These rich treats veganised from Smitten Kitchen are sure to keep both the kids and adults happy over the school holidays! They are a real American combo, reminding me of the famous Reese’s cups. Also, an 8 inch slab serves loads as you can cut these small due to the luscious richness of them. Also very cheap to make. Don’t be put off by the sugar caramel making, I did it without a thermometer so you can too!
For the crispy crust:
1 3/4 cups puffed rice cereal such as Rice Krispie’s or puffed brown rice
1/4 cup unrefined sugar
3 tablespoons golden syrup
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
For the chocolate peanut butter layer:
5 ounces vegan dark or ‘milk’ chocolate, roughly chopped
1 cup creamy or crunchy natural peanut butter
For the chocolate icing:
3 ounces vegan dark or ‘milk’ chocolate, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon golden syrup
4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
Make the crispy crust:
Grease and/or line an 8 inch square tin.
Put the cereal in a large bowl and set aside.
Pour 1/4 cup water into a small saucepan and slowly add the sugar and syrup without getting any sugar or syrup on the sides of the pan. Use a wooden spoon to stir the mixture just until combined and the sugar dissolved. If you have one, place a candy thermometer in the saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat and bring to a boil; cook until the mixture reaches the soft ball stage, 235 degrees F. Alternatively, If you don’t own a candy thermometer, have a small shallow glass of iced water ready and see this tutorial.
Remove from the heat, stir in the margarine, then pour the mixture over the cereal. Working quickly, stir until the cereal is thoroughly coated, then pour it into the prepared pan. Using your hands, press the mixture into the bottom of the pan in a flat even layer. Allow the crust cool to room temperature while you make the next layer.
Make the chocolate peanut butter layer:
In a large nonreactive metal bowl, stir together the chocolate and the peanut butter. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and cook, stirring with a rubber spatula, until the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl from the pan and stir for about 30 seconds to cool slightly. Alternatively, melt the chocolate and peanut butter together in the microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring after each burst. Pour the mixture over the cooled crust. Put the pan in the refrigerator for 1 hour, or until the top layer hardens or place in the freezer to set quicker.
Make the chocolate icing:
In a large nonreactive metal bowl, combine the chocolate, syrup, and coconut oil. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and cook, stirring with a rubber spatula, until the mixture is completely smooth. Remove the bowl from the pan and stir for 30 seconds to cool slightly. Alternatively melt all the ingredients together in the microwave at 30 second bursts stirring often.
Pour the mixture over the chilled chocolate peanut butter layer and allow it to settle over the top layer, completely covering the peanut butter, you may need to tilt the tin around to allow for all areas to be covered. Put the pan into the refrigerator for about 1 hour, or until the topping hardens. If you are rushed, you can pop it straight into the freezer to set quicker.
Cut into 16 squares to serve. The bars can be stored in the refrigerator, covered tightly, for up to 4 days.
Nutrition based on 16 bars per recipe;