ABOUT THIS EGGLESS ICING

This eggless icing isn’t runny like a glaze, it’s much, much thicker.

The reason why I wanted to make it thick is because I wanted to make detailed designs on the cookies, like I would with royal icing. However, whenever I made regular glazes (which are great to use in squeeze bottles), the design would often spread on the cookie. 

This was never a big deal for me when I made really big cookies, but for smaller ones, I could never get the intricate details I wanted and I didn’t want to make traditional royal icing because it uses egg whites.

So, after a lot of experimenting, I came up with this eggless, vegan icing. 

One thing to keep in mind with this icing is that it’s really thick. As a result, it doesn’t spread on the cookie and the design dries hard. The consistency needs to be so thick that it won’t come off the spoon unless you shake it off! 

Then you can use a pastry bag to decorate the cookies. I used a Wilton tip #4 for the cookies in the pictures.

Here’s a picture tutorial:

HOW TO MAKE EGGLESS ICING

eggless icing four steps

MORE TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • The size of the cookies will affect the overall baking time. Smaller cookies will need less time as opposed to larger ones.
  • Don’t bake them longer than 10 minutes unless you want really crunchy cookies. The cookies will harden as they cool on the baking sheet.
  • The egg free icing can be colored. I would suggest using a thick gel paste, so it doesn’t affect the consistency of the icing. I use Wilton gel food coloring. You only need a really tiny amount. Start off with a small amount using a toothpick.

greek gingerbread cookies on a wooden table with some kitchen twine

MORE CHRISTMAS RECIPES!

Let me know how these Greek style gingerbread cookies turn out for you in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!

Have a Merry Christmas!

~Voula

Greek Style Gingerbread Cookies (NO CHILL, NO SPREAD)

Mavrodaphne wine adds a Greek twist to an all-time favorite Christmas cookie! These gingerbread cookies are slightly crunchy on the outside and chewy inside. They are easy to make and hold their shape perfectly. This recipe is also a real time-saver because you don’t need to chill the dough! 
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American, Greek
Keyword: greek, gingerbread, vegan, cookies, Christmas, holidays, mavrodaphne wine, eggles icing, icing
Servings: 30 cookies, approximately*

Ingredients

For the cookies

  • 2 ½ cups (254 g / 9 oz) all purpose flour (+ up to ½ cup more if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½  teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼  teaspoon salt
  • ½ cups (113 g / 4 oz) block margarine (not spreadable kind)  
  • ¾ cup (150 g / 5.3 oz) packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • ¼ cup (4 tablespoons / 2 fl oz) mavrodaphne wine

For the eggless icing

  • ½ cup (60 g / 2.1 oz) powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1-2 teaspoons vegan/plant-based milk

Instructions

For the cookies

  • In a large bowl, sift the flour, salt and spices together. Set aside.
  • In a saucepan, add the margarine, sugar, molasses and wine and whisk everything together over low heat until the margarine melts and the sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones (I start byusing a spatula & then I use my hands). If the mixture is too wet, add more flour, about ¼ cup at a time, until it comes together and doesn’t stick to your hands. You may need up to ½ cup more to get the right consistency. The dough should be just stiff enough to pick up and hold in your hand (see the picture tutorial in the post). Don’t overwork the dough.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350° F / 180° C.
  • Place the dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll it out to your desired thickness (I roll out mine about ¼ inch / 0.5 cm thick).
  • Then lift or slide the entire sheet of parchment paper onto your baking sheet.
  • Dip your cookie cutter in some flour.
  • Remove the top parchment paper and cut out different shapes as close as possible.
  • Carefully remove all the dough scraps.
  • Repeat with the remaining dough.
  • Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes.
  • Allow cookies to cool completely before decorating with icing.

For the eggless icing

  • Mix the powdered sugar and cornstarch together in a small bowl.
  • Stir in the milk, a FEW DROPS at a time, until it’s smooth, but thick. Use the back of the spoon to remove any lumps. If necessary, add more milk or powdered sugar to get the right consistency. If you accidentally add too much milk, just add more powdered sugar. The consistency is perfect when the icing doesn’t fall off the spoon unless you shake it off (see the picture tutorial in the post).
  • Put the icing in a pastry bag fitted with a tip and decorate.
  • Allow the icing to dry, about 1 ½ - 2 hours.
  • Store the cookies in an airtight container for about 2 ½ weeks.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • The number of cookies will depend on the size of your cookie cutters.
  • If you bake these cookies longer than 10 minutes, they become harder and crunchier.
  • The cookies harden as they cool on the baking sheet. 
Freezing Options
  • The dough can be frozen for up to a month. Just wrap it in some plastic wrap and then put it in a freezer-safe container. 
  • Undecorated cookies can be frozen for a couple of months. Just wrap each cookie in plastic wrap and then put them in a freezer-safe container. 
© Pastry Wishes
Adapted from  https://www.hotforfoodblog.com/recipes/2014/11/06/gingerbread-snowflakes/

