Sunday, December 14, 2014

Pistachio Reindeer Cups

My husband is in a band (sexy I know), and this year they decided to have a holiday party. I was excited for the chance to make a fun holiday treat, but was stumped on what to make. Unfortunately our son had an all nighter last week and in my 3am haze this idea came to me. It's fun enough for kids and sophisticated enough for adults. Enjoy!

Pistachio Reindeer Cups

Makes 20 mini cups
Gluten Free*, Vegan*

For the filling:
2 cups shelled unsalted pistachios (almost a pounds worth in the shell)
4 Tbls coconut oil
1 Tbl maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the chocolate shell:
1 cup dark chocolate chips, non dairy*
1 tbl coconut oil

For the decoration
20 gluten free* pretzels cut in half
20 pomegranate arils 
optional pine nuts for "non-red-nosed reindeer"
You will also need 20 mini cupcake liners or a silicon mini cupcake pan

  1. First make the filling. Shell the pistachios and add 2 cups to a small food processor with the coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla.
  2. Begin by pulsing to break the nuts up and then process for several  minutes until you have a mostly smooth nut butter. You will have to stop and scrape down the sides several times. Just take it slow so you don't burn the motor out. 
  3. When it reaches a smooth enough texture scrape it into a bowl and put it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to let it firm up some. You don't need it to hold together but you don't want it too liquid either.
  4. Cut the pretzels at the bottom (not where they cross) to form antlers (see pictures), and remove the arils from the pomegranate.
  5. Now make the chocolate sauce by melting the chocolate chips and coconut oil together. You can do the double broiler method by heating a small amount of water in a pot and putting the chips in a ceramic bowl over the pot or you can place them in an oven safe bowl in a hot oven for a few minutes until they look wet and then stir.
  6. Once the chocolate is ready make the cups by placing about 1 tsp of chocolate sauce into each cup and use the back of a spoon to press the chocolate up the side of the cup. The cup should be coated, except for the top 1/4inch. 
  7. Place the cups in the freezer for about 10 minutes to firm up.
  8. Now you can fill the cups with a rounded teaspoon of the pistachio filling. Press it down slightly with a spoon. You will probably have a little bit of filling leftover.
  9. Top each cup with about 1/2 teaspoon of chocolate and use the back of the spoon to smooth it over the filling. 
  10. Press the pretzels with the rounded side up into the top part of the cup, press them in enough so that they touch the filling. Put a pomegranate aril in the center for the nose.
  11. Put them into the fridge to finish hardening the chocolate.
  12. Store these in the fridge for 3-4 days. It is best to pull them out right before serving as they will get soft if left at room temperature for too long.

It is easier to cut the pretzels at the bottom 

Notes and Substitutions 

  • If you want to make some non-red-nosed reindeer then use a pine nut for the nose.
  • If you don't want pistachio filling then just use about a cup of any readymade nut/seed butter in place of the pistachios.
  • I really like the dark chocolate with these but you can make them with semi-sweet chips for a sweeter treat.

Make the filling and then refrigerate

Make the cups and freeze for 10 minutes to harden
Fill cups before topping with more chocolate

Have any fun holiday treats you like to make?

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