Saturday, January 26, 2013

Chocolate Quinoa Crumb Bars

So, I’m still going through my lovely bag of NatureCrops puffed quinoa. I recently substituted them for rolled oats in a traditional crumb bar recipe.  They brought great flavor and texture to the bars, as well as the illusion of healthfulness.  Make no mistake, these bars are not particularly healthy.  Chocolate, Earth Balance butter, sugar...this ain't no green smoothie!  But for those days when you need to indulge, try this recipe...and make sure to share.  :)

Makes 16 squares

3/4 cup Earth Balance butter, softened
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

Chocolate Layer
1 cup vegan chocolate chips
1/2 cup almond milk
6 tablespoons Earth Balance butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
Pinch of salt

Crumb Layer
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup puffed quinoa
(and 1/3 of the crust mixture from above)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with foil and lightly grease the foil.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the Earth Balance butter until smooth.
  3. In another bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter and stir until crumbly. (I used my hands to do this)
  4. Press 2/3 of the crumb mixture onto the bottom of your baking pan and bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
  5. Next, melt the chocolate chips, almond milk, Earth Balance butter, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt together in a saucepan over low heat.  Pour the chocolate mixture over the baked crust.
  6. Combine the quinoa puffs and almond slices with the remaining 1/3 of the crumb mixture. Sprinkle over the top of the chocolate layer.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the crumb layer is golden brown.  Allow the pan to cool completely (for a few hours or overnight) on a wire rack before cutting into squares.
If you can't find puffed quinoa, you can stick with rolled oats or use another type of puffed cereal.  You can also just leave it out completely.  I'm not sure how cooked quinoa would work here, but I imagine that it would result in a more moist crumb layer.  I could be wrong though!

Enjoy!  :)