Warm Pomegranate and Apple Mocktail

This warm pomegranate and apple mocktail is a perfect spiced drink for a cozy evening at home! It only has 5 ingredients and it’s incredibly easy to make! A delicious non-boozy winter drink that’s healthy and sugar free!

two cups pomegranate and apple mocktail with cinnamon sticks, rosemary sprigs and fairy lights

Nothing beats a warm drink on a cold winter day! This mocktail really fits the bill! It’s bursting with all of my favorite flavors and is absolutely perfect on a cold winter’s night! I’m not much of a tea drinker, so this is also a great alternative to hot tea!

two glasses pomegranate and apple mocktail with cinnamon sticks, a sliced apple and pomegranate

The best thing about this recipe is that you only need 5 ingredients!

Here’s what you need:

  • Apple &  Pomegranate juice : I use unsweetened 100% apple & pomegranate juice without added sugar or spices.
  • Spices: I use a few cinnamon sticks and whole cloves.
  • Orange peel: This is totally optional, but I think it really adds a nice citrus touch.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is pomegranate and apple mocktail healthy?

Yes! Apples and pomegranates are one of the healthiest fruits around! They’re loaded with all kinds of nutrients, like fiber, protein, and various vitamins! They also offer many health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties.

What does this pomegranate and apple mocktail taste like?

It’s very similar to hot mulled apple cider, but the pomegranate juice adds a nice tartness. What I really like the most about this mocktail, though, is how well pomegranate juice pairs with the spices! It’s delicately spiced and the overall flavor is balanced by the sweetness of the apple juice. It’s such a delicious combination! If you like , you can make it sweeter by adding sugar, honey or maple syrup.

How long does this pomegranate and apple mocktail last?

This drink lasts about 2-3 days in the fridge. It can easily be reheated. If you want you could even enjoy it cold.

Can I use freshly squeezed pomegranate juice?

Yes! For this recipe you’d need the juice from about 3 pomegranates.

HOW TO MAKE WARM POMEGRANATE AND APPLE MOCKTAIL

 

I usually have picture tutorials in my posts, but this recipe is so simple that I didn’t think having pictures was necessary! All you do is put everything in a saucepan and simmer! Then you strain it into a mug and enjoy!

WHAT TO SERVE WITH WARM POMEGRANATE AND APPLE MOCKTAILS

I think these mocktails are great with some apple or pear slices.

Or …

perhaps a slice (or 2) of this amazing apple rose tart with dulce de leche  OMG!!! What a combination!

 

VARIATIONS

  • I think that mint really goes well with pomegranate. You cold just add a few sprigs of mint in the saucepan with the other ingredients.
  • For a Greek twist, add 1-2 drops of food grade orange blossom water or rose water in each mug!
  • Add some red wine or Mavrodaphne wine for a mulled drink, or turn it into a cocktail by adding some bourbon!

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • You need to simmer everything for at least 20 minutes. This allows all the flavors to infuse.
  • If you find the mocktail too tart, feel free to add your favorite sweetener. I think honey, dark brown sugar, or maple syrup all go well with this mocktail.

This comforting drink would be great to have when you want to wind down at the end of the day! It’s perfect in front of a blazing fire or enjoy sipping it next to a firepit! And your house will smell amazing, too!

a cup of pomegranate apple mocktail with cinnamon sticks, some rosemary sprigs, an orange slice, an apple and sliced pomegranate

MORE POMEGRANATE RECIPES!

 

Let me know how this Warm Pomegranate and Apple Mocktail turns out for you in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!

Warm Pomegranate and Apple Mocktail

This warm pomegranate and apple mocktail is a perfect spiced drink for a cozy evening at home! It only has 5 ingredients and it’s incredibly easy to make! A delicious non-boozy winter drink that's healthy and sugar free!
Prep Time30 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pomegranate, pomegranate juice, apple juice, holiday, hot winter beverages
Servings: 2 -3 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 cups unsweetened 100% apple juice (no added spices)
  • 1 cup unsweetened 100% pomegranate juice 
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks + 2-3 additional cinnamon sticks for garnish
  • 1 slice orange peel (optional)
  • sweetener of choice (optional)

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients to a saucepan and bring the mixture to a low boil on medium heat.
  • Turn heat to low and simmer for about 20-30 minutes. 
  • Strain and serve warm. Taste and add your favorite sweetener, if using.
  • Pour into glasses or mugs and garnish with a cinnamon stick. Serve immediately.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

This pomegranate and apple mocktail can be stored in the refrigerator for about 2-3. It can easily be reheated or you can enjoy it cold.
 
© Pastry Wishes

Chocolate Pomegranate Bark

This dark chocolate pomegranate bark is the perfect indulgent sweet treat! It’s easy to make and only has 3 ingredients! This festive bark would also make a beautiful edible Christmas gift!

chocolate pomegranate bark broken into pieces

I really love making this bark around Christmas. There are so many things you can do with it! It’s a nice little snack, but it also looks great on a holiday platter, too!

