In my last recipe 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.
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!!”
- 1 ounce (scant ¼ cup) raw, unsalted cashews
- ¼ cup + ½ tablespoon powdered sugar*
- Pinch fine sea salt
- 2 ounces cocoa butter / cacao butter (food grade, see post above)**
- ½-inch vanilla bean or ½ teaspoon pure vanilla powder
- ¼ cup crispy rice cereal
- 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.
Do you think I can replace the powdered sugar with Tiger Nut flour?
I’ve never tried it! It could work, but will definitely produce a different result.
These sound delicious!! I have just one problem…..
Could you suggest a possible alternative to cashews for this recipe?
My kids are allergic to dairy and egg, and I am allergic to cashews. I was hoping to try and make something that all of us could eat. Thanks in advance!!
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Woah! I never would have thought to make white chocolate from scratch, but this recipe makes it sound so doable!
It’s beyond doable Becky – so easy and delicious!
These are so beautiful!!! I love how simple the recipe is and the little spots of vanilla make them perfect 🙂
Thank you Lucie! I love using vanilla bean for that true vanilla vibe!
These look amazing! My boys love white chocolate so much – I am going to make these for them!
Wowzah! So simple, yet so incredibly delish. I am going to make this asap, modified for the ACD! Happy Valentine’s Day!
Awesome, I can’t wait to see how you do it!
These little hearts are seriously too cute. I really love the flecks of vanilla bean in there!
These are so adorable, and I don’t imagine they would last very long in my house… I might have to make them and NOT share… 😉 Being somewhat new to the dairy-free world, I always love how you include tidbits of helpful information in each post, such as the info re: cacao butter. Thank you!
I’m so happy to help Marlynn! I can’t lie either, when I really like something like these, I keep my own stash 🙂
These look delicious! I love the flecks of vanilla bean running through them. And because there is cereal in them, that means you can eat them for breakfast, right? 😉
Totally! I may or may not have snuck one or two of these in the a.m. hours 🙂
I would snack on these all day long! Delish!
Oh wow, these look so good!
Any ideas what I substitute for cashew nuts as can’t eat them? Love your recipies.
You can use macadamias or dairy-free milk powder, but with the milk powder, I haven’t tested the amounts of some of the newer options (not a fan of the brown rice versions – too gritty).
I love the Navitas products so many great options and your white chocolate crispy bras look just perfect =)
Thank you Adriana!
Yes!! I actually have some cacao butter that I bought this summer to make white chocolate, but I never got around to it. I’m thinking I may have to tinker with this recipe (as I do) and use chia seeds somehow. Thoughts?
Yes! Rescue Chocolate which I reviewed uses a good dose of chia seeds! I’m not sure how they do it since it was so smooth, but maybe they strain it? Even if you had some chia bits, I think it would be good, but since I don’t add a liquid (on purpose – it preserves the texture), I would hesitate on leaving the chia seeds whole as they may not gel the same. I’m curious!
These sound SO good. I love white chocolate! Actually, I love all chocolate equally 🙂
Tooting my own horn here, but they are Deee-licious! Seriously. So much fresher and better than store-bought. And I’m with you – it’s hard to choose a favorite chocolate sometimes!