I am so super excited to share this healthy Christmas recipe with you all. These little reindeers are the cutest thing i’ve made and were a huge hit with the kids. This no-bake dough is so easy to make and you will have little reindeer heads on straws bringing giggles to your little ones in less than 20 minutes.
The heads are made from a combination of oats, medjool dates, grounds almonds, peanut butter and cacao powder so have a yummy chocolate, nutty taste to them and are pretty much my snickers bars on a stick, with some added antlers and a shiny red nose.
The best part for me though is the healthy googly eyes. I have spent months (I kid you not) of searching the internet on how to make Googly eyes that didn’t involve using icing sugar and it was only after taking a bite out of the Healthy After Eights I posted up this week that I cracked it! These are from what I can see, the only healthy googly eyes recipe on the internet which is super exciting.
I used coconut manna which is also known as coconut butter, melted it with a drop of sweetness and water and then used the exact same way I would have used icing sugar. They turned out fantastic, are so delicious and are so tiny it doesn’t really matter that they contain so little sweet. Just perfect for a Baby Led Feeding recipe.
And so as this will be my final new recipe of the year for 2016 I just wanted to thank you all from the bottom of heart. YOU are what makes Baby Led Feeding special. Your comments, feedback and photos of your little ones eating my food have quite literally made my year. I am so delighted and privileged to cook for you each week and come up with healthy recipes for your babies. It means the world that you love them as much as you do. Your all amazing Mam’s and Dad’s because you all want the best of food for your babies and so here’s to a very healthy Christmas and I will see you all again in early January for more yummy Goodness.
1 tablespoon cashew butter (or other smooth nut butter)
1 tablespoon tahini
For the healthy Googly Eyes
2 tablespoons coconut manna/coconut butter
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon maple syrup
For the Reindeer heads
8 Medjool dates
65g coconut oil, melted
60g ground almonds
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
70g smooth peanut butter
1 tablespoon cacao powder
4 straws cut in half
4 cranberries cut in half
How to make it...
Making the Chocolate Antlers
To make the chocolate, bring a saucepan of water, roughly a quarter full, to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Add the cacao butter to a glass bowl and place over the water to melt. Make sure the water doesn’t touch the bowl. When melted, remove from the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients until it becomes smooth and silky. Leave the chocolate in a cool place for about 5 minutes so that it can thicken up.
Line a baking sheet with some parchment paper then using a teaspoon swirl small antler shapes onto the sheet (mine were super messy as you can see from the photo). Don’t worry if they are uneven, they will look super cute when attached to the dough.
Place into the freezer to set fully. This will take about 20 minutes.
Making the Healthy Googly Eyes
Add all of the ingredients to a glass bowl and place over a saucepan of hot water. Allow the coconut manna to melt and stir well until it forms into a paste. If it is too thick you can add more water but just a teaspoon at a time. It should be the consistency of icing sugar.
Remove from the heat then spoon into an icing bag and squeeze out little googly eyes onto a plate lined with parchment paper. When finished place into the freezer to set for about 20 minutes.
Making the Reindeer heads
When you have made the antlers and eyes and they are full set it is time to make the reindeer heads.
Add all of the filling ingredients to a food processor (except for the straws 🙂 and whizz until they form a ball.
Take about a heaped tablespoon of the mixture into you hand and form into a reindeer head shape.
Stick a half straw through the bottom gently until it comes 3/4 ways up, then place on a tray lined with parchment paper.
Take 2 of the chocolate antlers and gently place into the top left and right of the head (be super gentle as they are very delicate)
Place 2 googly eyes onto the face and press in slightly then add a little teenie tiny ball of the dough mixture in the centre as an eye ball.
Finally place a half a cranberry as a nose and push in slightly.
When you are finished place the reindeers into the fridge to set for at least 4 hours. They should be really firm and should be able to properly hold the antlers when set.
HELPFUL TIP - Storage
Store these little heads in the fridge as the heads need to stay firm to hold the straw in place. Remove from the fridge and eat immediately.