Note from Crystal: Thanks so much for joining me for the Lunchbox Freezer Cooking series. It’s been a fun adventure! For the last post in this series, Michelle from The Willing Cooking is sharing an allergen-free recipe for those of you who have food allergies in your home.
Guest post from Michelle of The Willing Cook
A good friend of mine makes Peanut Butter Scotchies on occasion — a delicious and calorie-loaded recipe. I have had the pleasure of indulging myself in this treat a few times, and let me tell you, there is a reason why she doesn’t make them very often.
Since we have wheat, dairy, egg, soy, corn, and a few other allergies at house, I would be the only one who could eat Peanut Butter Scotchies if I made them. While I’m sure I can enjoy an entire pan of these bars, I certainly don’t need to. So, I embarked upon a mission to make an allergen-friendly (and a little healthier) version that my family can share with me.
My first attempt at these bars, while delicious, almost sent us on an emergency dentist trip because they were so hard. I couldn’t leave them alone though — the taste was amazing! After a bit more tinkering, I finally got the recipe down and I’m thrilled to share this recipe with you today.
Chocolate Nut Butter Crunch Bars
(makes a 9″x13″ pan of bars)
- 1 cup raw sugar
- 1/2 cup brown rice syrup (I buy mine from Tropical Traditions.)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 1/2 cups allowed nut butter (you can use peanut/treenut-free Sunbutter, almond/cashew/other treenut butter, or peanut butter)
- 4 cups rice krispies (Kellogg’s gluten-free variety work great; add more, if needed)
- 2 cups allowed chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life: dairy, soy & nut-free)
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- Add raw sugar, brown rice syrup, and water to a 5qt pot; whisk over medium-low heat until it starts to boil. Turn heat down to simmer and continue to whisk for 3-5 minutes, until you notice it start to thicken a little. (We are thinning out the brown rice syrup a little, but also burning most of the water off.)
- Remove pot from heat and whisk in nut butter. If it seems too thick, you can place the pot back on the turned off burner. When all is well combined, stir in the rice krispies 1 cup at a time, until completely incorporated. (If it is too runny, add a little extra rice krispies. I added about 1/4 cup more.)
- Grease a 9″x13″ glass baking dish (very important step!). Pour rice krispie mixture into the dish and press down evenly. Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or until it hardens somewhat.
- When the baking dish has been in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or so, start making your chocolate topping. Using the same pot as before, make sure all the rice krispie remnants are removed. Over low heat, whisk together your chocolate chips and coconut oil. (Yes, you want the little bit of the nut butter mixture from earlier to mix in with the chocolate.) Continue to stir the chocolate until it melts and is smooth.
- Remove your baking dish from the refrigerator and spread your melted chocolate over the rice krispies evenly. Place the dish into the freezer (or refrigerator for longer time, but I couldn’t wait) for 20-30 minutes.
- Once the chocolate is solid, Slide a knife around the edges of the bars to loosen them from the sides of the baking dish. Lay out a piece of wax or parchment paper, roughly cut to a 9×13 size. Carefully flip the baking dish over on top of the paper so that the bars easily come loose and fall out (chocolate will be face side down). You may have to give the underside of the baking dish a few taps to get it out.
- Carefully flip the bars back over so the chocolate is on top (it may be easier to cut the rectangle in half first). Using a large, sharp knife, start cutting your bars into the desired size. Serve or freeze in an airtight container for up to 6 weeks.
These bars are so good, you’ll never guess they were allergen-free!
Michelle is blessed to stay home with her three children (ages 10, 7, and 4), while her husband works to provide. When she’s not experimenting with allergy-friendly meals, she’s blogging about it at The Willing Cook. Through the Willing Cook, her hope is that you gain peace of mind in your kitchen (and your pocket book) and are able to serve those you love who suffer with food allergies.
Are you joining us for Lunchbox Freezer Cooking? If you’ve blogged about a lunchbox recipes you’ve made for your freezer, leave a link to your post and recipe below. I can’t wait to see your yummy recipes and ideas!