Every Halloween, I always have to make the decision between taking Lactaid pills before consuming Halloween candy or splurging on a personal stash of vegan candy. Many other people with dietary restrictions or allergies find Halloween challenging since most candy is individually wrapped, making it difficult to actually understand what ingredients are in the candy you’re about to eat. These three homemade candy recipes will make Halloween for those with allergies so much easier. 

Homemade Almond Joy Cups — Recipe adapted from www.beamingbaker.com

Stephanie Gerson / Daily Nexus

This freezer-friendly version of the beloved Almond Joy requires only five ingredients but still tastes like the real thing!

Ingredients (makes 6 bars):

Base:

  • 1 ½ cups of unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 12 almonds

Chocolate Dip Layer:

  • 3 tablespoons dairy free chocolate chips (I used the brand Enjoy Life Foods)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil

Directions:

  1. Mix the coconut flakes, coconut oil and maple syrup together in a bowl until combined.
  2. Pour the coconut mixture into a blender and pulse for a few seconds until the mixture reaches a paste-like consistency. This step is optional but highly recommended!
  3. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper or tin foil and press the coconut mixture into the pan. Freeze for 15 minutes.
  4. In a small bowl combine the chocolate chips and coconut oil. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each increment until the mixture is smooth.
  5. Remove the coconut base from the freezer and slice into bars. 
  6. Dip the bottom of each bar in the melted chocolate. 
  7. Dip the bottom side of each almond in chocolate and press it on top of each bar.
  8. Finish the bars off with a chocolate drizzle, place in the freezer for 10 minutes and enjoy!

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Stephanie Gerson / Daily Nexus

Who doesn’t love Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups? They’re actually easier to make than you’d think!

Ingredients (makes 6 peanut butter cups)

  • ¼ cup smooth peanut butter (substitute with sunflower seed butter if you have a nut allergy)
  • ½ cup dairy-free chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil

Directions:

  1. Create the chocolate layer by melting chocolate and coconut oil together in the microwave in 30 second intervals until smooth. 
  2. Line a muffin tin with paper liners. Fill ¼ of the liners using half of the chocolate mixture and freeze for 15 minutes. 
  3. After the 15 minutes have passed, spread a thin layer of peanut butter on top of the chocolate layer. Freeze for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the remaining portion of the chocolate mixture on top of the peanut butter layer and freeze for 30 minutes.
  5. Top your peanut butter cups with flaky sea salt or a drizzle of peanut butter and enjoy! These will last in the freezer for up to four days.

 

Rolos (Chocolate Caramel Bites) — Paleo Salted Caramel Cups recipe adapted from www.kalejunkie.com

Stephanie Gerson / Daily Nexus

Rolos have been my all-time favorite candy since I was little. This recipe relies on dates for the caramel component instead of sugar, butter and cream.

Ingredients (makes approximately 8 bites):

Chocolate Covering:

  • ⅓ cup chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil

Date Caramel:

  • 5 Medjool dates
  • 3 tablespoons full-fat canned coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons of water

Directions:

  1. Melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil in the microwave in 30 second intervals until smooth.
  2. Pour half of the mixture into a circular mold and freeze for 10 minutes. I used a silicone ice cube tray.
  3. Create the date caramel by combining the dates, coconut milk, peanut butter, vanilla extract and water. If your blender is not very powerful, chop up the dates beforehand and use more water if needed. The final consistency should be smooth and not too runny.
  4. Add a dollop of the date caramel in the center of each Rolo. Freeze for 5 minutes before adding the remaining amount of the chocolate mixture.
  5. Freeze again for 20 minutes before eating!

If you’re not a chocolate lover like me, there are plenty of allergy-friendly candy brands that you can support this Halloween! Some of my favorite brands include:

I love that all of these recipes require few kitchen tools and can even be made in a dorm! Enjoy your homemade treats with friends and have a fun, safe Halloween!

A version of this article was featured on p. 14 of the October 28, 2021 print edition 0f the Daily Nexus.

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Stephanie Gerson
Stephanie Gerson is a second-year student studying Art History at UCSB. She is from Palo Alto, California and she is passionate about sustainability, fashion, photography and vegan cooking.