No-Bake Puffed Rice Chocolate Bars With Caramel Sauce (dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan)
A healthy candy bar you can make at home. These puffed rice chocolate bars are a simple, no-bake dessert recipe! The puffed rice bar base is made of only six ingredients, then topped with allergy-friendly, vegan chocolate and finally drizzled with a homemade, healthy caramel sauce. An easy recipe for a tasty indulgence!
While I may give the impression of health it doesn't mean I don't love to indulge. And chocolate is easily my favorite indulgence.
And though I haven't actually bought a candy bar in years, I do find ways to make yummy treats at home to get my fix in. Likewise, i'm a sucker for dark chocolate squares, homemade fudge, and random no-bake recipes like this that just give you something to munch on!
These puffed rice chocolate bars are the perfect option for mamas and kids. They're simple to make, indulgent, and dessert worthy but also a wee bit healthier than just grabbing a candy bar!
What Is Puffed Rice
As far as I know, puffed rice is literally made from heating rice kernels with steam and puffing them up. This creates a light, crunchy, puffed grain which makes the perfect Rice Krispie Treats. Weirdly enough, you can actually make your own puffed rice, but that seems like a lot of effort for a no-bake recipe!
Keep in mind that because it is still rice-based, this means that these homemade candy bars are not paleo or whole30 based.
Can I Sub Puffed Quinoa In For Rice?
Yes and no. I haven't personally tried puffed quinoa with this puffed rice chocolate bar recipe but it would be a great swap.
Nevertheless, puffed quinoa would make the recipe a bit more nutrient-dense. However, the grains are smaller than puffed rice, therefore the ratios might be a bit different (without trying, I'd guess you need to add ½ to ¾ cup more.
Topping The Chocolate Bars
In order to keep the puffed rice chocolate bars allergy-friendly, you'll need to grab a pack of Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips. This particular brand is free from the top nine major allergens and the perfect option for homemade candy bars.
Likewise, you can also make your own chocolate topping with cacao butter, coconut oil, cacao powder (learn more about the benefits of that specific chocolate), and a sweetener but I was trying to keep the puffed rice chocolate bars a bit more simple.
Finally, the healthy caramel sauce. I adore homemade caramel sauce because it's so easy! Made with only almond butter, vanilla, and maple syrup it's extremely easy to whip up and tastes as good as the original (and without the weird coloring agent).
If you add coconut oil you can even make it into a tasty magic shell 😉 for your ice cream.
Can They Be Made Nut Free?
These healthy, homemade candy bars use nuts in two places: the base and the caramel topping.
For the base, you could try subbing out the almond meal for a seed alternative (finely ground sunflower or pumpkin seeds) but I haven't tested that.
For the homemade caramel sauce on top of the puffed rice chocolate bars you can use Sun Butter (again, made from sunflower seeds). I would advise using one of the sweetened varieties though as Sun Butter is naturally a bit less sweet and adding too much maple syrup would make the homemade caramel sauce runny.
How To Store The Homemade Candy Bars
These homemade candy bars are placed into the freezer to set and can be left there! Once they're set you can store them in the fridge or the freezer. In the freezer they don't freeze completely solid, so you can actually munch on them right out of the drawer.
However, I normally let them sit for a couple of minutes on the counter for the kids so they're a bit more "gooey".
One thing to remember is that the chocolate will melt slightly at warmer temperatures, so keep them chilled until you're ready to eat them!
How to Make Homemade Candy Bars
How To Make Vegan Chocolate Bars
In a large bowl combine the first three ingredients of the base.
Heat to combine the rice syrup, maple syrup, and coconut oil.
Pour wet into dry and mix until everything looks sticky.
Line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper. Place the mixture into the pan and use a silicone spatula to spread the mixture and smooth until even.
Place in the freezer for thirty minutes.
To make the chocolate topping, heat the coconut oil over low heat on the stove. Whisk in the chocolate chips until combined. OR Make your own chocolate by heating the coconut oil and maple syrup and whisking in the cacao until combined.
Pour the chocolate mixture over the base and use a silicone spatula to smooth it out. Place it back in the freezer.
To make the caramel. Combine all ingredients a bowl and whisk. Scoop the mixture into a small baggie and cut the tip off. Once chocolate is hard (about ten minutes), decorate the bars with the caramel and return to the freezer to set.
When ready to eat, remove from the freezer and let sit 2-4 minutes. Cut into squares or bars.
Makes 9 squares or 8 bars.
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Homemade Chocolate Bars with Caramel (Df/Gf/V)
Making your own homemade chocolate bars is simple, delicious, and far healthier than purchasing one! These puffed rice chocolate bars are not only vegan but they contain health-boosting, real food ingredients to help satisfy your sweet tooth without giving you a processed sugar overload.