It has an amazing combination of flavors: dark chocolate + pomegranate! Dark chocolate goes so well with pomegranate!  If you haven’t tried it before, you really should! It’s amazing!

What does this chocolate Pomegranate bark taste like?

This bark has a crunchy texture, but the best part is when you bite into the pomegranate seeds! The contrast between the crunchy chocolate and the juicy pomegranate seeds is incredible! It just melts in your mouth! The pistachios give a nice salty undertone!

This Pomegranate Bark is

SO simple to make.

made with only 3 ingredients.

a no-bake dessert.

ready in less than an hour.

colorful and festive with ruby red pomegranate seeds and green pistachios.

low in sugar!

vegan friendly!

an ideal homemade gift!

absolutely delicious!

chocolate pomegrante pistachio bark pieces stacked in a pile

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What kind of chocolate can I use?

You can use your favorite kind of chocolate, milk, dark, or white! The only thing I would avoid is using chocolate chips because they’re not really ideal for melting. Use high quality chocolate bars, like bittersweet chocolate. For this recipe, I use couverture chocolate.

What kind of mix-ins and toppings can I use?

The options are endless! You can get really creative! Here are a few ideas:

Dried fruit will not only add sweetness, of course, but it will also add a nice, chewy texture. You could try raisins, chopped mango, or figs.

Nuts and seeds always go great with chocolate. I personally love pistachios, walnuts, almonds and sesame seeds. Caramelized nuts would be great, too! Nuts and seeds also add a nice crunch.

Other add-ins you could try are sea salt, crushed candy canes or pretzels, mini marshmallows, or shredded coconut.

White chocolate can be used to make gorgeous designs. Add some melted white chocolate on top and swirl it around with a knife or a toothpick to create beautiful patterns.

How do I store this pomegranate bark?

I always store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week because of the fresh pomegranate seeds that are in it. Other mix-ins that are dried and don’t contain fresh fruit can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

Can I freeze this pomegranate bark?

YES!!! After I break the bark up into pieces, I always wrap each piece in plastic wrap. Then I put all the pieces in a larger freezer bag or container and freeze.

TOP TIP

This bark can also be frozen for a couple of months. You don’t even need to thaw it! It’s absolutely DELICIOUS frozen! Just pop a piece out of the freezer whenever you get a craving! It’s definitely a healthier way to get your chocolate fix!

HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE POMEGRANATE BARK

First you melt the chocolate.

Then you spread it on a sheet of parchment paper. I like my bark thin (about ¼ inch), but you could make it thicker by not filling the entire sheet of parchment paper.

Then just add the pomegranate seeds and the pistachios.

I press them into the warm chocolate so that they don’t fall off when the chocolate sets.

pressing pomegranate seeds and pistachios into melted chocolate

After that you chill it for half an hour and then break it into pieces.

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • Have all your add-ins and toppings ready before starting because the chocolate hardens fast.
  • Drain the pomegranate seeds on a paper towel and then blot them dry with another paper towel as much as possible. Doing this before adding it to the chocolate will prevent the chocolate from seizing (becoming clumpy, like thick paste).
  • If you’re using any dried or candied fruit, use your fingers to break any clumps before adding it to the chocolate.
  • Press your toppings firmly into the warm, melted chocolate. This will prevent them from falling off.
  • Chilling the bark before cutting it helps to set chocolate. That way it’ll be easier to cut into pieces.
  • I suggest breaking or cutting the bark immediately after it’s been chilled. You can use a knife or just snap it using your hands. It’ll be easier to do so once it comes out of the fridge.

GIFT IDEAS

You can really get creative when gifting this dark chocolate bark! Here are a few ideas:

Bags

I like putting this bark in cellophane bags and then tying them up with a cute ribbon. You could also put them in small gift bags.

Boxes

Boxes are really festive, especially the vintage tin ones! All you need is some parchment paper to line inside the box before adding the bark. Paper boxes are also cute as they come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Mugs

You could fill some holiday mugs with the bark, and then wrap it with cellophane! Coffee lovers would appreciate it, too, as this chocolate pomegranate bark is AMAZING with coffee!

Plates

Small wooden or antique plates would be a nice, classy way to give someone this chocolate bark. Just wrap some cellophane around it and add a cute ribbon!

chocolate pomegranate bark in antique plate

MORE POMEGRANATE & HOLIDAY RECIPES!

Let me know how this Chocolate Pomegranate Bark turns out for you in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!

