Mariah and I have known each other for a long time - since our elementary school days. After many years far from Nova Scotia, you can now find Mariah at the Yarmouth Farmer's Market on Hawthorne Street on Saturday mornings, selling her gluten-free baked goods as Blue Ribbon Baking. Blue Ribbon Baking also has a Facebook page, as does her home, Wellington Manor.
Mariah is a lovely, open and generous person, and is sharing two recipes that she makes regularly. Her kitchen is bright and sunny, and full of life, and we enjoyed a very pleasant visit together.
Mariah's original recipe for the Vegan Haystacks is from a 1974 Lunenburg community cookbook, pictured below. (My favourite community cookbooks are the handwritten ones!) There are nearly endless variations on the 'haystack'. They're called many things: frogs, macaroons, mud pies, chocolate chews, or no bake cookies. Some people make them with shredded coconut, some with only rolled oats, and probably with a dozen other optional ingredients, too. Mariah's version contains both coconut and oats, and they have a lovely chewy texture.
The Sugar-Free Chocolates could not be any simpler to make, and they're just as versatile as the haystacks. Mariah sprinkled cocoa nibs on the surface, which gives them a pleasant little crunch, and the ones that she made during our visit had mint flavouring added. Of course, you could use any flavouring, add fruit or nuts, and enjoy as a little treat. I just bought some dried cherries to make a batch, which I'm looking forward to trying. Enjoy!