caramel & chocolate crispy rice squares

it's no secret that i love potlucks.

like REALLY love potlucks.

i think it goes back to the days when everyone would cram in to the church basement for dinner, with hundreds of different dishes to select from. this was more than my little brain could handle - so many choices! it was a celebration of food. never mind that i would probably not eat most of those things now (jellied salad? with marshmallows? yuk) but the idea of it was pretty great. 

i have had a long standing obsession with potlucks ever since - such an easy way to have dinner parties. cheap student meals. 

i remember we had people over to our house in university once for a potluck. it was a bit of a hippy time in our lives. it didn't work very well. i think we had about 6 plates of hummus, some pita chips and a small bowl of marinated tofu. for dinner. 

then there were the eclectic international dinner potlucks we had when we lived in scotland - our MSc class was particularly fond of potluck style dinners: pancake tuesday, christmas, "bring what you think no one else has ever eaten". they were epic.

as i get older, potlucks are just getting better and better. 

canmore is notorious for good potlucks, everyone one up-ing each other. 

the tricky thing about potlucks is last minute planning. or potlucks you get invited to when the host tells you not to bring anything - really? 

that is exactly what happened to me this weekend. i had about 15 minutes to pull myself together and whip up something to share for a meal that was already prepared. so naturally, dessert was my first choice. this is what i did.

Bottom Layer

Measure 1 + 1/3 cups of gluten free crispy rice cereal and pour into a large bowl. Set aside.

Put a small pot on the stove, turn the heat on to medium. Add:

  • 1/4 cup brown rice syrup
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter

and stir frequently until it starts to gently simmer. Once it begins to simmer,  add

  • 1 tsp of vanilla powder
  • & a sprinkle of sea salt

stir quickly and remove from the heat.

acting quickly, pour the extra sticky syrup over the rice cereal and stir until everything is coated.

spread unto a lined 8x8  baking dish & press down firmly (it helps if you use parchment paper between your hands and the sticky mixture).

place in the freezer to cool.

Caramel Layer

meanwhile, remove the pits of

  • 1 cup of super soft medjool dates (buy these ones at superstore!)

and add to your vitamix or food processor with

  • 1.5 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • a generous sprinkle of sea salt
  • 2 tsps of peanut butter
  • and a sprinkle of lucuma powder (you can leave this out if you don't have it)

blend until smooth

spread the caramel on top of the krispies and place back in the freezer.

Chocolate Layer

melt

  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips
  • with 1 tbsp of coconut oil
  • and a sprinkle of pure cocoa powder

on the stove, stirring frequently.

Once melted, pour over the caramel and sprinkle with chunky sea salt.

Freeze until hardened and cut into squares.