Paleo Holiday Desserts with The JOYful Table

Not that I don’t love to cook, but my usual holiday role has involved preparing an appetizer or sides. This year however, I am in charge of desserts. Initially, this terrified me as I have been trying to stick to whole ingredients and paleo-friendly recipes, and I was unsure how where desserts would fit in. Enter Susan Joy, from The JOYful Table, who provides accessible, easy to follow recipes for those new to the paleo lifestyle. See below for a variety of easy to share desserts sure to please even the pickiest and all paleo-friendly.

White Chocolate Christmas Fudge

1 cup cashews,
80g cacao butter
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup coconut,
1/2 cup pistachios,
roughly chopped
1/2 cup dried
1/3 cup dried
apricots, chopped
A pinch of pink
himalayan salt
Line a 27x17cm slice
tin with baking paper, leave a small overhang of paper for easy
Soak cashews in
filtered water for 2 – 3 hours, drain and rinse well. (Don’t skip
this stage). 
Add cashews to a food processor and process for
appropriately 3 minutes, stopping a couple of times to scrape down
sides of bowl. It’s ready when you have a smooth creamy paste/butter.
Meanwhile, heat a
small saucepan over medium – low heat, melt cacao butter and coconut
oil, stirring often, take off heat as soon as melted.
Add honey, vanilla
and melted oils to the cashew butter, blend in the food processor
until mixture is well incorporate.
To a large bowl add
the coconut, pistachios, cranberries, apricots and salt, mix well.
Pour in the cashew and oil mixture, stir well making sure the
ingredients is all moist and well incorporated.
Transfer mixture
into the lined tin and spread out evenly using a water dampened
spatula to prevent sticking. 
Place a piece of baking paper over the
mixture and use a glass to roll over the surface to make a smooth
Place in the fridge
or freezer to set. Once set remove by using the paper overhang and
place on a large chopping board. 
Use a large knife to cut 8×4 rows,
making 32 squares. Store in an airtight container in the fridge,
serve cold straight from the fridge.
Pecan Shortbread Bars

1 1/2 cups almond
1/4 cup arrowroot
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp pink
himalayan salt
1/3 cup ghee
3 Tbsp maple syrup,
1/3 cup pecans,
chopped and roasted
70 – 85% dark
chocolate, melted (optional)
Preheat oven to
160c. Finely chop pecans and roast on a baking tray until just
changing colour (don’t over roast and dry them out). Line a 27x17cm
slice tin with baking paper and set aside.
To a food process,
add almond meal, arrowroot flour, baking soda and salt. Process to
mix and help make a finer texture, approximately 15 seconds.
Add ghee and maple
syrup, process until mixture is smooth and starting to clump
Transfer dough to a
bowl, add roasted pecans. Mix well using your hands, dough should
come together in a ball with pecans evenly distributed.
Press dough evenly
into the lined slice tin. To create a smooth surface, place a piece
of baking paper over mixture and use a glass to roll over the top.
Using a knife score the mixture 3/4 way through, 2 x 8 rows to make
16 fingers. If you would prefer not to add the chocolate topping,
after scoring use a fork to decorate, by pressing holes into the
dough to look like traditional shortbread.
Bake for
approximately 18 minutes or until lightly browning, turn during
baking for even colour. Allow to cool in tin for 15 minutes, then cut
through scoring marks while still slightly warm. If decorating with
chocolate, allow to cool completely after cutting.
Melt dark chocolate
in a double saucepan. Place shortbread fingers on a tray and pipe or
drizzle chocolate over the fingers. Place tray in the fridge to set
Store in an airtight
container in the fridge, serve at room temperature.
Raw Chocolate Mint Bars

10 lge/1 cup Medjool
date(s), pitted
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup macadamia
1 cup almond meal
1/3 cup cacao powder
2 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp peppermint
extract, for pure oil use less (approx. 15 drops)
1/8 tsp pink
himalayan salt, fine
1/3 cup dark
chocolate, chips
3 Tbsp coconut oil
2 Tbsp cacao powder
1 Tbsp honey, or
maple syrup
Pinch pink himalayan
salt, fine
1/4 tsp peppermint
extract, for pure oil use 2 drops
Optional: 2/3 cup
dark chocolate, chips & add peppermint extract
Line a 22cm(8.5in)
baking tin with baking paper.
To a food processor
add dates. Process until broken up and forming a ball.
Add pecans,
macadamias, almond meal, cacao powder, coconut oil, peppermint
extract/oil and salt.
Process until the
nuts are ground and mixture sticks together when squeezed between
your fingers.
Transfer to prepared
baking tin and spread mixture out evenly, smooth and press down
firmly with the back of a spoon. Set aside at room temperature.
To make chocolate
icing: Place all ingredients in a double saucepan over simmering
water. Whisk continually while melting to emulsify the oil with the
other ingredients. Spread mixture evenly over the top of the mint
chocolate mixture. (Optional, melt dark chocolate chips with
peppermint extract, mix well.)
Refrigerate until
set. Lift out of tin using the edges of the baking paper, cut into
Store and serve
straight from the fridge.
Rich Chocolate Mousse
4 Medjool date(s),
1 ripe avocado
1 Tbsp honey, or
coconut nectar
2 tsp vanilla
1/3 – 1/2 cup cacao
powder, or to your taste
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch pink himalayan
salt, fine
1 cup coconut cream,
canned full fat
Add dates and
avocado flesh to a high speed blender. Blend on a low speed for 20
seconds, using the tamper to push the ingredients onto the blades.
Stop and scrape down sides.
Add honey, vanilla,
cacao powder, cinnamon and salt. Blend on low to incorporate for 10
seconds. Add coconut cream and blend.
Remove tamper and
scrape down sides. Gradually turn blender to high speed and blend for
40 seconds or until mousse is creamy, silky and fluffy. Using a
blender will aerate the mousse and produce a light texture. Taste and
adjust flavours if needed. (Makes approximately 2 cups)
Spoon mousse into 4
small dessert glasses or ramekins. Refrigerate for 2 hours before

Thanks so much for stopping by!


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