Magic Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars

I tried this recipe from Vegan Street, which I do not remember where or how I found. But I saw the picture, read the title and thought, yeah, that’s going in my belly.

Two Magic Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars | thelittleredspoon.com

I didn’t tweak anything in this recipe except the milk – I made my own fresh homemade cashew milk in my BlendTec and used that.

Magic Peanut Butter Pretzel Bar | thelittleredspoon.com

Those layers…. The base is like a pecan Larabar/Nakd bar made with pecans instead of cashews, the peanut butter layer is soft, creamy and peanut-buttery (obv), and the top is rich chocolate ganache with a salty crunchy kick from the pretzels. Exceptional!

These bars can get a little goopy and soft if they’re out of the fridge too long. I actually tried them after freezing them and thought the texture was a little better out of the freezer. Mr. Spoon suggested adjusting the peanut butter to cream cheese ratio in the middle layer. I don’t totally disagree  – it’s good as-is, but an extra punch of peanut wouldn’t hurt either.

Watch out though, cause these are very addictive, incredibly rich and unhealthy and you’re going to have a big 9’x13′ pan of them when you’re done! This would be great to bring to the office or share with a party… I have a suspicion that keeping the whole pan of these at my house is going to be quite dangerous.

Go to the Vegan Street website for the full recipe as they break everything down in an easy-to-follow way that I really couldn’t improve upon.

Overall, it was pretty easy to make, but required gathering a lot of ingredients. And it uses a lot of ingredients. This isn’t the cheapest snack, as it takes an entire small bag of Follow Your Heart chocolate chips, a full 8 0z package of vegan cream cheese and soft tofu, a full small jar of smooth peanut butter, a couple of cups of pecans, etc..  luckily I was able to gather some of the stuff at the bulk food store.

 

Try out these tasty “Magic Peanut Butter Pretzel Bars” and let me know what you think! I think these will be great for a lunch dessert at work (especially if you keep them frozen so they don’t melt and get gooey on your commute). I like to eat a great big lunch at work most days and enjoy a nice high-calorie dessert with my lunch too, so I don’t get hungry in the afternoon. Anyone else the same way? I have a pretty active job so I’m able to burn a lot of calories just going about my day most of the time. You could always cut these into teeny tiny squares if that’s not the case for you.

Daits

Inside of the Bay/Saks/Pusateri Food Hall in the Eaton Center in Toronto there’s a little counter tucked away that sells dates. They sell only dates and they’re damn good dates.

You can buy 2 dates for $6. Yes. That’s pretty expensive for TWO DATES, I agree. But these are apparently very fancy Sukkari dates, grown in the Arabian desert in Saudi Arabia and imported here to Canada. These aren’t your every day boring “meh they’re okay I guess” Medjool dates. These are their softer, gentler, “sweet without hurting your teeth” cousins that are more refined, more buttery, and I guess, judging by the lacy-lingerie-inspired looking packaging, more sexy.

I forget the rest of the prices and they aren’t listed on the website (probably so they don’t scare people away with how expensive they are). There was even a gold-leaf-topped date that costed an extra $1 compared to the others. But even if something is crazy expensive, I crave novel food experiences, and I’m willing to pay a little extra just to have a new little food anecdote to tell. So, I guess this is the story of “that time I went with some friends and bought really expensive fancy dates from a places that sells ONLY really expensive fancy, decorated dates that have punny names.” I’m living in downtown Toronto, so I might as well live up to the yuppie stereotype, right?

The flavours looked so colourful and cheerful! What really grabbed my attention was the Happy Birthdait – a date decorated like a tiny birthday cake with vanilla frosting and sprinkles. Not all the dates are vegan and some have honey, but they were all beautiful to look at.

Mr. Spoon and I shared a bite of each of the signature “Arabian Night” – Date stuffed with roasted almonds, coated with our signature tahini-peanut butter mix then rolled in crushed pistachios and a “Coco-Loco” – Date stuffed with walnuts, coated with our signature tahini-peanut butter mix, and rolled in coconut.

Both were really tasty! Our friends tried the “Don’t Be Chai” – Date stuffed with walnuts, coated with chai spice almond butter and rolled in crushed graham crackers and “The Royal” – Date stuffed with pecans, half dipped in dark chocolate then finished with a delicate 24k gold leaf — Add one dollar.

I didn’t hear any complaints.

Yum. Really good dates, with good ingredients, and I really enjoyed them. But that is probably the last time I pay $6 for two bites of date…… Probably….

Have any other hidden gems in the city? Let me know about them and maybe I’ll go check them out!

Hot Pot Party

Hot Pot – what better way to stuff your face with a whole bunch of food while hanging out with people you like? Cook, eat, drink and chill around the dinner table without having to yell across the kitchen to your guests.

Hot Pot Shmorgasboard | thelittleredspoon.com

I don’t have a special hot pot cooker or portable propane burner or anything like that. What I do have is a rice cooker and an extension cord and since I was going for a low-key hangout here, this worked perfectly.

I grabbed some bowls, dipping sauce, chopsticks, a small strainer and a whole big platter of goodies to get cooking.

For the hot pot broth in the rice cooker, I used some instant kombu dashi powder, a veggie boullion cube, some white miso paste, minced garlic, and a few shakes of furikake for good measure.
For the dipping sauce I just mixed together some stuff I had in the fridge – soy sauce, rice vinegar and sesame oil.

If you ask me, this makes the perfect “crappy dinner party” (not that this was crappy, but it was definitely low-key). Cook whatever you feel like, with whatever you have laying around, and chill around the table with your favourite people without trying to impress anyone.

Hot Pot Rice Cooker | thelittleredspoon.com

Now, technically this did break one of the crappy dinner party rules as I had been wanting to go to the Asian grocery store in China town to pick up a healthy supply of instant noodles and other goodies, so that’s what me and my friend did during the first part of the day. But sometimes even just going to the grocery store or running errands can be a fun thing to do when you’re with the right people. And I got to pick up some tasty new things to try!

Here we have: gluten balls (yes, the package just read gluten and that’s pretty much what it is…. just pure delicious gluten), enoki, shimeji, shiitake and wood ear mushrooms, two kinds of chinese cabbage and veggie filled dumplings, baby bok choi, baby potatoes, carrot slices, bean sprouts and udon noodles.

Hot Pot Rice Cooker | thelittleredspoon.com

Once the rice cooker starts boiling, start throwing stuff in! Add whatever you want to eat, wait for it to cook and then pull it out when it’s done. Keep the lid on when you’re not adding or grabbing stuff so it doesn’t cool off too much. This worked perfectly for us.

Of course, you’ll want to put stuff that takes the longest to cook in first. We added the baby potatoes first before anything else, and they were the last thing to come out of the pot.

Don’t underestimate how frickin tasty that gluten is, either. Try some for yourself. It was sooo tasty, kind of soft but chewy and just dripping with the salty broth. Yum.

Kimchi | thelittleredspoon.com

Munch on spicy kimchi, sip your beer and chat while things are cooking away.

Hot Pot Bowl | thelittleredspoon.com

Yum! Pull some stuff out of the pot and into your bowl and dip in whatever sauce you like. My usual method is to just put some sauce in the bottom of my bowl and let it get all over everything.

What a fun night! If you have a rice cooker why don’t you try cooking this way for dinner one night? Let me know how it turns out.

This entry was posted in Recipe.