Tag Archives: chocolate

My Chocolate Toffee Cracker Bark is a winner!

My recipe for Chocolate Toffee Cracker Bark will be published in the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness‘ Online Holiday Cookbook! The recipe contest stipulated that you had to use Crunchmaster gluten free crackers in your recipe. I decided to try a sweet dish, since it seemed like the majority of people would be making something savory. This bark would be a great option to bring to a holiday party, or give as a gift. I’m still chipping away at mine, and it will keep in the fridge for a couple weeks.


Chocolate Toffee Cracker Bark
IMG_1155
Ingredients:

3/4 package Crunchmaster original crackers
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 t. vanilla extract
a few pinches of sea salt
1 cup chocolate chips (I used milk, but you could use any kind)
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup raisins

Directions

1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil
2. Preheat the oven to 350F
3. Line the bottom of the sheet with crackers, filling about 2/3 of the sheet

crunchmaster

4. In a saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar, cook until the mixture boils and thickens.
5. Remove from heat, add the salt and vanilla, and pour over crackers. Spread in a thin layer to cover.
5. Bake for 15 minutes
6. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Let stand 5 minutes, then spread with a spatula.
6. Sprinkle with pecans and raisins, push into the chocolate lightly with spatula.

Place pan in refrigerator to cool completely. Break into pieces and keep in the fridge.

So excited to see the rest of the winners’ recipes!

Chocolate chip “cookie dough” stuffed rice krispy treats

Because it’s just a ridiculous concept, I had to try to make these chocolate chip cookie dough stuffed rice krispy treats that I saw on Pinterest from Love Veggies and Yoga. I combined that recipe with this recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie for healthy chocolate chip “cookie dough” made from chickpeas.

I had made the chocolate chip cookie dough dip recipe before and eaten it plain, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to amp it up a bit.

For the cookie dough dip (inspired by this recipe):

  • 1 1/2 cups chickpeas (1 can, drained) (250g)
  • 3 pinches salt
  • tiny bit over 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 2-3 T. almond milk
  • 2 T. brown sugar (I used Splenda blend)
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 to 3 T gluten free oats

Directions: Add all ingredients (including just half of the chocolate chips) in a food processor, and blend until very smooth. Then mix in the rest of the chocolate chips. Chill in the refrigerator.

For the rice krispy bars (inspired by this recipe):

I made a half recipe of the normal rice krispy recipe on the back of the box, but if you were using a full 9 x 13 pan I would recommend using the whole recipe.

2 cups mini marshmallows (I use Campfire) plus an additional 1/2-3/4 cup

4 cups gluten free rice krispies (note: don’t use the puffed rice, not even close to the same. They’ll turn out soggy/overly chewy, I’ve made that mistake before.)

3 T. butter

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions: Take the marshmallows (reserving about 1 c of marshmallows) and melt them in a pan over a low heat with the butter. Add vanilla. Remove from heat and add in the Rice Krispies cereal. Stir to combine.

Put them together:

  1. Spray a brownie pan and press half of the rice krispy mixture into it (I also spray my hands to press it down without it sticking).
  2. Press clumps of the cookie dough onto the top of that layer so it’s fairly equally spread. Then sprinkle the extra mini marshmallows on.
  3. Quickly spread the rest of the rice krispy mixture on top and press down to seal the middle layer in.
  4. Allow to chill in the fridge while you melt some chocolate chips in the microwave.
  5. Spread chocolate over top and put back in the fridge to set up.

I’m trying to forget that these are in my fridge right now, but it’s not working very well.

Thanks to Pinterest for another brilliant find!

Gluten free Valentine’s Day Candy

As Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, here are a few sweets that are safe to give to your gluten-free sweetheart. Obviously your first line of defense is chocolate – something heart shaped or chocolate covered strawberries. Just steer clear of truffles unless you know they’re gluten free because I’ve found that most of them have barley or malt in them.

