In my last #365dairyfree challenge update, I eluded to some dairy-free white chocolate crispy bars that I was working on. It’s a delicious sweet treat adapted from the white chocolate recipe in my book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook, and yes, I’m sharing it with you today! It seemed only fitting, with Valentine’s Day on the horizon, to make these white chocolate crispy bars into little heart-shaped bites, but you can use the mold of your choice, from handy silicone muffin cups (if you don’t have one of these, you’re missing out on some serious ease!) to a true candy bar mold.
You might have a few questions about this recipe for homemade white chocolate crispy bars, such as “Isn’t cocoa butter dairy?”. No, no it isn’t. Cocoa butter, or cacao butter (same thing for practical purposes), is the buttery part of the cacao bean, with absolutely no relation to dairy whatsoever. It’s completely plant-based.
Now you might be wondering, “Where on earth do you buy cocoa butter?” If you had asked me a decade ago, I would have said “online-only” and “it may be difficult for you to find”. But food-grade cocoa butter is popping up in natural food stores now (even some mainstream grocers), and many good brands are now offering it. It doesn’t seem cheap at first glance, but 1 lb will make roughly 2 lbs (32 ounces) of white chocolate – that’s a lot of sweet stuff! The brand I use for both the raw cashews and the cacao butter is Navitas Naturals. It’s really good stuff. Pictured here so you know what to look for.
As you can see, I also used pure vanilla bean to get those lovely little flecks! I recommend using only vanilla bean (you only need a little!) or vanilla powder as a liquid extract can mess with the consistency of the cocoa butter in these dairy-free white chocolate crispy bars.
365 Dairy-Free Recipe Challenge Update
Another adaption, but I’m still counting these dairy-free white chocolate crispy bars as another success from my personal 365 New Dairy-Free Recipe Challenge for 2016. My goal is to trial at least 365 new-to-me recipes this year, and that doesn’t even count all of the retesting I am doing to perfect many of those dishes. I’ll be using the hashtag #365dairyfree here and on social media to share many of the trials, successes and flops!
My New Dairy-Free Recipe Trials for February 4th through February 10th:
- Spicy Weeknight Lo Mein (So easy, so good!)
- Cashew Ice Cream (needs work, but I’m finally getting to this one!)
This week was a little light because we finally took a vacation! A little wine country trip to beat the holiday crowds and celebrate Valentine’s Day early. This weekend we’ll enjoy the couple bottles we came home with and some of these heart-shaped, vanilla-speckled, wonderful white chocolate crispy bars …
Special Diet Notes: White Chocolate Crispy Bars
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan / plant-based, and vegetarian.
For sugar-free white chocolate crispy bars, my friend Ricki Heller (the sugar-free diet and recipe guru!) trialed my recipe with xylitol. She said, “It’s a bit fussier with the xylitol as you really do have to grind it up first, and the result was still a wee bit gritty. But SO tasty!!”
- Place the cashews, sugar, and salt in your spice grinder and whiz into a powder (about 30 seconds).
- Melt the cocoa butter, preferably using this method. Use caution if using the microwave - only heat until just melted. If it heats up too much, it may be scorched even if you can't see it.
- Whisk the cashew-sugar mixture and seeds scraped from the vanilla bean (or the vanilla powder) into the melted cocoa butter until smooth and creamy.
- Pour the mixture into your prepared molds. Top with crispy rice cereal, and gently press the cereal in to ensure it adheres as the chocolate chills.
- Place the molds in the refrigerator for about 1 to 2 hours to set up.
- Pop them out and enjoy! As long as your home isn't too toasty, these white chocolate crispy bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature. They can also be stored in the refrigerator or freezer.
**Though you can use coconut oil as a substitute for the cocoa butter in a pinch (about ⅓ cup when melted), it will have a slight coconut flavor instead of that pure chocolate taste, and it will be much softer - I would recommend storing it chilled only.