By Jenna Mazzurco

Are you looking for healthier ways to satisfy your sweet tooth this holiday season? Certified trainer, Jenna Mazzurco, is sharing some of her favorite sweet treat recipes with the HYLETE community. 

Peanut Butter Cups

Prep: 20 Minutes

Chill: 45 Minutes

Total: 1 Hour 5 Minutes

Serves: 12 Cups 

Cuisine: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan

Ingredients

  • 1 (9 oz or 10 oz) bag semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips*
  •  
    1/3 cup creamy natural peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Line a muffin tin with silicone or paper liners.
  2. Take 1 cup of the chocolate chips and melt the chocolate in the microwave (or double boiler if you have one). Stir frequently so it doesn’t burn!
  3. Once the chocolate is melted, divide it evenly between the 12 muffin tins. I used a small spoon to portion the chocolate in each. Spread the chocolate across the bottom of each cup. If the chocolate does not lie flat, drop the pan repeatedly (& lightly) on the counter and it will flatten and smooth itself out. Place in freezer for 10-15 minutes, until the chocolate hardens.
  4. In the meantime, combine the peanut butter and maple syrup in a small bowl until mixed together. Place 1 tablespoon of the filling in each cup on top of the chocolate. Spread evenly throughout cup. Again, you can drop the pan repeatedly on the counter for the peanut butter layer to flatten out. Place back in the freezer for 10-15 minutes, until the mixture solidifies.
  5. Take the remaining 1 cup of the chocolate chips and melt in the microwave (or double boiler if you have one). Stir frequently!
  6. Add small spoonfuls of melted chocolate on top of the peanut butter mixture. Spread to cover the mixture completely. Work quickly – the melted chocolate will start to harden from the frozen layers underneath! You can drop the pan repeatedly again for the chocolate to flatten out. Place back in the freezer for 10-15 minutes, until the chocolate hardens.
  7. Once hardened, serve away! You can store in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to eat.
*If you want to keep this recipe vegan, make sure your chocolate chips are dairy-free. Whether you use semi-sweet or dark is based on your preference!

Pumpkin Truffles

Prep: 30 Minutes

Total: 2 Hours 30 Minutes

Serves: 16 Truffles

Cuisine: Dairy-Free, Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, Paleo

Ingredients

CENTER
  • 2 ounces dairy-free cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons organic powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup organic canned pumpkin
  • 1 3/4 cup gluten-free vanilla/honey cookie crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup white chocolate baking chips, coarsely chopped
TOPPING
  • 4-7 ounces white chocolate baking chips (amount will depend on how much you want to coat them)
  • Extra cookie crumbs (optional)
  • Cinnamon (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl using a hand mixer or a standing mixer, whisk cream cheese and powdered sugar together until creamy. Add pumpkin and beat on high until combined. Then add the cookie crumbs, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and chopped up chocolate chips, and beat on medium speed until everything is combined. Cover tightly and refrigerate for 1-2 hours (you can refrigerate up to 24 hours if you would like!).
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Begin rolling chilled mixture into balls (about a small spoonful) and place balls on baking sheet. Place balls in the freezer and chill for 30 minutes – 1 hour.
  3. Begin melting chocolate using a double boiler or microwave when the balls are done chilling in the freezer. If using the microwave, place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and heat the chocolate in 30-second increments until it is completed melted and smooth.
  4. Remove balls from freezer and dip them into the chocolate. You can drizzle the chocolate on the top, dunk half of the ball, or douse the whole ball in chocolate. It’s up to you! Then add whatever topping you would like to the top of the dipped truffles.
  5. Store in the refrigerator until ready to eat!
*I have found that the longer you leave the balls in the refrigerator, the better. The consistency is definitely softer than what I am used to working with, but after making the truffles and leaving them in the fridge overnight, they were the perfect consistency the next day to eat!

""Snickers"" Bars

Prep: 20 Minutes

Chill: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

Total: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

Serves: 12 Bars 

Cuisine: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Paleo

Ingredients

CHOCOLATE LAYERS

  • 1 (9 oz or 10 oz) bag dairy-free semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips

NOUGAT LAYER

  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons oat flour*
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 3 tablespoons almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

CARAMEL LAYER**

  • 8 soft, pitted dates
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Instructions

  1. Line a baking dish with parchment paper. I used a 9’x9’ glass dish.
  2. Take 1 cup of the chocolate chips and melt the chocolate in microwave (or double boiler if you have one). Stir frequently so it doesn’t burn! Pour chocolate into the baking dish and spread evenly. Place dish in freezer for 10-15 minutes, until chocolate hardens.
  3. Combine all ingredients for the nougat layer in a medium bowl until well combined. Pour the nougat layer onto the hardened chocolate base. Place back in the freezer until the nougat layer is solid, about an hour.
  4. Place the ingredients for the caramel layer into a small food processor. Blend until well combined, it should become sticky and thick. Spread the caramel mix on top of the hardened nougat layer (this might be the “hardest” step of this whole recipe!). Get your hands slightly wet and work the caramel across the dish. Keep dampening your hands slightly as you move through the mixture. Place back into the freezer until the caramel is solid, about 30 minutes or so.
  5. Take the remaining 1 cup of the chocolate chips and melt in the microwave (or double boiler if you have one). Stir frequently! Pour melted chocolate on top of the hardened caramel layer and spread evenly. Place dish in freezer for 10-15 minutes, until chocolate hardens. Once hardened, cut into 12 bars and serve away! You can store in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to eat.

*You can make your own oat flour by grinding oats in a food processor. Place oats in processor and grind until mixture becomes fine.

**If you want to add nuts to this recipe, feel free! To get more like the real Snickers bar, add peanuts on top of the caramel layer.


About Author:
Jenna Mazzurco is a boot camp instructor for ArmorFit Boot Camp at Armor CrossFit in Winter Garden, FL. She has an extensive background in strength, conditioning, speed, endurance, and agility training as she was a former athlete. Jenna loves to explore different programming structures and fitness disciplines to ensure her class is engaged and appropriately challenged. Strength circuit work, calisthenics, plyometrics, and cardio, are just some of the things you will experience in her workouts that cater to all audiences, fitness levels, and available workout equipment.

Jenna created a health and wellness website, Sweat & Sweets, to showcase her passion for sweet recipes and challenging workouts. Here you will find an abundance of healthy recipes sure to satisfy any sweet tooth! From dairy-free, grain-free, gluten-free to vegan, Jenna will provide you with some delectable options that fit into any diet regimen. If you can’t make it to her boot camp class, you will be sure to find some great workout options on her blog! Jenna will challenge you in the gym, guide you towards better-balanced health choices and help you crush your goals with the proper knowledge, discipline, and encouragement. 

Be sure to keep up with Jenna on her website https://sweatnsweets.com and follow her on Instagram @sweat_and_sweets, Facebook @sweatandsweets, and Pinterest Sweat & Sweets.

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