Romantic Treats for Valentine's Day with Rigoni di Asiago
One of my favorite parts about Valentine's Day are all the yummy treats that come with the holiday! There are so many fun variations to make ordinary sweets festive and flirty.
If you know me, you know that even when indulging, I do my best to keep things on the healthy side. I always like to use ingredients when making food that I can pronounce, are natural and that I've heard of. On top of that, I'm dairy-free as I have an allergy so a lot of times I have to miss out on desserts. I know a lot of people have a similar struggle as me, but I am so happy to say that I have found the most delightful, all-natural brand of spreads - Rigoni di Asiago! I'm absolutely obsessed with their delicious fruit spreads and infamous Nocciolata spread! They make for THE best ingredients that make any dessert that much more delightful!
Each jar of Rigoni di Asiago Fiordifrutta contains over three pounds of perfectly ripened organic, non-GMO fruit and is sweetened with only organic apple juice (no sugars added). A low-temperature production process not only best preserves the nutrients and flavors of the fruit, but also significantly reduces the natural sugar content, yielding 30% fewer calories than most other brands. It is the only three- ingredient (fruit, apple juice, and pectin) fruit spread on the market and is available in a wide range of flavors from classic (including Raspberry, Strawberry, and Wild Blueberry) to exotic (Pink Grapefruit, Black Currant, Seville Orange, and Pomegranate, to name a few).
The Rigoni's have also perfected a recipe for Nocciolata, a chocolate-hazelnut spread with an undeniably superior flavor and smooth texture. Each batch takes 36 hours of artisanal preparation, which combines top-quality hazelnuts, cocoa and cocoa butter, environmentally-responsible cold-pressed sunflower oil, natural vanilla extract, raw cane sugar, and skimmed milk. Unlike other chocolate-hazelnut spreads, Nocciolata contains no palm oil (which is high in saturated fat and whose cultivation devastates the environment), hydrogenated fats, artificial colors, aromas or additives. Most recently, they have also developed Nocciolata Dairy Free, a certified vegan version of the original perfect for those who follow a vegan lifestyle or are lactose intolerant. This dairy-free version has been an absolutely heavenly gift for me!!! Finally, I can have chocolate hazelnut and indulge without a tummy ache!
Raspberry & Almond Shortbread Thumbprints
(Recipe adapted from AllRecipes.com)
1 cup butter, softened (or Vegan Butter/oil)
2/3 cup white sugar (I love replacing sugar w/ maple syrup)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour (almond flour or oat flour work great too)
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon milk (or dairy-free milk of choice)
Prep: 30 m Cook: 18 m Ready In: 1 h 15 m
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a medium bowl, cream together butter and white sugar until smooth. Mix in 1/2 teaspoon almond extract. Mix in flour until dough comes together. Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls, and place on ungreased cookie sheets. Make a small hole in the center of each ball, using your thumb and finger, and fill the hole with preserves.
Bake for 14 to 18 minutes in preheated oven, or until lightly browned. Let cool 1 minute on the cookie sheet.
In a medium bowl, mix together the confectioners' sugar, 3/4 teaspoon almond extract, and milk until smooth. Drizzle lightly over warm cookies.
Vegan Nocciolata Brownies
(Recipe adapted from AllRecipes.com)
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (almond flour or oat flour work great too)
2 cups white sugar (I love replacing sugar w/ maple syrup)
1 scoop Dairy-Free Nocciolata Spread
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Prep: 15 m Cook: 25 m Ready In: 50 m
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Pour in water, vegetable oil and vanilla; mix until well blended and add scoop of Nocciolata. Spread evenly in a 9x13 inch baking pan.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until the top is no longer shiny. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into squares.
Photo Credit: Crier Communications