Friday, 6 April 2012

Finger-Licking Good!

We read books in our house. A lot of books. If I sit down, it's as if I've signalled to my boys that I am craving a good long reading session, and so they oblige by bringing grabbing all the books off the shelf and hauling them over to my empty lap. We sit and devour each and every story, sometime reading the same book several times before moving on, until the boys are tired and needing to move to re-energise their sweet little bodies. While reading our 'Magic School Bus' collection [I have to say, they are brilliant books! Darius can tell you all about ants, bees, bullfrogs and more simply because of the Magic School Bus!] we grew tired at the end of our beehive exploration adventure. At the end of that particular story, the class makes honey buns and Darius thought that was a fabulous way to cap off our reading adventure as well! The only problem with his plan was I had just finished baking bread right before our marathon reading session, and I had no desire to bake buns sorry kiddo!  A friend of mine was going through a bit of a challenge, so I suggested we still head to the kitchen, but that we create something new and delicious! My sweet boy met my proposition with enthusiasm, and we skipped off to the kitchen! I felt like a mad scientist creative genius as we measured, crushed, and added more to the bowl. What resulted is a sweet and salty, creamy and crunchy, mostly healthy bit of heaven. My sweet friend gave them high praise and approval, so I thought it only fair to share the recipe and see what you think!

Pretzel Crunch Cookie Bars
an original recipe created by me!

6 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 c. all natural crunchy peanut butter*
1 c. unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 c. dark chocolate chips
3/4 c. broken pretzel pieces

3/4 c. dark chocolate, melted

4 tbsp raw peanuts, chopped
4 tbsp pretzel pieces, chopped

For the Base: mix the first batch of ingredients listed in a big bowl. Mix until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated, then pour into a foil lined, and greased, 8x8 pan.

For the Chocolate Layer: Next, melt the chocolate in 10-20 second increments in the microwave, making sure to stir the chocolate often. Do not melt the chocolate past the creamy stage as the chocolate will 'seize,' becoming a thick, grainy like consistency. Pour the creamy melted chocolate over the base, spreading the chocolate evenly.**

For the Topping: sprinkle the chopped pretzels and peanuts over the melted chocolate, then put in the fridge for at least 3 hours to set.

Once it is all set up, cut into bars [I cut 28 squares out of the batch] and store in an airtight container in the fridge. Enjoy!

*natural crunchy peanut butter is a must! The crunchiness adds to the texture of the bars, and the purely peanut buttery goodness is out of this world good!

**if you want a clear division of layers, put the base layer in the fridge for a few hours before pouring melted chocolate over it. When both layers are creamy, they blend together a bit, but the blurring of lines is something that doesn't bother me one bit in this dessert!

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