~Voula

chocolate pomegranate bark broken into pieces
Print Recipe
5 from 8 votes

Chocolate Pomegranate Bark

This dark chocolate pomegranate bark is the perfect indulgent sweet treat! It’s easy to make and only has 3 ingredients! This festive bark would also make a beautiful edible Christmas gift!
Prep Time10 mins
30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chocolate, pomegranate, bark, edible gift, Christmas, festive, vegan, low sugar, easy, no bake dessert
Servings: 15 pieces (approximately)

Ingredients

  • 8.8 oz / 250 g bittersweet chocolate (I use couverture), chopped
  • 1 cup fresh pomegranate seeds, (from 1 large pomegranate) 
  • ¾ cup (2.6 oz / 75 g) pistachio nuts

Instructions

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Melt the chocolate either in a heat-proof bowl over a pot of just simmering water, or in the microwave in 10 second increments.
  • Pour the melted chocolate on the parchment sheet and smooth it out into an even layer, about ¼ inch thick (or thicker, if you like).
  • Add the pomegranate seeds and the pistachio nuts and press them firmly into the warm chocolate.
  • Put it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to set.
  • Break the bark into pieces with your hands or cut it with a knife.
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

This Chocolate Pomegranate Bark is absolutely DELICIOUS frozen! You don’t even need to thaw it! Just wrap each piece in plastic wrap and put in a larger freezer bag or container. It can be frozen for a couple of months. 
© Pastry Wishes

Easy Egg-free Chocolate Salami – Greek Kormos/Mosaiko (No-bake + Vegan Option)

Chocolate and salami together? Well, there’s no actual salami in this recipe, it just looks like salami! It’s a delicious combination of chocolate, cookies, and nuts! It’s so easy to whip up and it would also make a nice gift!

chocolate salami covered in powdered sugar and cut with two slices

I often make chocolate salami at different times during the year and it’s a great accompaniment for coffee or on its own. It’s an easy, egg-free no-bake dessert made with crushed cookies, chocolate and nuts.

There are lots of different versions of chocolate salami all around the world. It’s very popular here in Greece, too. It’s called kor-MOS, which means a tree log. It’s also called mo-sa-ee-KO, which means mosaic, because of the design inside.

What I love most about this recipe:

You only need a few ingredients.

It’s super simple to make.

It’s adaptable.

It’s a no-bake dessert.

It’s egg-free.

It lasts for up to 2 weeks in the fridge or 2 months in the freezer.

There’s a vegan option.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What kind of chocolate can I use?

I use couverture chocolate, which is just perfect for baking. I think it produces the best texture and flavor for this recipe. You could use good quality bittersweet chocolate, too.

What kind of cookies can I use?

You can use your favorite plain cookies, like vanilla wafers, graham crackers or tea biscuits. If you don’t use plain cookies, you won’t get the same “salami” look inside.

How do you store chocolate salami?

You can store this chocolate salami in the refrigerator or the freezer. I like to have some in the freezer for unexpected guests.

To freeze, wrap it well in plastic wrap and then put it in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container. Then slice it and allow it to soften up a bit at room temperature. Or, you can put it in the refrigerator a day before to thaw.

How long does chocolate salami last?

Chocolate salami keeps really well in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Just make sure it’s in an airtight container.

chocolate salami sliced and wrapped in kitchen twine

ADD-INS & ADAPTATIONS

  • There are lots of different things you could add, although I don’t usually go overboard with a lot of add-ins, because I want more of a chocolate flavor. Pistachio nuts adds some color and a savory touch. You could also add caramelized nuts or even crushed pretzels. Dried fruit, like cranberries, raisins would be nice, too. Feel free to add whatever you like – this recipe is very adaptable!
  • Instead of cognac or brandy, you could use whiskey, or rum. The touch of alcohol really brings out the overall flavor, but you could omit it if you don’t drink alcohol.

VEGAN OPTION

For a vegan option, just replace the butter with vegan butter or margarine and the milk with a non-dairy vegan milk alternative.

HOW TO MAKE EASY EGG-FREE CHOCOLATE SALAMI – GREEK KORMOS/MOSAIKOhow to make chocolate salami in six steps

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • Most recipes require placing the salami in the refrigerator for hours (or even overnight) to firm up and harden, but I found that freezing it is MUCH faster.
  • When the salami has set, it’s usually flat on the bottom. Some people don’t mind this, but I like making a perfectly round log shape, especially if I’m going to give it as a gift. To do this, I simply re-roll it after it has set and then put it in the fridge for a few minutes before removing the plastic wrap and rubbing it with powdered sugar.
  • Make sure it’s stored in an airtight container so it doesn’t absorb other smells in the fridge or freezer.

MORE NO-BAKE DESSERTS!

Let me know how this Easy Egg-free Chocolate Salami turns out for you in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!

