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Okay.

I know I said June was going to be all Italian and stuff but I had to really struggle to find the Italian link for today’s post. So I figured I’d figured I’d use one of my favourite Italian words, dolce (sweet), to describe one truly sweet book: My Sweet Vegan by Hannah Kaminsky.

I am unapologetically not a vegan. I support everyone in their food choices and understand that many people have dietary and other health issues that require certain diets. I get it.

But I love my meat, my dairy, my nuts, my flour and everything in between.

However, last year I did have the experience of having to bake a nut-free cake and it changed the way that I look at specialized cuisine, especially baking.

When I was approached with the chance to review Hannah’s book, I said yes not so much because I was interested in vegan baking, but more so because I’m a big fan of Hannah’s!

Her blog is called BitterSweet and it’s just gorgeous! Besides the fact that Hannah is an amazing cook and baker, she’s also amazing with crafts. Seriously, some of the things she makes are jaw-dropping. I encourage you to visit her blog and see for yourselves!

So what to say about her book? For starters, it’s a very pretty book. By this I mean it has tonnes of beautiful photos and is laid out with bright colours that draw you in to the recipes.

Now as for the recipes themselves, well, it’s an entire book dedicated to sweets, many of them originals and many of them veganized versions of classics.

As I read through the book trying to decide what to make, I made my way to p. 62 and stopped in my tracks.

You know when you go to parties and there’s always that big bowl of something called “Party Mix”. Well I’m the girl at the party that grabs the bowl and hogs it going so far as to snarl at anyone that comes near.

I loooooooooooooooooove party mix!

So when I saw a recipe for Party Mix Bars, well of course I had to make them. And they were so very good!

I’d like to thank Hannah for creating such a beautiful book and certainly making me think about the merits of a vegetarian lifestyle (no … I’m not switching but I am trying to be more conscious of eating habits). I’d like to thank her for being so patient as this review has been a long time in coming.

But most importantly, I’d like to thank her for creating a lovely little book with a very distinctive voice that gives vegetarians the opportunity to enjoy lots of great sweets, and everyone else the opportunity to experiment with a different way of baking.

Ciao!

Maple Coconut Party Mix Drops
Adapted from My Sweet Vegan by Hannah Kaminsky.

Note: The original recipe makes a 9 x 13 inch pan of party mix bars. I’ve cut the recipe in half and chosen to make individual servings of the sweet party mix. I’ve also “un”veganized it by using butter where the original recipe uses margerine. Sorry … I don’t do margerine! I’ve also substituted some of the corn syrup with maple syrup which offers great flavour.

1 cup mini pretzel twists
1 cup Chex rice cereal (or a similar cereal)
1-1/2 cups crispy rice cereal
1 cup mixed salted nuts (you can use any nuts you like)
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tbsp. coconut extract

Spray 12 aluminum cups or 12 foil cupcake liners with a bit of cooking spray and set aside.

Combine the pretzel twists, the cereals and the nuts in a large bowl.

In a small pan, melt the butter then add the sugar and stir until combined.

Add the corn syrup and maple syrup and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook the mixture for about 3 minutes until it thickens a bit.

Turn off the heat and add the coconut exctract. Immediately pour the mixture over the cereal and nuts and stir so that everything is well coated.

Working quickly, spoon the mixture into the prepared baking cups. Each cup will take 2 to 3 tablespoons full of the cereal and nut mixture. Let cool and then enjoy!