Copy-Cat KIND Bars

I’ve been hatching a plan to replicate a KIND bar for a long time, and I finally followed through. I did a lot of snooping on the food blogs to find a feasible recipe. After looking at a few different versions, it was clear that there was a pretty consistent formula, which was a good sign.

KIND bars were a little bit of an investment because they’re basically all nuts. Also, they are mostly specialty ingredients that I don’t usually keep in my pantry. I found ground flax seed and millet pretty easily, but I had to hunt for the brown rice syrup. Is it a sugar? Is it a syrup? Is it a honey? Is it a gluten free or ethnic food? Turns out in Harris Teeter it’s none of the above. I had to go to Whole Foods and found it in the sugar and sugar alternative section.

Sadie Dishes Copy Cat KIND Bars

I will caution you, the first time I made these they were a complete and expensive fail. I did not boil the syrup and honey mixture for long enough, it didn’t thicken properly, and the bars just fell apart. I can’t remember the last time I was that mad at everything in my kitchen. Even the second time around the bars were pretty sticky, so I recommend cutting them into bite size squares and storing them in your fridge for easy snacking. The taste, nutrition, and general texture are the redeeming factors.

Sadie Dishes Copy Cat KIND Bars

Copy-Cat KIND Bars

Yields 10 bars, adapted from Eat Urself Skinny

Ingredients

  • ½ cup unsalted roasted almonds, chopped
  • ½ cup unsalted cashews, chopped
  • ½ cup roasted walnuts, chopped
  • ⅓ cup puffed millet
  • 1 Tbs flaxseed meal
  • ¼ cup brown rice syrup
  • 2 Tbs honey
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup chocolate chips

Method

  1. Line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper.
  2. Coat a mixing bowl with non-stick spray. Combine nuts, millet, and flax in the bowl and set aside.
  3. Put a small pot on the stove on medium heat. Add brown rice syrup, honey, vanilla, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil and wish constantly at a boil for two full minutes.
  4. Pour the liquid over the nut mixture. Mix until ingredients are evenly coated and pour into the parchment lined pan. Flatten mixture firmly into the pan with no gaps.Sadie Dishes Copy Cat KIND Bars
  5. Allow to cool at room temperature for 20 minutes, then turn out onto a cutting board and cut into 10 bars. Allow to cool completely.
  6. Melt chocolate chips in microwave (heat for 30 seconds at a time until melted). Drizzle over cooled bars.Sadie Dishes Copy Cat KIND Bars
  7. Store at room temp in sealed container, or skip the chocolate step and store in  refrigerator (the chocolate might turn white in the fridge).
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Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispie Treats!

Even though most retailers and coffee shops seemed to have bypassed November and moved straight onto December and Christmas, I plan to eat pumpkin right through pie leftovers on Black Friday. Thank you very much! I’m not quite sure when Christmas season started right after Halloween, and Thanksgiving became the red headed step-child, but I’m not a fan. Thanksgiving is the best holiday of the year!

So anyway, I wanted to make some treats for a team meeting at work because we were having more people actually in person than usual. One of my teammates recently learned that she needs to stick to a gluten free diet, so I decided to go the gluten free direction because I feel bad that she never gets to snack with us anymore.

The Star of the Show
The Star of the Show

Rather than try to adapt a gluten recipe, I wanted to make something that is gluten free to begin with. The obvious choice? Rice Krispie treats! And if that wasn’t enough of a crowd pleaser to begin with, let’s add pumpkin!pumpkin!

These were definitely a crowd pleaser! When I was looking for recipes online I initially found several using pumpkin spice Jello instant pudding mix rather than pumpkin puree. While I’m not so opposed to that method, my grocery store didn’t have the flavor. I didn’t have the time to shop around, so I went with a recipe that actually just used pumpkin and pumpkin spice. It totally worked, plus it was probably a little better to use pumpkin rather than a pudding mix.

Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispie Treats

Adapted from Bake Love Give, yields about 20 bars depending on size

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbs butter
  • 1 10 oz bag of mini marshmallows (plus a little extra if you like them extra gooey)
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp of pumpkin pie spice (a little extra if you want to turn up the spice)
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies (Gluten Free if you want to be strict gluten free)
  • 5 oz. white chocolate chips (melted for drizzling)

Method

  1. Melt butter in a pot over medium heat.
  2. Add marshmallows and stir until melted. Add pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice. Stir to combine and turn off heat.
  3. Add Rice Krispies and extra marshmallows if desired. Stir until well combined and spoon into 13 x 9 baking pan to cool. Alternatively you can portion out the batter with an ice cream scoop or into cupcake molds.yum!
  4. Once treats have cooled, melt the white chocolate chips in microwave for 30 second intervals. Make sure you don’t burn it! Use a fork to drizzle it over the treats for a little extra je ne sais quoi!

finished product

I ended up also making flourless chocolate cookies, obviously gluten free, and obviously fantastic. Both of these hit the spot!

Getting on the Bandwagon

So I’m not sure about you, but I keep stumbling upon pictures of Miley Cyrus out and about everywhere.  Miley is obviously a celebrity at this point, but I’m not 100% why.  She earned her celebrity status in a traditional manner through nepotism and a television show, but what has she done lately?

Though she’s young and I’m sure she has a lot ahead of her in her career, right now she reminds me a little of people like Jessica Simpson.  Yes she was a popular singer at one point.  Yes she successfully transformed that into several brands and business ventures.  Why exactly do the paparazzi follow her around now?

Anywho, confusion aside, Miley has recently been happy to endorse the option of going gluten-free.  I find this option extremely appealing, but seemingly impossible to practice.  While I do believe it would be beneficial to my digestive system, I would hate to put what seems like an extreme amount of effort into meal planning.  Especially since I don’t feel I have severe medical reasons for doing so.

But then I saw this decadent recipe from Martha, and gluten-free never seemed so delicious:

Flourless Double Chocolate Pecan Cookies (Gluten Free)

From Martha

Yields about 12 depending on size

Ingredients

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 oz. chopped bittersweet baking chocolate
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans (I also saw a version in her magazine with macadamia nuts)
  • 4 egg whites (room temp, FYI baking with egg whites only works with real eggs, not egg whites from a carton)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Combine sugar, cocoa, salt, chocolate, and pecans.  Stir until mixture is uniform.
  3. Add egg whites to mixture and stir to make sure mixture is wet throughout, but try not to over mix.
  4. Drop dough as flat discs on parchment lined baking sheets.  The cookies will expand slightly in the oven.  Bake for 25 minutes.  The cookies will look dry and cracked when they’re done.

I enjoyed these because they an intense chocolate flavor and because of the egg whites they have a meringue-like consistency to them.