 

chocolate salami sliced and wrapped in kitchen twine
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Easy Egg-free Chocolate Salami – Greek Kormos/Mosaiko (No-bake + Vegan Option)

Chocolate and salami together? Well, there’s no actual salami in this recipe, it just looks like salami! It’s a delicious combination of chocolate, cookies, and nuts! It’s so easy to whip up and it would also make a nice gift!
Prep Time5 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Greek
Keyword: chocolate, no-bake, easy, dessert, kormos, mosaiko, egg-free, vegan option
Servings: 10 -12

Ingredients

  • 8.8 oz / 250 g bittersweet/semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (I use couverture chocolate)
  • ½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter
  • 7 oz / 200 g plain vanilla cookies, coursely crushed
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 oz / 56 g walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cognac/brandy (optional)
  • a pinch of salt
  • powdered sugar (for the coating)

Instructions

  • Melt the chocolate and butter together in a bowl over a pot of just simmering water. Stir until they've melted.
  • Add all the remaining ingredients except for the powdered sugar. Mix until well combined.
  • Spread the mixture onto a sheet of plastic wrap and shape into a log. Fold the plastic wrap over and shape like candy by rolling it back and forth a few times. Tie the ends.
  • Put it in the freezer for an hour to firm up. When it sets, the bottom is slightly flat. Take it out of the freezer and roll it again to make it all round.
  • Remove the plastic wrap and rub it with the powdered sugar. For an authentic salami look, wrap it with kitchen twine.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

You can store this chocolate salami in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or the freezer for up to 2 months.
To freeze, wrap it well in plastic wrap and then put it in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container. Then slice it and allow it to soften up a bit at room temperature. Or, you can put it in the refrigerator a day before to thaw.
© Pastry Wishes

 

Greek Pumpkin Hand Pies – Kolokithopita (Vegan, No Mixer)

These Greek pumpkin hand pies are made with fresh pumpkin and shaped into pretty spirals. They’re vegan and they don’t require a mixer! 

greek pumpkin hand pie on a plate with cinnamon sticks and a pumpkin

Pumpkin season is officially here! I absolutely love pumpkin desserts and these Greek pumpkin hand pies are amazing! 

This recipe has been in our family for generations and has been handed down to me from my Yiayia (Grandma). It’s a traditional Greek pumpkin pie recipe, but instead of making one large pie, I adapted it and made hand pies. If you’re a pumpkin lover, you should definitely give this recipe a try!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is kolokithopita?

The name is a real tongue twister:  ko-lo-kee-THO-pee-ta!

The word kolokithi has different meanings in Greek. It can mean squash, zucchini (or courgette for my British friends), or pumpkin. Generally speaking, any variety of pumpkin or squash is called a kolokithi in Greece! Pita means pie and together you get kolokithopita, pumpkin pie (or kolokithopites in the plural form)!

 

Greek pumpkin hand pie on a plate with pumpkin, leaves and kitchen towel

What’s in Greek pumpkin pie?

In Greece, there are both sweet and savory versions of pumpkin pie. The savory ones often have feta cheese in them. This recipe is a sweet vegan pumpkin pie with sugar and spices. It’s very popular this time of year in Greece. 

What kind of pumpkin is used for kolokithopita?

Most parts of Greece traditionally make it with butternut squash, but other pumpkin varieties are used, as well.

For this recipe I use a tan skinned pumpkin, which is similar to the Buckskin variety in the States. You could use any sweet pumpkin or pie pumpkin. Butternut squash would be great, too.

Why squeeze freshly grated pumpkin?

Pumpkins and squash have a high water content. In order to avoid soggy pies, traditional Greek recipes usually include one of 3 methods to remove the excess water.

One method involves adding rice, breadcrumbs, or semolina flour to the filling. This helps absorb any extra liquid from the pumpkin.

Another method is to put the shredded pumpkin in a skillet  and cook it for a few minutes. This helps evaporate the excess water.

The third method is to squeeze out the liquid by hand.

I have tried all 3 methods and I found squeezing the liquid out by hand is the best one. It’s A LOT quicker than cooking it in a skillet! Plus, I don’t need to add any rice, breadcrumbs, or flour, which could affect the texture and overall flavor of the pie!

Can I make one large pie instead of hand pies?

Sure! Just double my recipe first and bake it in a bigger pan. The only thing you need to be careful of is the phyllo dough.

There are two ways to use the phyllo dough for a large pie:

  1. Put half of the phyllo dough sheets on the bottom, then add the filling, and then top with the remaining dough sheets. Just remember to drizzle each sheet with oil before adding the next one. 
  2. Place all the phyllo dough sheets in a pan, one at a time, drizzling each with oil, until they finish and then add the filling. After that, just fold all the overhanging sheets of dough on top! Then brush the pie with oil and cut it into pieces (but not all the way through) before baking.

What do you need to make Greek pumpkin hand pies?

There are only a few ingredients in these Greek pumpkin hand pies! And no mixer required!!

Here’s what you need:

  • Phyllo dough – I only use 7 sheets of phyllo dough, one per pie. 
  • Pumpkin or butternut squash, grated & squeezed – It only took me about 10 minutes to grate the pumpkin & 1-2 minutes more to squeeze out the liquid!
  • Olive oil – I use olive oil to grease the baking pan and the phyllo dough sheets.
  • Sugar – I use regular white sugar for the filling, but you can use brown sugar, if you want, or a combination of both. I also use powdered sugar for dusting before serving.
  • Spices – I use a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground cloves.

