Now that the days of summer are at an end, the dark begins arriving earlier in the evenings and the air is crisp even with full sun in the afternoons – all I want to do is cook and bake and stock my freezer full of soups and sauces made from summer’s crops of fruits and veggies. I love the way the turning leaves and the cool breezes of autumn’s return inspires such cozy living. My over sized knit sweaters, scarves and hats are back in full swing and I absolutely love the feeling that comes along with them. The fall still reminds me of back to school, even though I haven’t attended any kind of school now in close to a decade. This feeling of excitement and sorrow all tangled up into an emotion that I still don’t have a word for but that I adore the feeling of so much. Occasionally, we still get a warm day – where the sweaters need to be peeled off at the park with my son, and where a bowl of refreshing watermelon is still the snack of choice. On those days, I don’t quite feel like baked apple pie, or warm cinnamon muffins or pumpkin tarts; I want something sweet but maybe less wintry, something that isn't unlike the transition of summer to winter. One that tastes cozy but still feels crisp. These Chocolate Hazelnut Crispy Rice and Quinoa Squares are the perfect treat for the change in season. They are a no bake item, all you need are the ingredients, an 8x8 inch pan and a freezer.
1/4 cup of (v) chocolate chips
1/2 cup of hazelnut butter
1/4 cup of maple syrup
1 tsp of vanilla
2 1/2 cups of rice crispies
1/2 cup of puffed quinoa
In a small sauce pan over low heat begin melting the hazelnut butter, Mix in the maple syrup and vanilla until combined. In a large bowl combine the rice crisps and puffed quinoa. Add the hazelnut butter mixture into the dried cereals and mix thoroughly.
Line an 8x8 in pan with parchment paper. Pour the mixture into the pan, press down firmly with a spatula to ensure that the mixture is packed well and tucked in nicely to the corners of the pan.
Next, begin melting the chocolate chips in a small sauce pan or on a double boiler. It is very easy to burn chocolate, so keep the temperature as low as possible. Once the chocolate chips are melted through, slowly pour over the packed rice crispy mixture and spread evenly with a spatula. Cover with another sheet of parchment paper, tin foil or plastic wrap and place in the freezer for a couple of hours. The colder they are, the better the squares will hold their shape when you cut them. Keep any left over squares refrigerated or in the freezer as they will begin to soften at room temperature.