Wholesome Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars
Imagine taking a wholesome version of a Rice Krispies marshmallow treat and doing a mash-up with a healthy Reeses Peanut Butter Cup–and you get these peanut butter chocolate bars. The original recipe comes from the cookbook Levana Cooks Dairy-Free! (Skyhorse Publishing, 2007) by Levana Kirschenbaum.
I have made a few suggestions to replace some of the more refined sweeteners with their more wholesome sisters–I substitute agave syrup for corn syrup and Sucanat for white sugar. If you don’t have agave or Sucanat, you can play around with other liquid sweeteners and dry sweeteners–the recipe is pretty flexible.
1 cup agave syrup
2 cups smooth peanut butter
1 cup Sucanat
1 cup pure cocoa powder
1/4 cup espresso, or very strong coffee
1/2 cup rum
10 cups organic crisped rice cereal
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips (see note)
2 tablespoons oil
1. Place the agave syrup, peanut butter, Sucanat, cocoa, coffee, and rum in a large pot, and heat on a low flame until the mixture is smooth (this will take about five minutes).
2. Add the crisped rice and combine thoroughly, still on the flame, with a wooden spoon. Pour the mixture while still warm onto a large, well-greased 1-inch deep cookie sheet. Pat the mixture very firmly and uniformly. Refrigerate for one hour.
3. Melt the chocolate chips with the oil mixture in a double boiler, stirring until smooth. Spread evenly over the cooled mixture. Cool again about 1 hour.
4. Using a sharp knife, cut into 1 inch wide by 2-inch wide bars. Store refrigerated in an airtight tin.
NOTE: I like to use SunSpire chocolate chips–they are organic, vegan, and Fair Trade Certified.