Something new I learned today = Godiva and Lindt chocolate makers explicitly say not to consume their products if you have a gluten allergy.

Godiva says “ALL of our products including solid chocolate pieces may contain gluten. Any person with a gluten allergy should NOT consume ANY of our products.”

Lindt says “Gluten can be found in several premium chocolate products that Lindt & Sprungli produces; either as a cereal ingredient or as a barley component… trace amounts of these gluten ingredients and components may have the opportunity to come in contact with non gluten products.”

I’ll admit, I totally eat Lindt truffles. The ingredients are just cream, chocolate, and butter. It also doesn’t say “may contain wheat” on the nutrition label, just that it may contain nuts. Stupid gluten free labeling. Or non labeling in this case.

Anyhoo – I guess steer clear of Godiva and Lindt to be safe, and go with one of these less classy options. Or just buy flowers 🙂

Surf Sweets Fruity Hearts
I’m not really into gummy things, but since basically all licorice is filled with wheat, these could be a good alternative.

NECCO Sweethearts conversation hearts
On NECCO’s website they have a full list of their gluten free products. Something I didn’t know was that Clark Bars are gluten free as well, I don’t think I’ve ever even had a Clark Bar because they seem like they’re for old people? I’ll have to pick one up.

Valentine’s Day M&Ms
They’re adorable, they’re pink, and besides the pastel Easter ones, they’re my favorite holiday M&Ms.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Salty almond butter and chocolate rice crispy treats

Regular rice crispy treats are one of my favorite things. They’re gooey and buttery, and I can eat about 20 of them in a sitting.

This is a dressed up and more decadent version that was inspired by these salted marcona almond bars from spabettie.

Almond butter and chocolate rice crispy treats

2 T butter
1 bag of marshmallows (mine was 7 oz.)
1/2 c. almond butter
5 cups of rice cereal (I estimated this, but so each kernel is just coated)
1/4 c. peanut butter
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. salt (my almond butter wasn’t very salty)
1/2 package chocolate chips (I had semi-sweet on hand)

In a large saucepan on low heat, melt butter, adding almond butter, vanilla, and salt, and stirring until completely melted.

Add marshmallows and stir until melted. Remove from heat and add cereal, one cup at a time until incorporated. Press into prepared pan, let cool.

Melt peanut butter a bit in the microwave and spread over top. Let cool.

Cut bars into squares. Melt chocolate and drizzle or pour on top of each bar.

Try not to eat ten at once.

Enjoy!


Chocolate in all forms

There are some times of the month when I swear I can eat chocolate at every meal. While I could definitely put down a pint of Haagen Dazs every night, I try to find healthier ways to control my cravings.

Chocolate ZICO coconut water

When I first heard that ZICO was coming out with a chocolate coconut water I thought – blech! That cannot possibly be good. I’ve tried the other flavored varieties before and they are way too sugary or taste odd to me. So I stuck to plain.

This stuff tastes almost exactly like chocolate milk. Or at least Yoohoo.

Plus it’s only 110 calories for a big bottle, and since it’s so yummy I can take a few sips and put it back in the fridge, unlike plain coconut water which I basically chug so fast I give myself the hiccups.

I need to order a case of this right away.

(source)

Lindt chocolate with a hint of sea salt

I had seen some rave reviews of this chocolate on other blogs, but I’m not usually one to just buy a big honkin car of chocolate from the store. Well, desperate times call for desperate measures.

At first it tastes just like a good piece of dark chocolate, but then, when you get a little rock of salt it causes this little flavor burst that’s so cool! It basically amplifies the effect that you get when you add salt to sweet chocolate chip cookies.

Luna chocolate-peanut butter protein bars

When I was at Target the other day, I picked up a box of these and noticed that they are now labeled gluten free. I guess they just started labeling them, which is great because it clearly differentiates them from the normal Luna bars, which are not gf because of the oats.

