Thursday, March 18, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Squares

Mmm... Rice crisps with chocolate and peanut butter, and one cup of sunflower seeds to reduce the guilt by a smidgen. But not too much. Try other nut butters or other nuts and seeds if you like, or substitute cornflakes for some or all of the crispy rice cereal.

1 box gluten free crispy rice cereal (about 7 cups)
1 cup roasted unsalted sunflower seeds
2 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)

1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1 cup unsweetened smooth organic peanut butter
1 cup chocolate chips

Lightly grease a 9x13" pan.

In a large bowl, combine crispy rice cereal and seeds. Stir lightly.

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine sugar and corn syrup. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and the mixture just begins to boil. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter and chocolate chips until well blended and chocolate is melted.

Stir peanut-butter mixture into cereal and seeds. Press into the prepared pan and allow to cool before cutting into small, rich squares.

Ginger Crunch Squares

Here is another recipe adapted from a classic New Zealand baking recipe. It makes sixteen buttery, gingery, crunchy cookies. I might fiddle with this recipe a bit more another time to perfect the texture, but this adaptation was certainly crunchy and good, a thin ginger shortbread with a chewy glaze. Next time, I might like a teensy bit of chewiness in the bottom layer, though. Maybe some almond flour to replace some of the sweet rice flour? Maybe a bit of brown sugar to make it softer and more molasses-y?

1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
1/4 cup potato starch
2 heaping tbsp tapioca starch
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp (scant) baking powder
3/4 tsp ginger
6 tbsp cold butter

2 tbsp butter
2 tsp golden syrup
2 tsp ginger
1/3 cup icing sugar

Line an 8x8" metal baking tin with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a medium bowl, combine sugar, flours, xanthan, baking powder, and ginger. Cut in 6 tbsp butter finely. Pat crumbs gently into lined baking tin. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until lightly golden brown.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt 2 tbsp butter with golden syrup and ginger. When melted, stir in icing sugar until smooth.

Spread warm icing over squares while hot. Spread evenly. Allow to cool about 30 minutes before cutting into 16 squares with a long, thin-bladed serrated knife.