It’s been a little while since our Memorial Day celebration, but I felt I needed to share this easy-to-make little treat I made for the occasion. Our event was filled with lots of crawfish, smoked meats – pork shoulder, pork ribs, and brisket (all local, organic and pasture-raised), potato and garden salads, fruit, and a few treats. Since I was spending a great deal of time smoking the meat (I started the night before smoking the brisket and pork shoulder low and slow, so it would be tender and juicy), I knew I couldn’t dedicate a great deal of time to baking. However, I wanted something that was kid-friendly, and gluten, dairy, and refined sugar-free, so all of my guests could enjoy them. But what to make?
When I saw these brown rice crispy treats over at Queen of Quinoa, and then these coconutty crispy bars with chocolate over at Go Dairy Free, I knew I could come up with a marshmallow-free version. I played around with some ingredients and some brown rice crispy cereal, and finally came up with a crispy treat that was crispy, chewy, indulgent and light, all at the same time. It brought out that love of all crispy treats that must be hard-wired within my soul – and along with the peanut butter, it was like my inner child was grinning from ear to ear.
I think you’ll find they’ll satisfy all the kids in your life, young and old.
Peanut Butter Brown Rice Crispy Treats (gluten-free, vegetarian/vegan, refined sugar-free)
2/3 c smooth, natural peanut butter (I used Justin’s)
1/4 c honey (use more agave nectar, or brown rice syrup, for vegan)
1/2 c agave nectar
1 oz food-grade cocoa butter (you can try substituting coconut butter, or unsweetened baking chocolate, for a different taste – I haven’t tried either of these personally)
1/4 c chopped roasted peanuts (salted if desired)
6 cups brown rice crispy cereal (Erewhon sells a gluten-free variety – that’s what I used)
Grease a 9X13 inch baking dish and set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine the peanut butter, honey, agave nectar, and cocoa butter. Place over medium-low heat and stir until everything is melted and combined. Meanwhile, combine peanuts and cereal in a large bowl. Once peanut butter mixture is melted, pour over cereal and stir thoroughly to combine everything well. Scrape cereal mixture into the prepared baking dish. Refrigerate for at least an hour before cutting into squares.
I prefer to keep these refrigerated until serving, as they don’t stick together as well as the marshmallow-laden version once warmed to room temperature. They can stay out for an hour or so, however.
Makes about 2 dozen squares.
This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free.