Who’s in the mood for some healthy holiday treats?
The holiday season is upon us, bringing with it all varieties of goodies and treats. This healthified holiday treat tastes like a candy bar, without the serious sugar rush! These bar are refined sugar free and vegan if you use dairy free chocolate chips. Also, the dream bar is nut-free, making it a good option for those with nut allergy/ sensitivity.
Not to mention, they look beautiful and are sure to impress your guests!
Thanks to Angela Liddon for this beautiful recipe from Oh She Glows Every Day Cookbook!
Nut-Free Dream Bars
Recipe Source: Angela Liddon from Oh She Glows Every Day Cookbook
For the crust:
- 1 tbsp virgin coconut oil melted, plus more for the pan
- 1 ½ cups crispy rice cereal
- 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa/cacao powder
- 2 tbsp + 1½ tsp brown rice syrup
- Pinch of fine sea salt
For the filling:
- 1 cup sunflower seed butter homemade or store bought
- ¼ cup plus 1½ tsp pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup virgin coconut oil melted
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 pinches of fine sea salt
For the chocolate coating:
- ¼ cup hulled sunflower seeds
- ¾ cup non-dairy chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
- 1 tsp virgin coconut oil
Make the crust- Oil a large loaf pan (about 10- x 6-inches/ 3 L) and then line it with a piece of parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, mix together the crust ingredients until the cereal is fully coated. Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and spread it out evenly with the back of a spoon. It’ll be very sticky, but this is normal. With slightly wet hands, press the mixture down firmly and evenly into the pan. The crust mixture will seem very loose at this stage. Place in the freezer.
Make the filling- Rinse and dry the bowl you used to make the crust. In the bowl, combine the filling ingredients and stir until combined and smooth.
Remove the pan from the freezer (the crust should be firm) and spoon the filling on top of the crust. Spread it out evenly with a spatula. Return the pan to a flat surface in the freezer for about 1 hour, or until the filling is firm.
Make the chocolate coating- In a small skilly, toast the sunflower seeds over medium heat, stirring often, for 3 to 5 minutes, until the seeds are lightly golden.
Once the filling is firm, in the top of a double boiler, melt the chocolate and coconut oil over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until smooth. (Alternatively, melt them in a small pot over low heat, stirring frequently.) Turn off the heat. Spread the chocolate quickly on top of the filling (working fast ensures it doesn’t harden up before you’ve finished spreading the chocolate). Immediately sprinkle on the toasted sunflower seeds before the chocolate sets. Return the pan to the freezer until the chocolate coating is solid, about 30 minutes.
Run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen. Lift out the slab by holding the parchment paper and lifting up. Run very hot water over a sharp knife for a couple minutes (this helps the knife cut through the frozen chocolate). Slice the bar into small squares and serve immediately, as they will begin to melt at room temperature. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the freezer for up to a month.
I subbed the crispy rice cereal for brown rice puffs as I couldn’t find a rice cereal without added sugar.