That’s it!

HOW TO MAKE GREEK PUMPKIN HAND PIES – KOLOKITHOPITA

They may look complicated, but they are really simple to make.

Here’s a step-by-step tutorial:

Kolokithopita Greek pumpkin hand pies steps 1-4

Kolokithopita Greek pumpkin hand pies steps 5-8

Kolokithopita Greek pumpkin hand pies steps 9-11

STEP 1

Cut the top off and peel it all around.

STEP 2

Cut in half and scrape out the seeds and the stringy part with a spoon.

STEP 3

Cut a piece and grate it.

STEP 4

Put the grated pumpkin in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out all the excess liquid.

STEP 5

Put the shredded pumpkin in a bowl.

Add the sugar and spices and mix with a spoon.

STEP 6

Place a sheet of phyllo dough on a work surface (with the long edge facing you) and drizzle it with oil.

STEP 7

Spread 2 tablespoons of the pumpkin filling lengthwise, starting about 2 inches (5 cm) from the bottom and sides.

STEP 8

Fold the left and right edge of the phyllo dough over the filling.

STEP 9

Fold over the bottom part of the phyllo dough.

STEP 10

Roll into a log, starting from the bottom.

STEP 11

Starting at one end, loosely roll into a spiral and brush with oil.

 

 

 

VARIATIONS & ADD-INS

  • You could add chopped walnuts, sesame seeds, and/or raisins in the filling.
  • Soaking the raisins in some cognac or brandy adds additional flavor. Just make sure to drain them before adding them to the filling.
  • After it’s cooled, I like to dust it with powdered sugar and sprinkle it with some cinnamon before serving.

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • Use a clean kitchen towel to squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Any excess water can make the hand pies soggy.
  • When you add the sugar and spices to the shredded pumpkin, you’ll notice some liquid remains in the bottom of the bowl. Discard this liquid or put the filling in a a fine mesh strainer before making the hand pies.
  • Make sure the phyllo dough sheets are covered with a damp towel so that they don’t dry out while you’re making the hand pies. Try and work as quickly as you can because the phyllo dough can dry out fast!
  • Don’t coil the pies too tightly, otherwise the centers won’t bake evenly.
  • Whenever I bake with phyllo dough, I don’t usually line my pan with parchment paper; I just oil it with olive oil. If you want to make cleanup easier, though, you could line your pan with parchment paper before baking.
  • The baking time will depend on how much moisture is in your pumpkin. It usually takes around 50 minutes, but it could take up to an hour and ten minutes. Keep an eye on it after 45 minutes.

I hope you enjoy it!

~Voula

greek pumpkin hand pies, one on a plate and one in a hand with pumpkin and leaves

MORE GREEK DESSERTS!

Let me know how these Greek Pumpkin Hand Pies turn out for you in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!

Greek Pumpkin Hand Pies - Kolokithopita (Vegan, No Mixer)

These Greek pumpkin hand pies are made with fresh pumpkin and shaped into pretty spirals. They're vegan and they don’t require a mixer! 
Prep Time12 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 12 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Greek
Keyword: greek, pumpkin, pie, vegan, no mixer, sweet
Servings: 7

Ingredients

  • 3 ½ cups (14 oz / 400 g) freshly grated pumpkin, squeezed to remove excess water
  • 7 phyllo dough sheets (about 8 oz / 225 g)
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil
  • ¼ cup (60 g) sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • powdered sugar and ground cinnamon for dusting (optional)

Instructions

  • Generously grease a pan with olive oil. Alternatively, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly grease it with olive oil. Set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 180 °C / 350 °F.
  • Put the shredded pumpkin in a bowl.
  • Add the sugar and the spices and mix with a spoon until everything is combined. Discard any liquid that remains in the bowl or put the filling in a a fine mesh strainer.
  • Place a sheet of phyllo dough on a work surface (the long edge facing you) and drizzle with some olive oil. Cover the other sheets with a damp towel so that they don’t dry out.
  • Spread 2 tablespoons of the pumpkin filling lengthwise, starting about 2 inches (5 cm) from the bottom and the sides.
  • Fold the left and right edge of the phyllo dough over the filling.
  • Fold over the bottom part of the phyllo dough and roll into a log, starting from the bottom.
  • Starting at one end, loosely roll the log into a spiral.
  • Place the hand pie in the baking pan and brush with olive oil.
  • Repeat with the remaining 6 sheets and filling.
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • Use a clean kitchen towel to squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Any excess water can make the hand pies soggy.
  • Try and work as quickly as you can because the phyllo dough can dry out fast!
  • Don’t coil the pies too tightly, otherwise the centers won’t bake evenly.
  • Whenever I bake with phyllo dough, I don’t usually line my pan with parchment paper; I just oil it with olive oil. If you want to make cleanup easier, though, you could line your pan with parchment paper before baking.
  • The baking time will depend on how much moisture is in your pumpkin. It usually takes around 50 minutes, but it could take up to an hour and ten minutes. Keep an eye on it after 45 minutes.
© Pastry Wishes

Easy Healthy Watermelon Slushie (2 Ingredients + Vegan)

There’s nothing like a refreshing watermelon slushie on a hot summer day! This easy, healthy ice cold drink is a perfect way to beat the heat! And with only 2 ingredients, you’ll be making it all summer long!

