Sometimes, my inspiration for recipes comes from things I ate when I was younger and really enjoyed. I never let me food sensitivities limit me in what I can eat. Instead, I figure out all kinds of alternatives. That’s what I did with these chocolate puffed rice squares.
I lived in Lethbridge, Alberta between the ages of 8 and 15. There, I went to a tiny French school. At lunch time, two students would run the canteen, but it was more like a plastic bin of snacks. Every once in a while, my mom would give me 50 cents to get myself something I liked. There were these squares I really liked.
I didn’t actually know what they were until recently, when I took to the internet. I was disappointed to find out that they contained wheat puffs and corn syrup.
There was a bag of puffed rice sitting around in the pantry for a while. Over the week end, the bag was staring at me. I tried one single puffed rice. The taste brought me back to those puffed wheat squares, and so I set out to make an allergy friendly version.
I was surprised to find that my allergy friendly recipe turned out very much like the wheat and corn syrup squares. This works well as a last minute potluck item because the work is done in 5-10 minutes, and then simply needs to cool down.
Chocolate Puffed Rice Squares (vegan)
5 cups puffed rice
1/4 cup Earth balance buttery spread
1/2 cup brown rice syrup (thick syrup is key!)
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp brown sugar or alternative
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
Grease a square pan (about 9×9) and set aside.
Combine all the ingredients except the puffed rice in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Mix well and bring to a boil. Do not remove it before it boils. Once it reaches a boil, turn off the heat and mix in the rice puffs until evenly coated. Transfer to the greased pan. If you need it to set quickly, you can put the pan in the fridge (though you need to be careful about rapid temperature changes if you’re using pyrex). This makes 9 servings, but the recipe can easily be doubled.