Candy Bar-Inspired Bark

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About a year ago, I discovered Crispy Cat, a candy bar sold in the organic/health sections of many grocery stores. The front label states that it is vegan, gluten free, and all natural. Not only that, it is dark chocolate – the healthy chocolate. I bet your doctor would tell you that it is in your best interest to eat his candy, right?

I check out the bar in a green-colored wrapper; the flavor is Mint Coconut. The ingredients list organic brown rice crisp as one of the ingredients – the crispy part of the bar. Hmm, interesting. I’ve had chocolate with mint, chocolate with coconut, and chocolate with crisp rice. But all three together? Think of it as a York Peppermint Patty, Mounds Bar, and Nestle Crunch all in one. Curious, I bought one of these bars to see how it tastes. I tried it almost immediately as I got home.  Mmmm; that is one scrumptious candy bar!  I do not remember, but most likely, I ate the entire bar quickly, as it was that good.  I’ve bought this candy bar several times now when at the grocery store. Then, one day, it was not in stock.   The following week, same thing.  No Crispy Cat bars to be found.  After three or four weeks of wanting a Crispy Cat and not finding one, I went online and purchased a box of them.

Jump ahead to when the box of Crispy Cats are all gone.  The next time at the grocery store, I pick up a Mint Coconut Crispy Cat, which as usual sits next to the Toasted Almond Crispy Cat. Hmm, another thought – wouldn’t the tastes of the Mint Coconut and the Toasted Almond together be good?  It was then, that I decided to make my own chocolate treat.

I melted dark chocolate chips and chocolate mint chips together; the proportions were about 3:1 of chocolate to mint.  Then I stirred in some flaked coconut, sliced almonds, and crisped rice cereal.  (I did not measure anything;  I simply eyeballed it.) After spreading the mixture on a wax-lined baking sheet, I placed the baking sheet in the fridge.  In less than an hour’s time, I had my own Crispy Cat-like candy to enjoy.

The other day, I decided to make this chocolate bark again.  It was either the third or fourth time I have made this concoction. I did it differently this time, though.  Instead of mixing all the ingredients together, I stirred the crisped rice into the melted chocolate and spread it out on the baking sheet.  Then, I added the mint chips, almonds, and coconut, in different sections and in different combinations.

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Thinking of the pan of chocolate bark as a 3×3 grid, I placed different combinations of the three toppings on the chocolate mixture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This gives your guests (or customers?) a choice in what they would like to taste.  Myself, I’ll go for a piece of the bark which has all three toppings.

Care to try a sample?

Care to try a sample?

 

 

 

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Rainforest Mint Cupcakes

Endangered Species brand chocolate is a good quality chocolate.  It’s a rich dark chocolate bar, available in many delicious flavors.  And, yes, it is vegan and gluten-free.   You can find the candy bars in health sections of grocery stores as well as some gourmet shops.  Their website features recipes.  The link below is for a chocolate mint cupcake.  When the recipe is followed according to the website’s instructions, the cupcake will be gluten-free:

http://www.chocolatebar.com/involved/?p=1727&utm_source=ChocolateBar.com+Newsletter+Subscribers&utm_campaign=bb799e6814-enews_mar2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_904f3da455-bb799e6814-211729613

 

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3 Musketeers – All for One, One for All!

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If you follow Foodimentary’s page, you know that today is National Nougat Day.  As usual, he has many interesting facts – linguistic, historical – which tie into the featured food item.  My favorite candy car, the 3 Musketeers bar, is mentioned here.  Over the years, 3 Musketeers has had different seasonal and limited edition flavors, which have included cherry, strawberry, French vanilla, raspberry, hot cocoa, marshmallow, coconut, and mint.  What flavor 3 Musketeers would you like to see?  Would it be more mainstream, like 3 Musketeers Cinnamon? 3 Musketeers Cappuccino? Or would your new flavor be more on the wild side, like 3 Musketeers Wasabi or Maple Bacon 3 Musketeers?

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Manufactured by the M&M/Mars company, 3 Musketeers, along with Milky Way, Snickers, and M&M’s, are all gluten-free. A list of different gluten-free candies, highlighted by manufacturer, can be found at:

http://celiacdisease.about.com/od/glutenfreefoodshopping/a/GFcandies.htm

 

And, finally, a recipe for 3 Musketeers cupcakes:

http://cookiesandcups.com/3-musketeers-cupcakes/

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