Frozen Chocolate Crunch Bites
I’m not much for sweets. Put a slice of cake in front of me, and I could take it or leave it. And I’m even less inclined when it comes to candy. (Sorry grocery store checkout stand candy trap, I’m immune to your colorful, sugary seduction techniques.) But hey, give me a slice of nachos for dessert, and I’m a happy gal. (What? Don’t pretend like that doesn’t sound good.)
I mean sure, as a kid I loved candy and raged on an annual Halloween sugar high. But I’ve always been drawn to dark chocolate and less-sweet options. And man, do these frozen chocolate crunch bites totally fit the bill. These candies are an adult take on a childhood favorite. Thanks to the use of cacao powder, the chocolate flavor is rich and undiluted. A balance of sweetness from maple syrup and saltiness from well, salt, along with almond butter make these candies more complex than their classic counterpart. The buttery smooth filling is achieved with coconut oil, and the crunch comes from crispy brown rice cereal. Note, be sure to choose crispy rice cereal to achieve the desired crunch. This recipe does not work well with puffed rice, which has a larger and softer grain that results in a chewy, stale tasting candy.
Did I mention that these candies also require minimal effort to make and keep fantastically in the freezer? It’s possibly dangerous to have them so accessible, but they’re a great bite-sized option for when you want just a little something sweet. And they’re so much more delicious than something store-bought and better for you to boot! It’s a win-win.
This recipe is featured in the following menus: Game Day Chili Menu
- ½ cup coconut oil, cold pressed and unrefined
- ⅓ cup cacao powder (I use Navitas Naturals brand)
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons almond butter, unsweetened (you can use either unsalted or salted, which is my preference)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup crispy brown rice cereal (I use Erewhon brand)
- Prepare your mold/dish.
- I recommend using a silicone mold tray to create clean, uniform candies that pop-out easily. (This is the one I like to use.) There is no need to grease or line the molds. If you don't have a silicone mold, you can also use a standard loaf pan. Line the loaf pan with plastic wrap or parchment paper and set aside.
- Melt the oil.
- Measure ½ cup coconut oil into a small bowl. Melt in the microwave for 1 min 30 seconds to 2 minutes on 50% power or until liquid. Set aside to cool slightly. Note: If your maple syrup has been in the refrigerator, add it to a second small bowl and microwave it along with the coconut oil for the first 30 seconds.
- Combine the ingredients.
- To a medium bowl (or liquid measuring cup), add the cacao powder, maple syrup, almond butter, vanilla, salt, and the reserved coconut oil. Whisk to combine and make sure the cacao powder is dissolved and well incorporated. Add the puffed rice cereal, and stir gently to evenly coat and distribute.
- Distribute and freeze the candies.
- Using a cookie scoop, distribute the mixture into the silicone mold tray. Carefully fill each cube almost to the top so that the rice and the liquid chocolate are evenly distributed among each square. Note: depending on the size of your mold, there will be some unused cubes. If using a loaf pan, simply pour the chocolate rice mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan.
- Place in the freezer on an even surface for 30 minutes to solidify. At that point, you can unmold the candies from the silicone mold. Depending on the type of mold, you may need to run a butter knife around the edges of each cube to make it easier to pop them out. If using a loaf pan, turn out the chocolate sheet onto a board and cut into pieces. Transfer the candies to a storage container and keep in the freezer until ready to serve.
- Make-ahead and storage notes.
- Candies will keep well for a week in a sealed container in the freezer.