Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Crispy Topped Brown Sugar Bars—Baking Chez Moi—Tuesdays With Dorie

TWD-BCM Crispy Topped Brown Sugar Bars

I missed the last TWD post.  It was two weeks ago.  I actually just forgot about it until late the day it should have been posted.  Good thing we have a rewind week next week—I plan to make up the lemon madeleines I missed.  Dare I try to make them gluten free?

Anyway, today we get to tell you about the Crispy Topped Brown Sugar Bars in Baking Chez Moi (pages 324-325).  These were a fun, simple treat to make for my family.  First off all, they are topped with some caramelized Rice Krispies cereal.  While I think I made them just a tad crispy, I still think those are really fun.  Dorie mentioned they would be great as a crisp topping for ice cream and I agree.  They couldn’t be easier to make.  Put some sugar in a skillet, let it begin to color, add the cereal, stir it until the cereal is all coated in the caramelizing sugar and let it cook another minute or two.  Spread it on a sheet to cool.

Caramelized Rice Krispies 

I love that for these bars, she talked about a lot of different toppings you could use, including granola, coconut, caramel popcorn, nuts, endless options.  I might need to play with this recipe some more.

The boys mentioned that even the cookie layer on the bottom was a bit crispy, so I will just make sure to not bake them quite as much next time (I only baked them for 16 minutes when the recipe suggested 22).  I used milk chocolate just to please the boys, but would love to make these with a bittersweet chocolate as Dorie suggested. 

Crispy Topped Brown Sugar Bars 2

Chocolate is spread on the hot-out-of-the-oven bars and it melts pretty quickly and is spread evenly.  Then the Krispies are added and pressed into the top.  Cool and cut into squares.  Love trying new recipes!

Crispy Topped Brown Sugar Bars 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Healthy Almond Joy or Mounds Coconut Candy

"Healthy" Almond Joy Candy

We all know the tune—“Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t.”  It’s just too perfect.  Not trying to steal from the real candy company, but it really is a perfect statement.  I’m so happy to have made these and to have a treat stashed away for me to enjoy!  I originally was just making another treat I could have with dates, but then decided after adding some coconut to try to form them into an egg-like shape and dunk them in melted chocolate.  I’m brilliant, I say! ; )  Okay, I have no idea if something similar has ever been done before, I didn’t even look, just was happy that I came up with this all on my own.  I’m such a big girl nowadays.

I love making different sweet treats with dates.  Like these Raw Brownies with Walnuts or these Chocolate Peanut Butter Grain Free "Granola" Bars.  I love them all and they are sure easy to make.  Can’t forget these Chocolate Hazelnut Bombs or these Healthy Fudgy Brownie Bites.  The possibilities with flavors are almost limitless.  Whatever will I decide to make next?

Healthy Almond Joy/Mounds Candy

Healthy Almond Joy or Mounds Coconut Candy (Grain Free, Refined Sugar Free, Dairy Free), by Katrina, Baking and Boys!

1  1/4 cup dates, pitted and cut into smaller pieces, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes

1 cup raw almonds

5 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 tablespoon date water

1 tablespoon raw honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch of salt

1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut, these are the bigger pieces (or another 1/4 cup of shredded)

2 tablespoons Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips (dairy, grain, soy, egg free chocolate)

Chocolate coating (enough for half the bars, double if you want to coat all of them):

1/2 cup (3 ounces) Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips

1 teaspoon coconut oil

Presoak the dates, drain and reserve the water.  Cut them on a cutting board (even if you have pitted dates, you should always cut them to check for pits!).  Cutting them into pieces also makes them grind up in the food processor easier.  Put the dates and almonds in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse until coarsely ground.  Add the cocoa powder and pulse a few times.  Add the water, honey and salt and let it grind until it all clumps together almost forming a ball around the bowl (it will take a couple minutes).  Add the coconut and chocolate chips and pulse just a few times to combine.  Line a 9x5 inch bread pan with waxed paper.  Press the mixture evenly into the pan.  Refrigerate for an hour (I happened to make mine one day and didn’t get to dip them in chocolate until the next day.)

Melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave safe glass bowl in 20-30 second intervals, stirring after each one.  It should only take a minute or so.  Stir until smooth.  Remove the pan from the refrigerator and lift the sides of the waxed paper.  Set it on a cutting board and with a 1  1/2 inch round cutter, cut out circles of the date/nut mixture.  You can leave them in circles or form them into oval shape with your fingers.  It was super easy!  If you feel like a nut, dip one side of an almond into the melted chocolate and place it in the center of the candy oval.  Let the chocolate for those harden in the fridge for a few minutes.  Put each piece of candy on a fork and dip it into the melted chocolate, also spooning excess chocolate over the top.  Tap the candy on the sides of the glass bowl, letting the excess chocolate smooth out and drip down.  Place the candy on a wax paper lined plate.  When finished dipping the candy, put the plateful in the refrigerator until the chocolate is hardened (5-10 minutes).  (I only covered half the date candy in chocolate, but the rest is still sitting in the fridge waiting to be eaten plain—still good! or cut and dipped in more chocolate.)  The 3 ounces of melted chocolate was enough for about 8 candies.   Store candies in the refrigerator.

Healthy Date Coconut Candy 2You don’t HAVE to dip them in chocolate and they are still really good.  I like the bigger, flaked coconut in these.  But these are certainly delicious WITH the chocolate coating—just remember, “sometimes you feel like a nut…….sometimes you don’t”.  (And remember, no matter which way you do them, there’s almonds in the date mixture.)

I think I hear one calling my name right now……………………………