So what I didn’t tell you when we discussed Bigg Sis’ birthday bash is that summer is high holla time for birthdays for this family. While my kids are winter babies, a huge portion of my extended family has summer birthdays. Between May and June we have a whole lotta celebrating going on – and it picks up again late in July and stretches all the way through August. Heck, we’re just celebrating all the time. Truth is, as I’ve revealed before, sometimes I get a little celebration overload. I am NOT super great at saying no to yummy stuff, so when celebrations start piling up, I usually start piling on. And more importantly I just feel weighed down and kind of oogie.
The last two months went a bit like this: a few weeks after my husband’s birthday, we had the start of summer vacation including Bigg Sis’ birthday celebration. The weekend after we got back we celebrated our 14th anniversary. This was followed in no time by about 15 end of school year events, celebrations, weird meals because of special events, the LAST DAY OF SCHOOL blowout, Father’s Day and then… my birthday. I was kind of done. Not done celebrating, just kind of done eating for a while. So instead of a traditional cake I decided I wanted something a little lighter, a little more just like a treat, and a little more no-bake on a hot summer day. I turned to my friend Dreena Burton and she had answers for me (she must really love me).
I spotted her krispie treats and I knew it was a summer must-do, but I had to change it up a little, and not just because of what I had on hand (although that reality played a role as usual), but because I was remembering a candy… a candy from my past that made me weak in the knees. Honestly, while I don’t really do “candy” per se anymore, if I saw it on a store shelf, I just might have to make an exception, because Toffifay completed me. I loved everything about it – the little blister pack that it came in, the relatively limited quantity the normal portion was sold in, and the yummy perfection that the little caramel cups with hazelnuts and dark chocolate tops were.
Yes, this is still your health food pushing friend, Little Sis. I have not always been thus, you see. And I do occasionally hear the siren call from the other side. I have always been glad that Toffifay is not more widely distributed. I am somewhat troubled to now discover that I could, if I so wished, have a nearly endless supply delivered right to my door… egads.
But it’s okay – because I don’t need them delivered to my door. I can have my very own Toffifay-esque krispy treats that were exactly what the doctor (or the very hot and crabby birthday girl) ordered to celebrate another year passing by at an alarming pace. And so without further ado, I’m going to share some awesomeness with you.
Celebration Krispies – inspired by Dreena Burton’s Nicer Krispie Squares in Eat, Drink & Be Vegan and Toffifay
- 1/2 c nut butter ( I mixed almond and peanut as that’s what I had)
- 1/2 c maple syrup
- 1/4 t salt
- 1 1/2 t vanilla extract
- 4 cups rice crisp cereal (I used Barbara’s Bakery Brown Rice Crisps Cereal, but you could ABSOLUTELY use other cereals. I’ve used many different kinds of cereal in these kinds of bars and they all work – just go with what works for you)
- 1/3 – 1/2 c hazlenuts, rough chopped (this is part of the Toffifay magic)
- 1/4 – 1/3 c dark chocolate chips
- 2 T chia seeds (totally optional, just threw them in for a little nutrition boost)
Line an 8 x 8 or a 9 x 11 with parchment paper – or lightly oil. Choose the size of the pan based on your preference. The square pan will give you thicker Krispie bars. Combine the nut butter, maple syrup, salt and vanilla in a saucepan on low-medium heat. Stir occasionally as ingredients melt and combine. A little bubbling is okay, but nothing crazy. Turn down if need be. While the mixture is heating, put cereal, nuts, chocolate chips and chia seeds in a large bowl. When mixture is melted and combined, pour it over dry ingredients. Stir gently but with some haste as it will get harder to get everything to combine as the wet ingredients cool off. Stir until combined. Spoon into pan and gently press down. Stick in fridge to cool completely before cutting. Eat and then hide from yourself. I’m not sure where I put mine. Okay, yes I am. I know exactly where they are, and they will not likely be there long. DELISH!