27 June 2008

Sticky, Nutty, Sweetness

These are probably the most indulgent sweets I've made yet. I'd found the recipe on Celine's site way back in October 2007, printed it out, and kept it in my big "To-do" pile since then. Before I go any further, I just have to say that I'm a HUGE fan of Celine's blog. Someone really needs to "discover" her and offer a gigantic cookbook deal.

That said, on with the deliciousness.

When I first made these (as you can see from the photos), they were pretty sticky. They also didn't set well at room temperature and were way too sweet. Well, duh, Deb. I hadn't cut the agave nectar appropriately. However, the addition of melted carob chips to the top of the batch helped bring some cohesiveness to the candy. It also reminded folks of a combination of Reese's pb cups and Nestle's Crunch bars. What could be bad?

I made a few alterations to her recipe -- pretty much all the ingredients -- and a few directions as well. By the way, it may seem like a few directions, but the whole recipe takes only about 20 minutes to make (except for the chilling time). So, please go check the original, but here how I made them after I adjusted (post-photos) for stickiness and sweetness.

Peanut Butter Crispy Brown Rice Treats


3 cups crisp brown rice cereal (I use Erewhon gluten-free, organic. It's great and marginally sweetened with brown rice syrup -- less than 1 g of sugars per serving.)
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter (Any nut butter is good here. My next try will use cashew.)
Scant 1/3 cup agave nectar (You might even want to use less since a little goes a long way here.)
1 cup unsweetened carob chips


1. Line an 8-in. pan with parchment paper. You may need to put some heavy things in the pan until you're ready to use it so that the paper stays in place.
2. If you keep your peanut butter in the refrigerator (like we do), heat it until it's easily spreadable (about 20 seconds in the microwave). Just don't cook it.
3. In a large bowl, blend the peanut butter and agave nectar until smooth.
4. Mix in the brown rice cereal until it's completely coated with the peanut butter mixture.
5. Here's where it gets messy. Scoop the mixture into your prepared pan. Lightly wet your fingers or use a lightly oil-sprayed spatula to press it all into the pan evenly. Set the pan aside for a few minutes. It will be fine.
6. Using either a double-boiler or a microwave, heat the carob chips until they're melted. Whisk until the carob is smooth.
7. Pour the melted carob over the candy in the pan and chill covered for at least an hour.

8. Using the edges of the parchment paper, lift the candy out of the pan and cut it into squares. If you don't want the carob to "break" (which mine did because I didn't do this), heat your knife with hot water prior to cutting.
9. Enjoy!


Celine said...

I so have to try your version now, Deb.
♥ for what you said at the top too.

Anonymous said...

Deb, these look delicious. The chocolate lover in me will have to use the real thing when I try these, though. :)

You may already know about it, but I just came across Michael Ruhlman's recommendation for a cookbook all about baking with agave nectar here.

Deb Schiff said...

Thanks, Celine! Can't wait to see how yours turns out. ;D

Deb Schiff said...

Thanks to you too, Lauren.

Indeed, I do know about Ruhlman's ruling on the book. I blogged about it here: http://alteredplates.blogspot.com/2008/06/great-craters-of-almond-and-raspberry.html.

Amy said...

Oh my, these sound so good! I'll have to give them a try soon.

Deb Schiff said...

Thanks, Amy! They are addictive. You have been warned. ;D

Anonymous said...

Hello Deb,

this recipe looks marvelous! It's great that you spread the word about agave nectar. One of the most underrated (unknown) qualities of this healthy sweetener is its ability to enhance the natural flavors of the foods it's combined with. I've never eaten better fresh berries than after I mixed them with agave nectar. The fruit itself tastes divine, but the juices take you beyond heaven. Oh, my - these funny culinary superlatives, right?

Thanks so much for commenting on my blog "Chef Keem's Squid Kitchen. If you like, come visit my squidoo pages about my flavored agave nectar brand "Agasweet". I've created this beautiful sweetener and condiment 4 years ago, and it's sold at many Whole Foods Markets and other fine retailers across the Southwest. I offer great deals on eBay, accessible through my squidoo pages.

On my various "Agave" pages I talk about the plant and the harvest of the juice, and I offer many recipes such as an incredible peach cobbler made with agave nectar, in this case my Cinnamon and Mexican Vanilla flavored Agasweet.

Good luck with your fabulous blog. I subscribed to it in my Google reader and I will follow with interest what you will write about in the future.

All the best,
Chef Keem

Anonymous said...

Oh, these look so good! And I do have a weakness for chocolate and PB! One thing about being vegan, I do miss Peanut Butter Cups - and am currently on a mission to concoct my own...but this recipe could hold me until that day comes!

Deb Schiff said...

Thanks, Sara!

You could definitely make these into balls, dip them into chocolate or carob and chill them. How great would that be? ;)

bitt said...

wow, i am drooling!

Deb Schiff said...

Thanks, Aimee! Yeah, I need to make these again soon. ;D