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Sure, the holidays are a time to indulge, but wouldn't it be great if you could have the satisfaction without worrying about filling your house with too much sugar? Here are some of our favorite ways to cut calories while keeping the fun and flavor. These recipes are perfect for getting the kids involved!  

 

Holiday Kringle

For the pastry 

1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup vegan butter spread

1 package dry yeast

1/4 cup lukewarm water

1/4 cup lukewarm milk

(I used Almond)

1/8 cup agave nectar

1/8 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

For the filling

2 cups cherry preserves

(or fruit of choice)

4 oz goat cheese

Optional: add fruit, nuts, raisins

1. Combine butter and Earth Balance and mash with a fork. Spread the butter mixture on waxed paper to an 8 by 16 inch rectangle. Chill.

2. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Add the milk, agave nectar, brown sugar, salt, vanilla and egg.

3. Add flour and mix by hand. Once dough forms, cover with plastic wrap and chill.

4. Roll dough on a well-floured surface to an 8 by 12 inch rectangle. Divide the prepared butter mixture into 2 equal parts and place 1 piece on 2/3 of the dough. Fold the uncovered third of dough over the middle third (Covering half of the butter). Then fold the remaining third over the top and chill.

5. Roll dough again into an 8 by 12 inch rectangle. Place the remaining piece of chilled butter mixture over 2/3 of the dough and repeat Step 4. Chill.

6. Gently roll dough to an 8 by 16 inch rectangle. Fold like above in thirds And chill.

7. Cut the dough into 2 equal pieces (will yield 2 kringles). Lightly roll one piece at a time until both are about 6 by 20 inches. Spread center third of dough pieces with cherry preserves, then sprinkle goat cheese.

8. One at a time, fold one of the long edges to the middle. Moisten other edge and fold over top to cover filling. Seal well. Repeat with second kringle and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and form into an oval shape, pressing ends together. Flatten entire oval with hands. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.

9. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool, then ice with mixture of powdered sugar and water. Enjoy!

Yields 2 kringles

Candy Cane Truffles

12 ounces medjool dates, pitted and soaked in hot water or 10 minutes

2 tbsp. melted coconut oil

1 tbsp. hot water

½ tsp. sea salt

2/3 cup crushed candy canes, separated

1 cup white chocolate chips

1. Place the drained dates in a food processor and blend until a paste forms. Slowly add the coconut oil, hot water and sea salt.

2. Transfer the date paste to a bowl and stir in the crushed candy canes. Place in the freezer for at least 3-4 hours or overnight.

3. Remove bowl from freezer. Scoop out heaping tablespoons of the date mixture and roll into a ball. Place on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and return to the freezer to harden, at least 1 hour.

4. Melt the white chocolate chips and remove the date truffles from the freezer. Dip into melted chocolate, then sprinkle the tops with the remaining crushed candy canes. Serve immediately or return to the freezer until ready to use.

Yields 20 truffles

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