Vegan Funfetti Cheesecake Bites

  

I grew up with Easter baskets, but I didn’t grow up “celebrating” Easter by any means. When I visited dad’s house during Easter time, though, my stepmother would have beautiful Easter baskets prepared for my brother, myself and of course, my half-sister. If you follow me on my blog, Jewhungry, then you know I am the product of a Jewish mother and a Christian father. My parents divorced when I was 4 and I was primarily raised by my Jewish mother and I am an observant Jewish woman today. That said, I have so much respect and gratitude for the experiences from the exposure to Christianity that I had growing up. At the time, I would’ve said I had respect for it because of the awesome Easter baskets and Christmas presents. Now, as a grown woman and mother, I have respect for it because it’s part of my heritage and what brought me to where I am today.

While I toyed with the idea of figuring out how to do a Passover basket, I realized it just wouldn’t be the same. Also, I’m not a huge fan of cultural religious appropriation. However, if I were to put anything in a Passover basket, these cute little funfetti bites would be it. Not all nuts are kosher for Passover, but hazelnuts and cashews are definitely kosher. Plus, they pair beautifully with the dates. And what doesn’t look good with rainbow sprinkles? You also don’t actually bake these guys so, win-win!

I was inspired by the vegan goddess that is Dana over at The Minimalist Baker. If you don’t know her stuff, well, I’m just gonna assume you’ve been in a coma for years because that’s the only conceivable reason I could understand for not knowing her.

I hope this dessert brings you and your loved ones sweet holidays. Happy no baking!

 Vegan Funfetti Cheesecake Bites {No-Bake + GF}

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1 cup packed dates, pitted (if dry, soak in warm water for 10 minutes then drain)
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • Pinch sea salt

 

Filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews, quick soaked*
  • 1 large lemon, juiced
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. full fat coconut milk (see instructions for note)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (or more) rainbow sprinkles

 

Instructions:

1. Add ingredients for the crust into a food processor and process until a loose dough forms – it should stick together when you squeeze a bit between your fingers. If it’s too dry, add a few more dates through the spout while processing. If too wet, add a few more hazelnuts or almonds.

2. Grease a standard mini muffin tin.

3. Scoop in heaping 1 Tbsp. amounts of crust and press with fingers, making sure to really pack it in there. Set in freezer to firm up.

4. To quick soak cashews, pour boiling hot water over the cashews, soak for 1 hour uncovered, then drain and use as instructed.

5. Add all filling ingredients to a high-speed blender and mix until very smooth. For the coconut milk, I like to scoop the “cream” off the top because it provides a richer texture. But if yours is already all mixed together, just add it in as is. (Pro tip – Put a can of coconut milk right into the fridge as soon as you get home from the grocery store. This will guarantee you have the ‘cream’ on hand for just such an occasion as making raw cheesecake bites!)

6. Blend all filling ingredients for roughly 1 minute or until silky smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

7. Pour filling into a separate medium size bowl. Add in your sprinkles leaving a handful to the side for sprinkling on top just before freezing.

8. Divide filling evenly among the muffin tins. Tap a few times to release any air bubbles.

9. Evenly disperse the last sprinkles
onto the tops of each cheesecake to create a pretty little topping. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until hard – about 4-6 hours.

10. Once set, remove by running a butter knife along the sides of the crust. They should pop right out. Let sit for a few minutes so you don’t break your teeth on them. Keep in the freezer for up to 1-2 weeks.

This recipe was reprinted with permission from jewhungrytheblog.com

Ice Cream Pyramids for Jon Stewart (and You)

  

Ice Cream Pyramid

Jon Stewart, born Jonathan Leibowitz, is one of America’s best known Jews, and also in an inter-faith marriage. In 2012, as Passover and Easter were approaching Stewart encouraged Jews to up the ante on Passover as it wasn’t competing very well against Easter, especially for kids. In the “Faith Off” clip below, from The Daily Show, he says where Easter has chocolate, Passover has Matzah. Where Easter has Peeps, Passover has hard boiled eggs. You get the idea.

 

“Oh wait, I’ll see you over at the Red Sea ride when I’m done building ice cream pyramids.”

What about spicing things up, Jon asks? What about ice cream pyramids? Well Jon, in honor of your last Passover behind that Comedy Central desk where we’ve come to depend on you to deliver us news we can actually digest, we’re giving you just what you asked for: Ice Cream Pyramids.

This is a great way to get your kids excited about the upcoming Passover holiday, and if you’re serving a non-meat seder or Passover meal during the week of the holiday, this could certainly be the piece-de-resistance to serve as dessert.

When I started this experiment I had hoped to build a pyramid using small blocks of ice cream, similar to this sugar cube pyramid. But no matter how solid the ice cream was, or how quickly I worked, it wasn’t to be. So, plan B!

What you’ll need:

ice cream pyramids prep

  • 1 gallon of ice cream
  • Cutting Board
  • Large serrated knife/chef’s knife
  • Chocolate, caramel, chopped nuts, Nutella (or toppings of  your choice)

Before you begin:

Choose a gallon of your favorite ice cream that comes in a rectangular box. Make sure it is frozen solid.

Place your cutting board and a serrated knife in the freezer so that the ice cream won’t melt as quickly.

Clear space in the freezer for the finished product.

Instructions:

Cut the ice cream1.  Cut the box away so that you’re left with just a large block of ice cream.

2.  Cut the ice cream so that you have 1-inch thick square slices.

3.  Start by placing a square on the cold cutting board, and then, if desired, cover with favorite ice cream topping, then continue to layer the same way using all of the ice cream.

4.  You may need to re-freeze at a few points along the way if the ice cream is melting too quickly.

5.  Next comes the carving. Each piece, from bottom to top, should be trimmed with your knife so that it’s slightly smaller than the last, until you’re at a small point for the top of the pyramid. You can then leave as is, or smooth the sides to be flat.

Layer ice cream

ice_cream_top

 

6.  Continue by decorating the sides with chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, etc.

7.  Then place in freezer to re-firm.

8.  The end result is delicious, and the process is fun! You can set this up as a race between a few teams to see who can build the pyramid the quickest, or set a timer and see which group could build the tallest pyramid in the allotted time. Traditionally, matzah is only kosher for Passover if it’s made in 18 minutes or less, so you could try setting an 18-minute limit for your game as well.

 

 

 

 

Finished product

9.  As soon as it’s completed, place the finished product in the freezer to let it firm up before serving. You may actually have to let it set in the freezer as you go, depending on how quickly you are assembling it.

10.  To finish off, you can drizzle some chocolate sauce or caramel on top.

Chag sameach (happy holiday)! Please share your ice cream pyramid photos on InterfaithFamily’s Facebook page!