Happy Day After Valentine’s Day! If you have kids in school, they had a party, right, and brought home cards and treats and stuff? Yeah, mine, too. Filled with lollipops and Twizzlers. Here’s the thing – my son is 21 months old, in a class with 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 year olds. Ummm, choking hazard, maybe? And a whole lotta sugar that my already very energetic toddler does not need.
But, truthfully, I am of that “all things in moderation” school of thought. I have seen way too many kids who are denied all access to anything containing a speck of sugar, then you put them at a birthday party or family gathering, and they go nuts, and gorge themselves to the point of sickness. I’d rather give my kid a treat on occasion, so that it does not become the forbidden fruit that is so tempting. So last night, he did get half of the cupcake they sent home from school. But the lollipops and Twizzlers – well those are in the trash.
And I like to make sweet treats, and I am happier giving those to The Bug (and myself and The Hubby), when I know what went into it (even if it is lots of white flour and white sugar). But in this case, I tried to stick with unrefined sweeteners (brown rice syrup), and pack in a little bit of nutrition in the form of Brown Rice Krispies (OK, OK, commercial, processed food, but brown rice instead of white, and gluten-free for those with celiac or wheat sensitivities, like me), natural peanut butter (protein), and chocolate (ahh, the antioxidants). I am not saying these are a low calorie health food, but when you want a treat that you won’t feel as guilty about, then give them a try. The Bug, The Hubby, and all of the Administrative Associates that work on his floor loved them. Even a woman on Weight Watchers broke down. And almost had two!
If you can’t find the Brown Rice ones, regular Rice Krispies would work fine, too, or, if you want to stick with the whole grains, I am sure you could even substitute puffed rice in this recipe. And I am betting corn syrup could be used in place of the brown rice syrup.
And about those goody bags, since I am new to having a kid in school, and unfortunately most places seem to want packaged food now, due to all of the kids with allergies, let me know if you have any recommendations for good treats to send in for holiday parties, let me know in the comments.
Salted Caramel PB Krispie Bars (make one 8×8 square pan, I cut it into about 25 pieces)
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
1 T butter
1 T heavy cream
1/4 t coarse sea salt (if you only have fine salt or kosher salt, you may want to try a little less)
3 cups Brown Rice Krispies (or regular ones or puffed rice)
3/4 cup natural peanut butter (or almond butter or cashew butter or sunflower seed butter)
6 oz dark chocolate (I used Ghirardelli 60% chocolate chips. These are larger than regular chocolate chocolate chips, so it was about 1 cup)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 t vanilla
1/4 t coarse sea salt for sprinkling on top
Crust & Peanut Butter Layers
- Line an 8 inch square pan with plastic wrap (trust me, it will be much easier to get them out)
- In a medium pot, heat the brown rice syrup over low to medium heat until it is bubbling.
- Add the butter, 1 T heavy cream, and sea salt. Stir until the butter melts and everything is incorporated.
- Stir in the Rice Krispies until they are fully covered, and press into the pan.
- Spread peanut butter over the top of the Rice Krispie layer, and throw the pan in the fridge while you make the ganache
Chocolate Ganache Layer
- Chop up the chocolate into small pieces and put in a bowl.
- Heat the heavy cream in a small pot over low to medium heat until it comes to a simmer.
- Pout the hot cream over the chocolate, let sit for a few seconds, then stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. If you forget to chop your chocolate, and it doesn’t melt all the way, just put it back on a low heat for a few seconds to get it all melty.
- Stir in the vanilla.
- Pull the pan out of the fridge and spread the ganache over the top. Sprinkle with the sea salt.
- Put it back in the fridge until the ganache sets, then remove from the pan using the plastic wrap, and cut into squares.
Tuesday Tea Party at Sweetology 101