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Posts Tagged ‘wheat free’

Pretzel Button Snacks

April 4, 2012 6 comments

This is a quick snack that is perfect for parties. Hopefully there is enough time for you to try them this Easter weekend. This is also a versatile recipe with all the different flavors of Hershey’s Kisses and M&M’s that are now available. The flavor combinations are almost endless! There are also lots of new candy colors that make this an especially cute snack! If you want to coordinate with party colors, you can even order special colors of M&M’s from their website (http://www.mymms.com/).

Variations:

  • I tried these with Rolos and pecans. Not bad for a “quick turtle” candy treat. Sprinkle with a little flake salt for an extra sweet and salty treat.
  • Spelt pretzels are also very good in this recipe for people on a wheat-free diet! I like the spelt pretzels from Newman’s Own.
  • Removing the wrappers from the Kisses takes the most time (aside from the cooling).  To save time, you can use jumbo chocolate chips, sometimes found in the baking aisle.  They won’t be as chocolatey, but I bet they would still be delicious. 
  • You can also use chocolate disks or wafers found at cake supply stores (like Lynelle’s in Huntsville). 
  • Future experiment:  I think mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups would be delicious, but I’m not sure how they would look (not that it really matters, since the taste would be so good!).
  • I don’t think the peanut M&M’s are as “cute” as the regular sized M&M’s, but they still taste good!
     

 Pretzel Button Snacks

1 bag pretzels (squares are perfect; round, or traditional also work)

1 bag Hershey’s Kisses (most any flavor would work)

1 bag M&M’s or Reese’s Pieces (most any flavor would work)

Preheat oven to 300º F.  Line a baking sheet (preferably with sides) with parchment paper.  Cover with a single layer of pretzels.  Place a Hershey’s Kiss in the center of each pretzel. Carefully move the baking sheet to the oven.  If you jostle them too much, you might end up with lopsided pretzel buttons (not that I did this or anything :-).  Bake for about  2½ to 3 minutes. Watch them while they cook; you don’t want them too melted.  You want them just melted enough to hold an M&M.  Remove baking sheet from the oven.  Immediately, press an M&M into each melted Kiss so it looks like a button.  Don’t press too hard or chocolate will squish everywhere. Allow the chocolate to harden before storing or serving.  You can either do this at room temperature (if you have enough time) or in the refrigerator (if you have enough space).  Store in an air-tight container.

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Date Nut Bars

March 14, 2012 8 comments

I have been sick for the past week, so I’m a little slow with posting.  Haven’t really felt much like cooking or eating either.  However, now I’m taking medicine that must be taken on a full stomach.  I’m not a huge fan of eating in the morning.  I love breakfast foods, but there is something about eating them early in the morning that is unappealing. I get this honestly from my mom.  Having these tasty date nut bars around should make it easier to eat in the morning so I can take my medicine.

This is another adaptable recipe.  You can make them wheat-free or vegan.  If you don’t like walnuts, use pecans or another nut.  Not a fan of pumpkin seeds, then just use sunflower seeds.  Want real butter or coconut oil instead of canola oil, go for it. If you want them for dessert or a snack bar, feel free to add a few chocolate, carob, butterscotch, or peanut butter chips.  Don’t want to grind flax seeds? You can use sesame seeds or whole flax seeds.  You can add other spices – ginger, cloves, or cardamom.  If you love vanilla, you can add that too. Ok, I’ll stop now; you get the point.

I included substitutions in parentheses for most of the ingredients. Don’t let that limit you though.  This is a fun, easy recipe, so play around with it…

Date Nut Bars

Dry ingredients:

3 cups rolled oats, not instant or quick

¼ cup gluten-free flour blend (or regular flour)

¼ cup maple sugar crystals (or date sugar or brown sugar is fine)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon (or pumpkin pie or apple pie spice blend)

pinch of salt

¼ cup ground flax seeds (or whole flax seeds or sesame seeds)

1 cup walnuts, chopped (or almonds or pecans or hazelnuts or cashews)

½ cup dried raisins (or cranberries or cherries)

¼ cup pumpkin seeds

¼ cup sunflower seeds

½ cup dried, unsweetened coconut (or shredded sweetened coconut or coconut chips)

Wet ingredients:

½ cup dried dates (or dried apricots or dried figs)

⅓ cup canola oil (or butter, coconut oil, or vegetable oil)

¼ cup peanut butter (or almond butter or cashew butter)

¼ cup maple syrup (or honey or agave or golden syrup or molasses)

3 tablespoons hot water

Preheat the oven to 350º F.  Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix well. Combine the dates, oil, peanut butter, maple syrup, and hot water in a food processor.  Process until it is a thick paste.  Pour this date mixture over the dry ingredients. Mix well. 

Press into a parchment or foil lined 9”x13” pan (I sometimes use a rolling-pin to make sure it is pressed down firmly). Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Carefully lift the parchment or foil to remove the bars from the pan. Cool on racks.  Cut into squares. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.