Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Brown Rice Squares

Sometimes thoughts of what my life will be like when all three of my kiddies have grown and no longer live in our home pop into my head.  I don't really like those thoughts.  They make me heart sad and I'm guaranteed a tear or two rolling down my cheek. 

Don't get me wrong, we have our moments when all five of us are driving each other nuts, moments when someone isn't as kind as they should be, and moments when I want to walk up to my room, close my door, and go to bed and it's only nine in the morning.  But, when my three kiddies grow up to be big humans and have lives and families of their own, I will remember and miss all the small things that made up our everyday lives. 

I will miss making breakfast for them in the morning.  I will miss being asked to "come cover me up."  I will miss kissing hands before school.  I will miss family dinners every night (however crazy they may be).  I will miss hearing "Mom" a hundred times a day.  I will miss "sleep loose" and "sweet dreams".  I will miss hearing about their day, their friends, what they did at recess, and I will miss our afterschool snacks.  (Stella told me after she moves out she'll still come over for a snack in the afternoon.)

I know when we get to that point in our lives, each of us will figure out a new normal, but until then, here's to many more afterschool snacks!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Brown Rice Squares

2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup honey
3/4 cup brown rice syrup
1 1/2 cups unsweetened peanut butter
1/2 cup sesame seeds, toasted
6 cups crispy brown rice cereal
1 cup chopped dry-roasted peanuts
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips, divided

Spray a 9 by 13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.  In a saucepan, combine the butter, honey, brown rice syrup, and peanut butter.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until warmed and combined.

In a very large bowl, combine the sesame seeds, crispy rice cereal, peanuts, and salt.  Pour the peanut butter mixture over the dry ingredients and fold until the peanut butter mixture evenly coats the dry ingredients.  Let cool for a couple of minutes and add 1 cup of chocolate chips to the peanut butter/cereal mixture and stir to combine.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and using the back of a spatula or a bench scraper, press to create a nice, even layer.  Sprinkle the remaining 3/4 cup chocolate chips on top (I like to give my chocolate chips a rough chop before I sprinkle them on top) and press again down again with the back of spatula or a bench scraper.

Refrigerate of at least 1 hour before cutting into squares in the pan.  Cover and store at room temperature for 3 to 4 days.  (We like to keep ours in the freezer.)

Recipe slightly adapted from Whole Grain Mornings