My mother-in-law makes these rice crispie treats that are so good. Made with peanut butter and corn syrup, topped with almost a half inch of melted milk chocolate and butterscotch chips. Right after Tyler and I were married we drove to his annual family reunion and I remember eating a ton of these. Then in the tent that night I woke up feeling awful. Junkitis! Tyler held my hair back as I puked several times and stayed up the whole night with me. He's a winner.
Even after that episode I still loved those treats. I haven't made them in a while, but when I read heidi's recipe for power bars, it made me think of them.
Of course I took her recipe and meddled. I always just can't leave it alone. I changed a bunch of things, and I wanted to have that same layer of chocolate, but grown up. I like how thin the chocolate layer is, and the sea salt on top really helps balance the sweetness. This is the first time I've used ground flax seed meal, so I just added what I thought was okay, I would probably add a little more next time. I always feel better when I can have a lot of fiber and chocolate at the same time.
Now my mother-in-law eats a vegan and gluten-free whole foods diet, so I think this would fit right in. These are really good, I love using recipes using brown rice syrup, it isn't too sweet and I like it much better than honey. This recipe is so easy to customize, just keep the volume of dry goods the same and use your favorite nuts, seed, dried fruit, spices or whatever.
Powerbars with dark chocolate and sea salt
adapted from 101 cookbooks
1 tablespoon coconut oil (or regular butter)
1 1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
2/3 cup (unsweetened) shredded coconut
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups unsweetened crisp brown rice cereal
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons ground flax seed meal
1 cup brown rice syrup
1/4 cup natural cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup dark chocolate
1/2 teaspoon coconut oil (or regular butter)
coarse sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking pan with the coconut oil. (next time I think I will just line it with parchment paper) If you like thick power bars, opt for an 8 by 8-inch pan; for thinner bars, use a 9 by 13-inch pan. (I used an 8 by 8 pan, but next time I'll probably use the larger size to make them smaller.)
On a rimmed baking sheet toast the pumpkin seeds, almonds, and coconut for about 7 minutes, or until the coconut is deeply golden. Toss once or twice along the way. Mix the oats, toasted nuts, coconut, cinnamon, flax seed meal, and the cereal, together in a large bowl and set aside.
Combine the rice syrup, sugar, salt, and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir constantly as it comes to a boil and thickens just a bit, about 4 minutes. Pour the syrup over the oat mixture and stir until it is evenly incorporated.
Spread into the prepared pan, leveling the top. Melt the dark chocolate and remaining coconut oil and spread in a thin layer on top of the mixture. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and cool to room temperature before cutting into whatever size bars you desire. I let them set in the fridge and cut them while they were cold, but they are best eaten at room temperature so they are a bit softer.
Makes 16 to 24 bars.