June 2017: Gluten Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Bars

HELLO SUMMER!

So June should be all about strawberries & cream or ice cream or something cool and refreshing but nope – I have chocolate and peanut butter on the brain. Don’t ask.

Though it is not a typical treat for this time of year, the cravings actually came in handy because this is a NO BAKE recipe (YAY!).  I mean who wants to turn on the oven in our sweltering heat – which by the way is already in the 90’s with lots of humidity (BOO!) in good ‘ol Minnie-soh-tah. So this was a total win for me.

As you can see by the picture below, these bars have a super creamy chocolate top and then the main bar part is a super pleasant crunchy but not hard peanut butter bar. It actually is a total oxymoron because it’s soft and crunchy all at the same time – they are the BEST!

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It also was easy enough that my daughter could help which was also nice because she is becoming very interested in the kitchen and learning how to cook and bake is a life long skill that everyone can use to their advantage.  Thank you to the Food Network for sparking this in her!!

RECIPE CONVERSION DECISION

Well, one night while I was surfing Pinterest desperately trying to find gluten free chocolate peanut butter bars this recipe popped up from The Girl Who Ate Everything blog.  It definitely was not gluten free but it was quick and easy so score – I pinned it to my 2017 conversion board.

After a quick glance further at the ingredients I knew that this one would be very easy to convert.  The only items not gluten free where the pretzels and Ritz crackers.

ALL ABOUT THOSE CRACKERS

If you follow me on Facebook at The Sasse Chronicles you have seen that recently I shared that Lance came out with a full size gluten free Ritz type cracker!! ALLELUIA!

They taste absolutely as close to a Ritz cracker that we are ever going to get gluten free because I tried to make some from scratch and they were a complete and utter fail.  I was so happy to see these guys on the shelves recently.

A note about the recipe:  Please crush the crackers FIRST before you measure them. I used a mini food processor so I didn’t have to dirty the big one. Worked great!

AND….. I apologize for this crappy picture. I actually searched online for an official pic but could not find one.  These crackers are that new!  I found them at my local Target store.

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THEN CAME THE PRETZELS

The other non-gluten free item was the pretzels. Now, there are sooooo many wonderful gluten free pretzel options on the market today from Snyder, Glutino, and Aldi but we had these little guys laying around needing to be used so I crushed these babies up and they worked out great!

I also crushed these guys using the mini food processor before I measured them for the recipe.

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HERE’S THE RECIPE

Gluten Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Bars

Adapted from this recipe on the blog by The Girl Who Ate Everything

INGREDIENTS:

For the Bars:

  • 3/4 Cup (1 1/2 sticks) softened butter
  • 1 Cup crushed gluten free pretzels
  • 1 Cup crushed gluten free Lance baked original crackers
  • 1 1/2 Cup of powdered sugar
  • 1 Cup crunchy peanut butter

For the Chocolate Topping:

  • 1/4 Cup of Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1 1/2 Cup of Chocolate Chips

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Line a 9×13 baking dish with aluminum foil very carefully so that all of it is covered and some hang over the sides. I used two sheets to accomplish this.
  2. In medium bowl combine melted butter, crushed gluten free pretzels, crushed gluten free Lance Original crackers, powdered sugar, and crunchy peanut butter.
  3. Press bar mixture into the bottom of the foil lined baking dish. (It will look like it will no way cover the entire bottom and still be a bar – but it does!!!)
  4. In a small bowl, melt chocolate chips and ¼ cup peanut butter in the microwave in 30 second intervals until melted. Stirring in between intervals so the chocolate does not seize.
  5. Once the chocolate/peanut butter mixture is ready, pour over the bar layer in the pan and spread evenly.
  6. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until chocolate has set before cutting into squares.

NOTES: When ready to cut the bars, simply lift the entire bar out of the pan by the edges of the tin foil.  You can then proceed to cut the bars into desired pieces.  They are good both cold and room temp!

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