There’s no reason to abandon your healthy-eating resolve around the holidays; by using wholesome ingredients, you can have your candy and eat it, too. In these tasty bites, crunchy nuts and seeds offer healthy fats; bittersweet chocolate provides heart-healthy antioxidants; and dried fruit lends natural sugar and fiber. Plus, these treats are fun to make! Gather your kids in the kitchen and whip up a few batches of brittle or truffles to have around the house or to bring to parties and potlucks. Tucked into a decorative box or tin, any of these sweets also make wonderfully welcome gifts.
Fruit and Nut Bark
Makes 1 1/2 pounds / This bittersweet-chocolate bark, studded with tangy dried fruit and crunchy almonds, makes a delectable present. View recipe.
Agave-Peanut Butter Cups
Makes 24–30 / Creamy, lightly sweetened peanut butter fills dark chocolate cups in this irresistible candy. Prep tip: You’ll need small fluted paper candy cups, available at candy-making supply stores, and a small pastry brush. View recipe.
Hazelnut Meringue Kisses
Makes about 24 / These ethereally crispy clouds are easy to make, very low in fat, and a pretty addition to a candy platter or gift tin. Prep tips: Heating the egg whites with the sugar dissolves the large crystals and results in a loftier meringue. If you have a pastry bag with a large round tip, it will come in handy for this recipe. If not, just use a spoon to shape the kisses. View recipe.
Makes about 24 / Break up this sweet brittle and place shards of it in cellophane bags for gift giving. Prep tip: You’ll need a candy thermometer and a small pastry brush; the pastry brush is dipped in water and used to wash down the pan sides as the candy cooks, which prevents sugar crystals from forming. View recipe.
Makes about 20 / These tasty clusters bound with dark chocolate are guaranteed to spread joy during the holidays. View recipe.
Mint-Leaf and Chocolate Truffles
Makes about 30 / These nondairy, silky truffles feature a bright mint flavor from real mint (not extract). Serving tip: Bring to room temperature before serving. View recipe.