Vegan Celebrity Chef, TV Host, Author

My boyfriend (yes, boyfriend, I know HARD LAUNCH), told me he had a baking competition at work. Now, if anyone has been following me for years (god bless you if you have been), know that I am extremely competitive. Hello – Food Network Champion 2017, Quibi Dishmantled Winner 2020 (any so many more at-work, at-home, random competitions). Anyways, I needed to step up to the plate strong, because this was my introduction to his co-workers in terms of my food (come on, they already knew I existed a LONG time ago, but they had never eaten my food), so I couldn’t disappoint!

When he told me it was Holiday Themed, I wanted to make something easy, but instantly impressive. In the past, I have made savory candy cane appetizers and savory wreaths, but never a dessert. So, I used the same concept as those savory dishes and applied it to dessert. Thus, my Chocolate Cranberry Holiday Wreath was born! It’s so impressive, easy to make, and most importantly TASTY! And 100% vegan. You can add whatever variations you like – hazelnut chocolate spread, dark chocolate with chopped roasted hazelnuts, pistachio butter – do many variations!

Back to the competition – I prepared my beautiful wreath, decorated and wrapped it carefully and handed it off to said boyfriend. He took it to the competition and while it was the most impressive and tastiest dish up for bat, the competition was a Holiday COOKIE competition. So, needless to say, we were disqualified BUT everyone said my wreath was the tastiest and most festive. To me, that makes me feel like a winner!

🎄Chocolate Stuffed Holiday Wreath🎄

(serves 6-8)

  • 2 cans crescent dough – I used Pillsbury
  • 10 oz semi-sweet vegan chocolate chips melted – I used Enjoy Life Foods brand
  • 1/2 cup plant-based butter melted – I used Violife Brand
  • 1/3 cup sugar + extra for coating
  • 1/3 cup water – NYC TAP is best!
  • 1/3 cup fresh cranberries
  • Holiday style sprinkles
  • fresh mint (optional)
  • powdered sugar – to garnish

1. Melt chocolate chips on 30 second intervals until smooth and glossy. Set aside.

2. Line a large workspace/countertop/cutting board with parchment paper. Pop open your crescent dough and lay them flat next to each other. Mend together any of the pre-cut seams and tears and then mend the two sheets together. So now, you should have 1 giant crescent dough sheet.

3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

4. Pour on the melted chocolate and spread evenly edge to edge. Slowly roll the shorter edge all the way into a log (similar to a cinnamon roll). Butter a paring knife or using some kitchen twine, cut 1 inch rolls all the way through.

5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush with butter. Carefully place the rolls on a slight diagonal, so they all connect, into a round wreath shape. Brush the tops with melted butter.

Bake for about 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees until golden in color. Remove and cool.

6. While the wreath is baking, prepare the candied cranberries. Bring the 1/3 cup sugar and water to a boil, reduce to a simmer and add in the fresh cranberries. Stir and simmer for about 2-4 minutes until the cranberry peel begins to blister. Then immediately add to bowl filled with more raw cane sugar. Gently toss to coat, remove and place on a parchment lined plate (so they don’t stick).

7. Once the wreath has slightly cooled, top with a generous amount of powdered sugar, place the sugared cranberries all over, and holiday sprinkles. Add a few fresh mint leaves (if using) as a “poinsettia” type look and feel to the wreath. Serve.

TIP: If serving at a later time, warm up individual servings for about 10 seconds in the microwave so it gets soft and the chocolate get melty! Enjoy!

 

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