Santa's Panforte

Santa's Panforte

This nut and dried fruit chunky, sweet and chewy treat I assure you is highly addictive. The little bites will keep at room temperature for up to three months if wrapped well in plastic wrap and up to a year if kept in the refrigerator, I am told by Zel Allen, the author of Vegan for the Holidays, from which book this recipe is adapted. This means you could get a jump start on your Christmas baking and I foolishly thought that if I made up a batch back in September, I would have some left over for Christmas. Uh, no. They didn't last for even a month, especially as I had friends and family around to enjoy them too. Darn, I'll just have to make them again.

Though an ideal holiday treat, I think you ought to have them on hand all year around for a quick and really rather healthy snack. When visitors drop by, you won't have to fuss and bother, but just serve up a few squares of this heavenly bark.


I also highly recommend Ms. Allen's book for creative and unique solutions for holiday meals that are sure to please everyone. It often can be difficult to come up with special meals at holiday time that us pesky vegetarians and vegans will enjoy that will also please the carnivores at the table too, but this book, that I have written about before, not only makes it easy but especially enjoyable.

Santa's PanforteSanta's Panforte
Recipe by
Adapted from Vegan for the Holidays: Celebration Feasts for Thanksgiving through New Year's Day
Published on December 2, 2012

Sweet and chewy fruit and nut candy, great for serving in the holidays

Preparation: 35 minutes
Cooking time: 25 to 30 minutes

Print this recipePrint this recipe

  • 2 cups pecans
  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup dried apricots, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dates, pitted and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup prunes, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries
  • 1 cup spelt or unbleached white flour
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut palm sugar, divided
  • 2 generous tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup agave syrup, honey or maple syrup
  • icing sugar for coating (about 1 cup)
  • Line 3 8-inch baking pans with parchment paper.

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. On a baking sheet, scatter the pecans, walnuts and almonds and toast them for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they darken a few shades. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool.

  • When the nuts are cool, stir in the dried fruits, flour, half of the brown sugar (3/4 cup), and cinnamon.

  • Now make the syrup. Combine the agave with the remaining 3/4 cup of brown sugar in a medium saucepan and stir well to combine. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and simmer over medium-high heat without stirring until the thermometer reads 230°F (110°C) — this should take about 5 minutes.

  • Pour the syrup into the nut and fruit mixture and, using some arm power, stir until everything is well combined.

  • Divide the mixture between the three prepared baking pans and pack down with a spoon. Bake in a preheated 325°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool before removing. Gently peel off the parchment paper and then dust your hands with icing sugar and use to coat the slabs.

  • Using a sharp knife, cut the slabs into small pieces. Cover and store at room temperature for up to 3 months or store in the fridge for up to a year.

Makes about 45 to 60 pieces

vegan christmas treat

More ideas for holiday treats from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Walnut Nanaimo Bars
Chocolate Cocoa Brownies with Dried Cranberries and Chickpea Flour
Chocolate Nut Butter No Bake Fudge
Rum Balls

On the top of the reading stack: Simply Satisfying by Jeanne Lemlin


Yogi Kitchen said...

looks fantastic. I've bought this many times iN Italy, but never actually made this. It might be a bit tricky this year as we're in India this Xmas, but next year for sure with my vegan pan atone and xmas pudding..

Laura @MotherWouldKnow said...

Great way to celebrate the holidays. Panforte is traditional, but this version is decidedly modern. Lovely. Thanks for stopping by our Happy Holidays Link Party - be sure to join us again this week (beginning on Saturday at 7 pm ET) and every week through the holidays.

Peninsula Golf Course- "A Stanley Thompson Signature Course" said...

Would this work with Honey? I realize it would not be vegan.

Lisa Turner said...

Yes, it would work with honey. Maple syrup would be a good substitute too.