 

homemade watermelon slushie

Summer wouldn’t be summer without watermelons! They’re cool and refreshing on their own, but they also make AMAZING, thirst-quenching slushies.

This frosty, watermelon slushie recipe is pure summertime in a glass!

Slushies bring back a lot of memories from my childhood! I used to drink them all the time, but I never made my own. When I first made this slushie, I gulped it down so fast I got a brain freeze, just like when I was a kid! 🤪

You will love this recipe because:

  • it’s healthy.
  • it’s great for kids.
  • there’s no added sugar.
  • it’s refreshing.
  • it’s SO easy to make.
  • it’s DELICIOUS!!!

To make it, you only need some watermelon and a little water. That’s literally it!

It can’t get any easier than that!

homemade watermelon slushie

If you want, of course, you could add a few other ingredients to kick it up a notch according to your preferences. Here are some ideas:

Sweetener: Depending on how ripe the watermelon is, you may not need to add any sweetener. But, if it’s not that sweet, you could add a little sugar, stevia, maple syrup, or honey. 

Lemon/Lime: You could use a little bit of lemon or lime juice to add a little tang and enhance the flavor.

Mint: I love mint! You could blend a few leaves to the slushie to make it even more refreshing, if you like!

HOW TO FREEZE WATERMELON

1 Cut the watermelon into even-sized cubes and remove any seeds.

2 Place the watermelon cubes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 

3 Freeze for about 1-3 hours and then make the slushie or freeze overnight and make the slushie the next day.  I prefer freezing it overnight.

HOW TO MAKE EASY HOMEMADE WATERMELON SLUSHIE

1 Put the frozen watermelon in a food processor (or a high-powered blender).

2 Add a splash of water and blend.

That’s it!

homemade watermelon slushie

 

WATERMELON SLUSHIE VARIATIONS

Even though this slushie is great as is, there are lots of different variations you may want to try. 

  • You can use basil instead of mint. I think basil goes really well with watermelon.
  • You can add some strawberries. I also think blueberries would be nice, too. Of course, it would be better if the berries were frozen, but fresh would also work.
  • Coconut milk would give it a really nice tropical twist.
  • For those who drink alcohol, a splash Ouzo would add a nice Greek touch. You could also add Vodka, white wine, or your favorite liquor.

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • I have made this without freezing the watermelon, but it turned out more like a juice, rather than a slushie. For best results, freeze the watermelon overnight before you make the slushies.
  • Start off by pulsing for about half a minute and continue until there aren’t any big chunks left, or it reaches the consistency you like. If it’s a bit too thick, you could add a little bit more water. You don’t want to overblend the mixture, though, otherwise it will end up too watery.
  • It’s best served immediately.

I hope you enjoy this recipe!

MORE SUMMER DESSERTS!

Let me know how this easy homemade watermelon slushie turned out for you in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!

~Voula 😀

 

Easy Healthy Watermelon Slushie (2 Ingredients + Vegan)

There’s nothing like a refreshing watermelon slushie on a hot summer day! This easy, healthy ice cold drink is a perfect way to beat the heat! And with only 2 ingredients, you’ll be making it all summer long!
Course: Dessert, Drinks
Cuisine: American, Greek
Keyword: healthy, watermelon, slushie, frozen, vegan, refined sugar free
Servings: 2 -3

Ingredients

  • 2 cups watermelon, cubed
  • about ½ cup water
  • lemon/lime slices (optional)
  • fresh mint sprigs (optional)

Instructions

Freeze the watermelon

  • Cut the watermelon into even-sized cubes and remove any seeds.
  • Place the watermelon cubes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 
  • Freeze for about 1-3 hours or overnight. I usually freeze the cubes overnight.

Make the slushies

  • Put the frozen watermelon cubes in a food processor (or a high-powered blender) and pulse for about half a minute, adding a splash of water. Continue until there aren’t any big chunks left, or it reaches the consistency you like, adding more water if necessary. Don't overblend.
  • Serve immediately.
  • If you like, garnish with lemon/lime slices and fresh mint sprigs.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

© Pastry Wishes

Easy Homemade Chocolate Sauce (Vegan + Without Corn Syrup)

This incredibly easy homemade chocolate sauce is the perfect topping for all your favorite desserts! Make it without any corn syrup in less than 15 minutes! You won’t go back to buying store-bought ever again!

homemade chocolate syrup

Don’t you just want to lick that spoon?!?!?

This homemade chocolate sauce is AMAZING! 

