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I don’t know about you, but I get pretty excited once Halloween is over because its end marks the official beginning of the holiday season. Truthfully, I’m not a huge lover of Thanksgiving and never have been. In my pre-vegan days, I honestly wasn’t a lover of turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, etc. I think the only thing I really liked was stuffing. I look forward to seeing my family more than anything. That’s what I get excited for; long stints of spending time with people I don’t always get to see and having lots of “down time” with them. Once Thanksgiving passes, I become typically festive, prepping Christmas cards, decorating, tuning my radio to the Christmas music station; I get so excited! However, this year may prove to be a little different. While I am still excited to go see family for Thanksgiving, this year will be the first year where I am responsible for bringing a vegan dessert! And while I am not a cook by any means, I am actually excited about making something amazingly decadent that knocks off everyone’s omnivore socks! And I will officially be offended if no one says, “I can’t believe that’s vegan!”

So I’ve begun pouring over my cookbooks, blogs, and magazines for standout recipes. I’ve begun recipe testing and I think I have found the recipes that are going to be show-stoppers. One such recipe is the Samoa Tart by Hannah Kaminsky in her cookbook “Vegan Desserts.” I’ve made it once (see photos below) and it turned out okay for the first time. But I know I can perfect it even more. Another option is Angela Liddon of Oh She Glows and her Pumpkin Pecan Brownie Pie. And just because it looks freakin’ awesome, also her Pumpkin Gingerbread with Spiced Buttercream. (I know it’s not chocolate, but there can never be too many vegan desserts!)

Lastly, I’ve included some photos of some chocolate I was enjoying recently. The cookies are so very chocolately–like a chocolate lover’s version of Oreos without all those artificial ingredients. I found them easily enough at my local Giant in their natural food section. The chocolate bar was great–dark chocolate, not bitter, with the perfect balance of a almond nibs thrown in and dashes of salt. And of course, both products are endorsed by the Food Empowerment project’s approved chocolate list that I blogged about previously.

What about you guys? Do you look forward to the holidays? Are you prepping your holiday dishes already? If so, I would love to know what your go-to, amazing, show-stopping dishes are that you yourself love to make or enjoy!

Dulce do Coco sauce

Dulce de Coco Sauce

Dulce de Coco Sauce

Dulce de Coco sauce cooling

homemade whole wheat tart crust

Samoa Tart without melted chocolate

Samoa Tart

Completed Samoa Tart

Completed Samoa Tart

 THEO Salted Almond Dark Chocolate Bar

header image courtesy of veganbaking.net