“Our ingredient suppliers have confirmed that all ingredients are gluten free, so they contain no gluten from wheat, rye or barley. The location where we make our food is capable of making a gluten free food and we test our finished products to confirm that they are gluten free.” (source)

I can’t say that these taste all that great. They’re protein bars, so, they taste like protein bars. But, half of one out of the freezer works for me if I have a sweet tooth after lunch.

And when all else fails, I can always turn to…

Skinny Cow Chocolate Truffle bars. Because they taste like creamy frozen pudding.  Also, their website is confusing because it says “Does not contain” and then in the list it says “gluten free”. So it does not contain gluten free? Hmm…

Either way, they are gluten free and I can eat a box in two days. Or one day, or one hour.

So, there you have it. Some slightly healthier options for when you feel the need to have a constant stream of chocolate in your diet.

Do you have any other healthy gf chocolate dessert options?

Good Things Wednesday

Yes, I know last time it was Good Things Sunday, but I’ve never really been a stickler for consistency 🙂

1.  Yesterday a very good thing happened – my order of Skinny Crisps came in the mail! I loved these the moment I tried them at G-Free NYC, and according to their website they don’t have any retail locations in DC.  So, I bucked up and ordered online – $26 for three bags and shipping, so about $8.50 a bag, which is only a dollar more than they were at G-Free NYC, so I didn’t feel too gypped.

Gimme three! Cheese, Cinnamon (my fave), and Chocolate

2.  I also learned how to actually cook a good steam-fried egg this weekend after reading my friend’s blog!  Usually I end up with the white all over the pan, breaking the yolk, or just giving up and turning the whole thing into scrambled eggs.  I served my perfect egg with salsa and spinach – I was so proud.

3.  I created a new food invention – chocolate almond protein pudding!  I impulse purchased a bag of Better Bowls pudding mix from Giant a couple weeks ago, mostly because of the big yellow “Gluten Free” label at the top of the bag.  They also market themselves as “the healthiest brand of pudding”, so, can’t go wrong with that!

Then I was looking for a good post-workout snack after my group training class at Stroga, and it seemed like a good time to bust it out.  I amped up the protein and yummy-factor by adding some whey protein and almond butter.


Better Bowls Chocolate Almond Protein Pudding

2 cups soy milk plus an additional 1/4 to 1/2 cup

1 1/2 scoops chocolate whey protein powder

2 T almond butter

Mix it all together and let it set for 10 minutes (or 3 minutes in the freezer if you are ravenous and need to eat it right away or you’ll pass out…not that I did that or anything…)

All good things!  I hope Martha Stewart doesn’t sue me for copyright infringement.  Nah – she’s probably too busy flirting with Snoop Dog for that.

Chocolate Fix: Firehook Bakery DC

After picking up a shirt from the dry cleaners that I sprayed with curry sauce when I got Thai food from Sticky Rice last weekend, I stopped into Firehook Bakery in Cleveland Park on a whim.

Usually I try to avoid bakeries because of their forbidden fruits and torturous smells.  But I thought I remembered something about them having gluten free options, so I figured I’d check it out.

The guy working there told me that they sometimes have brownies, but since they get all of their food delivered from the central Firehook bakery, they don’t have them all the time.

They did, however, have coconut macaroons.  Which are fine and dandy.  But the real star of their show are the chocolate-covered coconut macaroons.  Not ones with the chocolate mixed in, but covered in a layer of dark chocolate.

After waiting all of five minutes when I got home, I broke into it.  Um…amazing.  The chocolate is dark, but creamy, and the macaroon in the center is really moist.  Plus it’s the size of a tennis ball, which doesn’t hurt either.

If you wanted to make them yourself, I’m sure you could use this recipe tutorial which features a really awkward old people on Facebook interlude around the 2:00 mark… but why do that when the ones at Firehook are this good?

All Firehook Bakery Locations

3411 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20008
(202) 362-2253