It’s NOT to be confused with hot fudge, which is usually made with butter and cream. This chocolate sauce is like the popular syrup you would buy in a bottle, only MUCH BETTER!

It’s thick, but pourable!

It’s velvety!

It’s chocolaty!

It’s silky smooth!

It’s vegan!

It’s sooo delicious and rich in flavor!

AND… 

There is absolutely NO corn syrup in it!

homemade chocolate syrup

I’m not totally against using corn syrup in baking (because there is a difference between corn syrup and high fructose syrup), but I always prefer simple, easier methods, which include few ingredients and produce excellent results.

This recipe is one of them! Perfect, chocolate sauce with basic pantry ingredients!

Why you’ll love this homemade chocolate sauce recipe

  • You know EXACTLY what’s in it! There are only 4 ingredients and NONE of them are artificial!
  • It’s super inexpensive and remarkably easy to make!
  • It tastes so much better than store-bought chocolate sauce or syrup!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

Cocoa Powder:

I use good quality, unsweetened cocoa powder. I prefer Dutch processed cocoa powder, but you could use natural cocoa powder, instead.

  • Sugar:

I use granulated white sugar. You could adjust the sugar by using more or less, depending on your preferences.

  • Salt:

I use a pinch of salt to enhance the chocolate flavor.

  • Cornstarch:

I use it because I like my chocolate syrup on the thick side, but if you don’t want it too thick, you can omit it altogether. 

  • Water:

I use water instead of cream or milk so that the syrup lasts longer.

HOW TO MAKE EASY HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE SAUCE IN 3 EASY STEPS

STEP 1

Whisk together the cocoa powder, sugar, water, and salt over medium high heat. Stir constantly until it begins to simmer.

STEP 2

In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch and water to make a slurry.

STEP 3

Add the slurry to the saucepan and stir until it thickens. If it gets too thick, just add a few teaspoons of water and whisk together.

VARIATIONS

  • Add a shot of your favorite liquor.
  • Use light or dark brown sugar for a more caramel flavor.
  • Add ½ – 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
  • Make it spicy! Add a dash of cayenne pepper for a Mexican twist or a dash of black pepper for an ancient Greek twist.   Yes, you read that right! (Check out my post where I explain it!)

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How long does it take to make?

It takes about 10 – 12 minutes to make this chocolate syrup. Then you need to wait about an hour for it to cool down before storing it.

What can you use it for?

There are SO many ways you can use this homemade chocolate sauce. Here are a few of my all-time favorites:

  • Stir it into hot or cold milk.
  • Stir it into coffee.
  • Dip cookies in it.
  • Drizzle it over buttered toast topped with cinnamon. OMG! It’s one of my faves for breakfast!
  • Drizzle it over your favorite desserts, like ice cream, cheesecake, cinnamon rolls, or warm brownies.
  • Drizzle it over pancakes, waffles, or French toast.
  • Pour it over your favorite fruit salad.
  • Impress your guests by drizzling some on a plate before serving your favorite dessert for a fancy, gourmet food styling presentation!

TIPS FOR SUCCESS

  • Try and get the best quality unsweetened cocoa powder you can! I use Dutch-processed cocoa powder for a more intense flavor. Check out my post here to learn about the difference between Dutch-processed cocoa powder and natural cocoa powder.
  • Make sure you stir it constantly to prevent it from burning.

HERE ARE A FEW MORE AMAZING CHOCOLATE RECIPES YOU MAY WANT TO TRY: 

Ouzo-spiked Chocolate Orange Cake 

Cheater’s chocolate Mousse (+ Easy Chocolate Garnishes)

Sugar Free Whole Wheat Chocolate Cupcakes 

~Voula

Let me know how this Homemade Chocolate Sauce turns out for you in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!

 

homemade chocolate syrup
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5 from 1 vote

Easy Homemade Chocolate Sauce (Vegan + Without Corn Syrup)

This incredibly easy homemade chocolate sauce is the perfect topping for all your favorite desserts! Make it without any corn syrup in less than 15 minutes! You won’t go back to buying store-bought ever again!
Cook Time12 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chocolate, easy,, homemade, syrup
Servings: 1 1/2 cups (approximately)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (110 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar
  • 1 cup (250 ml) water
  • a pinch of salt

For the slurry

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 tablespoons water

Instructions

  • In a saucepan, whisk together the cocoa powder, sugar, salt, and the cup of water over medium heat.
  • Stir constantly until it begins to simmer.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water to make a slurry.
  • Add the slurry to the saucepan and stir until the syrup thickens. If it gets too thick, just add a few teaspoons of water and whisk together.
  • Serve warm or allow it to cool completely (for about an hour) and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Notes

The chocolate sauce will thicken as it cools.
This homemade chocolate syrup can be refrigerated in an airtight container (like a glass jar) for about 3 weeks.
If you want, you can reheat it over the stove or in 5 minute increments in the microwave, stirring regularly.
© Pastry Wishes