We’re getting down to the wire, Christmas-wise, what with all the concerts and pageants and classroom parties and neighborhood parties and so on. And yet the kids I know still want to do fun crafts and projects after school! It’s hard to find Christmas activities that aren’t too overwhelming or involved, but these dairy-free Reindeer Pops are perfect.
Reindeer Pops Secrets for a Fun Treat That All Kids Can Make
Alisa saw these Reindeer Pops last year and suggested that Katherine and I try our hand at making them. After a few attempts, we came up with the most child-friendly approach to making these cute critters.
First, we used Alisa’s foolproof chocolate melting method.
Second, we chose to lay the Reindeer Pops on parchment-paper lined cookie sheets rather than trying to balance them in a styrofoam base.
Finally, we saved a bit of melted chocolate to help with repairs. These steps help guarantee a fun, easy afternoon activity for children–and their parents.
The Right Ingredients for Your Reindeer Pops
Pretzels – Most brands of plain pretzels are dairy-free and vegan, but for gluten-free, look for a gluten-free brand, like Good Health. They also happen to be vegan and soy-free.
Marshmallows – Plain marshmallows are typically dairy-free and are often gluten-free and top food allergy-friendly. But they do contain gelatin. For vegan marshmallows, choose a vegan brand like Dandies.
Candy – The noses are dairy-free cinnamon imperials from our local candy, nuts, and coffee store. These aren’t too hard to find in other stores. If you want to stick with chocolate, Little Secrets Peppermint Dark Chocolate Candies are vegan. But they do contain soy lecithin and might not be safe for highly sensitive or severe milk allergies due to potential trace cross-contamination. For the eyes, I used Wilton Mini Candy Eyeballs. These are made without top allergens, but do have a cross-contamination warning for wheat and soy.
Special Diet Notes: Reindeer Pops
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, optionally soy-free, optionally vegan, optionally vegetarian, and optionally top food allergy-friendly. See the section above for ingredient tips.
- 2 cups dairy-free chocolate chips (see Notes in post above)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil (can sub shortening for coconut-free)
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 16 large regular marshmallows or vegan marshmallows
- 16 (4-inch) lollipop sticks
- 16 cinnamon imperial candies
- 32 dairy-free small candy eyes
- 32 broken pretzel pieces (regular or gluten-free, if needed)
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Melt the chocolate, coconut oil, and salt using the countertop double boiler method.
- Insert a lollipop stick into a flat side of a marshmallow.
- Dip the top and sides of the marshmallow into the chocolate, using the lollipop stick as a handle. Leave the bottom side of the marshmallow uncovered.
- Place the chocolate-dipped marshmallow on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Place two broken pretzel pieces behind the top of the marshmallow, leaving part of the pretzel pieces sticking up above the head like antlers. See photo.
- Place two candy eyes and one cinnamon imperial nose on the front of the marshmallow.
- Repeat with the other 15 marshmallows.
- About ⅓ cup of melted chocolate will remain; save for any repairs.
- Refrigerate the Reindeer Pops for 30 minutes or until set.
- Gently remove the pops from the parchment paper and place in a container with an airtight lid.
- If necessary, reheat the remaining chocolate and use it to "glue" any antlers, eyes, or noses that fell off.
- Store the Reindeer Pops in an airtight container in the refrigerator.