What do you get when you cross chocolate with hazelnuts, dried cranberries, and pure maple syrup? These addictive seasonal crunch bars! Though they really are a dessert (the bite-sized version is great for parties!), I like to pass these chocolate treats off as an afternoons snack since they are healthier than your ordinary rice crispy treats.
Chocolate-Covered Cranberry Crunch Bars Notes
I have a few quick ingredient tips for this recipe!
Choosing the Cereal
Unable to stop with just melted chocolate, I also use cocoa crispy cereal, and cacao nibs, which add to the crunch factor. But you can use regular crispy rice cereal. Be sure to select a certified gluten-free variety, if needed. I tested this recipe with Erewhon brand cereal, but they no longer make it. Most other brands will work well, like Mom’s Best.
Homemade Nut Butter
Nut butter can be pretty expensive, so I often make my own. To obtain 1/4 cup nut butter, grind about 1/2 cup nuts in a spice grinder or small blender. It will powder first and then gradually release its oils. Keep blending until it is smooth and creamy.
Special Diet Notes: Chocolate-Covered Cranberry Crunch Bars
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, and vegetarian.
For nut-free, you can substitute sunflower seed butter for the nut butter.
- ¾ cup dairy-free semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ¼ cup nut butter (like cashew butter or hazelnut butter)
- 1¾ cups cocoa crispy brown rice cereal
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup cacao nibs, optional
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Put the chocolate chips and nut butte in a double broiler and heat, whisking often, until smooth and melted.
- Remove the bowl from the heat, and stir in the crispy cereal, cranberries, and cacao nibs until coated. Stir in the maple syrup until coated.
- Press the mixture into an 8×8-inch dish lined with parchment or wax paper, 9 to 12 muffin cups, or 24 to 30 mini muffin cups. I use silicone muffin cups – both regular-sized and mini – as they pop out with ease. You can alternately press them into cupcake liners for a decorative serving touch!
- Refrigerate for 15 minutes. If making bars, remove the batch with the parchment paper and cut into bars while still a touch soft. Return to the refrigerator or freezer to chill completely.
- To maintain their crispiness, store these crunch bars in an airtight container in the freezer.