24 Sep 2012
Cybele Pascal and I met at a food blogging conference over a year ago. Her reputation preceded the opportunity to hear her speak on a panel addressing food allergies. Her story is one that many moms can relate to and involves learning to cook with her son’s food allergies in mind. She is an outspoken expert and passionate advocate for cooking allergen-free.
While it’s long been my passion to teach newly diagnosed, and not so newly diagnosed folks living allergy-free how to cook with alternative ingredients, sometimes it’s equally gratifying to work with what might already be in your cupboards (and mine!). It’s a real thrill to send you to the store, and I mean just about any store, to find all the ingredients for an allergy-friendly treat, without asking you to blend a multitude of flours or figure out how to pronounce “xanthan gum”, much less, order a bunch of stuff online at a specialty grocer, and then wait for it to arrive. The following recipe is one of those recipes… allergy-friendly with mainstream ingredients, which can easily be purchased at your local supermarket. Made with Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice Gluten-Free Cereal, Dark Karo syrup, granulated cane sugar, Sunflower Seed Butter (now widely available), and Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Chips (also widely available), this recipe is easier than pie. Way easier.
Introducing the shopper-friendly, allergy-friendly, kid-friendly, vegan, gluten-free Chocolate Rice Crispy Treat (aka, Scotcheroos). This modern spin on an old-fashioned favorite is perfect for an after-school snack, school parties, picnics, dessert, and any time. It’s naturally gluten-free and free of all top-8-allergens responsible for 90% of food allergies, plus it’s sesame-free.
Sunflower seed butter is used in place of marshmallow as the binder (which contain eggs and/or soy and/or fish gelatin). In addition to being supremely delicious, sunflower seed butter is also packed with protein and vitamin E, so you can feel indulged and virtuous all at the same time. Dark Karo syrup contains molasses instead of high-fructose corn syrup, and thus is better in my opinion, but dark and light corn syrup are interchangeable. You can also try making this recipe with gluten-free brown rice syrup instead, for a corn-free version. And our featured ingredient, Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice is used in place of traditional Rice Krispies, for pure whole grain gluten-free goodness.
As an added bonus, this recipe is a really great one to whip up with the kids. They can cook, you can supervise… and the best part? No oven involved. It’s a no-bake treat for these hot days of Indian summer. Now that’s freedom. Enjoy!
Chocolate Rice Crispy Treats
Makes 16 squares
1/2 cup dark Karo syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup SunButter
3 cups rice crispy cereal
1 cup dairy-free, soy-free chocolate chips
1. Grease an 8 by 8-inch pan.
2. Place dark Karo syrup and sugar in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture just begins to boil.
3. Remove from the heat and stir in the SunButter, mixing well until combined. Add the rice crispies and mix, working quickly. Press the mixture into the pan. Set aside.
4. Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave, stirring at 30-second increments, or melt in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Spread the melted chocolate evenly over the rice crispy mixture. Let cool until the chocolate layer sets. Cut into 16 squares once cool.
Reprinted with permission from The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook: How to Bake Without Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Eggs, Soy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, and Sesame by Cybele Pascal, copyright © 2009. Published by Celestial Arts, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group. Photo credit: Chugrad McAndrews.
About Cybele Pascal
Cybele Pascal is the author of two bestselling cookbooks, The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook and The Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook, and the forthcoming Allergy-Free and Easy Cooking (12/4/12). She has appeared on The Martha Stewart Show, the Food Network, the Today show, Good Morning America Health, PBS, and NPR. She is a leading blogger in the field with an award-winning website, and lectures and teaches nationally. Pascal serves as a Celebrity Ambassador Who Cares for FAAN (Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network) and is the founder and president of Cybele’s Free-to-Eat, a lineof gluten-free foods that are free of the top eight allergens. For more information, visit www.cybelepascal.comAuthor Photo by Leslie Barton.