BitterSweet

An Obsession with All Things Handmade and Home-Cooked

Scare Up Some Berry Good Sweets

28 Comments

BOO!

Okay, so I’m not the most fearsome creature you’ll meet this Halloween, but I do have a terrible tale that should strike fear in the heart of any sensible human being. I may be sugar-coated, but this story is not. Just imagine: A world that progressively grows colder, harsher, inhospitable to life itself. The ground freezes solid, impenetrable as steel, strangling off all the plant roots and shoots within. Nary a weed can grow, let alone the delicate and highly perishable foodstuffs we’ve come to depend on. Sun shines but thermometers remain unmoved, staunchly refusing to thaw. As a result of the harsh shift in climate, there are no more blueberries; not here, not anywhere.

Positively terrifying, right? Mercifully, that tragedy is only based on real life, more fiction than fact. Though we are swiftly moving past the prime growing season with winter soon to come, there’s no end in sight to the supply of Frozen Wild Blueberries. Whether it’s 100 degrees or -10 degrees outside, they’ll still be waiting for happy homes and hungry mouths, just as plump, ripe, and sweet as ever in the freezer aisle. That consistency and predictably high quality standards make them the ideal addition to any fruit candy formula, demanding precision to turn out.

That’s where my batty family and I come into the picture. Try finding decent fresh berries now and you’d be straight out of luck, yielding nothing but bland blue marbles unsuitable for consumption. Spare yourself the horror and hit the chill chest instead, where Wild Frozen Blueberries remain every bit as flavorful and vital all year round. By introducing such a powerful superfood, touted for its antioxidants and nutrients the world over, you can reason that indulging in a sweet wild blueberry pate de fruit instead of any commercial candy out there is by far a lesser evil.

I don’t mind if you or your little goblins are clamoring to take a bite out of me- I’m completely irresistible, after all! My crunchy sugared exterior gives way to a soft, jam-like center, each bite a balance of bold, fruity sweetness. Mysterious and dark, black cocoa contributes to my fetching hue while adding a rich, smoky, earthy sort of flavor. Blend that with a tiny pinch of cinnamon and a splash of lime for an unexpected, yet completely complementary twist, and you’ll wonder why you didn’t scare up some sweet treats out of Frozen Wild Blueberries sooner.

Boo-Berry Bats

2 1/2 Cups Frozen Wild Blueberries, Thawed
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce
1/4 Cup Black Cocoa Powder
3 Cups Granulated Sugar
1/4 Cup Lime Juice
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
2 (3-Ounce) Packages Liquid Pectin

About 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar, to Coat

Place both the Wild Blueberries and applesauce in your blender or food processor, and thoroughly puree.  Pause to scrape down the sides of the bowl every now and then, until the mixture is completely smooth. Add in the cocoa powder and blend briefly to combine.

Transfer the puree into a medium pot with high sides, along with sugar, lime juice, and cinnamon.  Though it may seem like a lot of sugar, don’t forget that this is candy we’re talking about, and the pectin requires a certain amount of sugar to set properly.  Whatever you do, do not attempt to reduce the amount or swap it for a different sweetener!

Stir well and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. While that comes up to temperature, line a 9 × 9–inch square baking pan and lightly grease it in preparation for the finished candy.

Once boiling, add in the pectin, mix thoroughly to incorporate, and stir while the mixture boils for a full 10 minutes.  Continue scraping the bottom and sides of the pot with your spatula to make sure that nothing is sticking and burning.  Remove from the heat and pour the liquid candy into your prepared pan.  Allow that to come to room temperature before moving the pan into the fridge.  Let chill until set, at least 2–3 hours, before cutting into bat shapes using a small cookie cutter.

Toss the bats in granulated sugar and store in an airtight container. Kept away from moisture and in a cool place, the bats should last for 1 – 2 weeks, if they aren’t devoured before then.

Makes about 35 – 40 (2-Inch Long) Bats

Printable Recipe

This post was written for and is sponsored by Wild Blueberries, but all content and opinions are entirely my own.

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Author: Hannah (BitterSweet)

Author of My Sweet Vegan, Vegan Desserts, Vegan a la Mode, and Easy as Vegan Pie.

28 thoughts on “Scare Up Some Berry Good Sweets

  1. Sounds tasty, Hannah. Quick question though. Is this right? “Mercifully, that tragedy is only based on real life, more fiction than fact.” If it’s more fiction than fact, would it be based in real life? Please don’t bat me; just wondering. :-)

    janet, a little batty this morning

    • This time, that is what I meant. Emphasis should be on only- ONLY based on real life, not actually real life. ;)

      • OK, although they must have a lot of frozen berries if they have enough to last when we run out. :-) I love frozen blueberries and it broke my heart when I had to give away most of the organic ones I’d frozen, when we moved. At least I didn’t have to throw them out!

  2. What is black cocoa powder and where do I get it. These are darling!

  3. Blueberries are nature’s candy. And yes, frozen works really well!
    Looking forward to making these wonderfully batty candies.

  4. So adorable and I can just taste their yumminess!

  5. Yum! These remind me of the little chewy fruit snacks I used to eat as a kid but all Halloweened out! I think frozen fruits and vegetables are often overlooked. While there are definitely some fruits/veggies that taste better fresh, blueberry is one that goes well either way. We have a giganto bag of the stuff in the freezer right now.

  6. Liquid pectin eh? Not even sure what that is but you can be sure I am about to find out on the next shopping expedition into the city :)

  7. Oh my gosh, these bats are so cute! Love that they are made from blueberries, very creative! And extremely tasty I’m sure!

  8. one of the best Halloween treats I have come across this year- genius!

  9. Boo, Hannah! It was a scary intro :) My, these boo-berry bats are so cute…I love the blend of black cocoa and tangy blueberries. Wow, Hannah, love these bite-sized sweets – perfect Halloween treats!

  10. What a delicious treat, so cute and delicious :D – I mean, scary!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  11. How lovely! I love this season of Halloween themed food! :)

  12. creative and healthy candy!

  13. Looks and sounds perfect for the season!

  14. These are kind of spooky…but in an adorable way.

  15. I’m still searching for some halloweeny treats to whip up, and these bats look just perfect! I’ve actually got several bags of frozen wild blueberries left in the freezer!

  16. Where’d you get your bat mold?

  17. Oh, that is too cute! At first I thought they might be licorice from the black color. Blueberry is so much better. :-)

  18. I tried recipe and the goop didnt set right so i added more pectin and re-boiled even goopier. Any vlue as to why? This was my first attempt at candy making. My son was so excited.

  19. I must make these tasty bats. Yum Yum Yum.

  20. love the first picture.. dark bats in all that white sugar!

  21. It looks deliciously scary ! My daughter whishes we would celebrate Halloween in Israel…

  22. I used to love those little jelly fruit candies, these are fantastic! I’ve never thought of making something like this myself before. I swear, every time you post a recipe I think you introduce me to a new ingredient, I’ll have to see if I can track down some liquid pectin somewhere.

  23. It’s a devastating day, indeed, when the fresh organic blueberries disappear from the grocery stores. What a fantastic use of their frozen counterparts! Your creativity never ceases to amaze me.

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