It’s no secret that I love sweets! I spend a lot of time in time in the kitchen pouring over recipes and making delicious treats. When I find one that is pure perfection, I love to share the goodies with everyone! However, in recent years I have had to start finding healthier options when it comes to the shareable desserts. Several of my family and friends have Celiac disease, so serving anything with gluten is a no go. It took me a while to wrap my head around the idea of living a gluten free life. While I haven’t completely made the switch yet, I have drastically cut down on the amount that I do consume, and I have definitely felt the health benefits from what I have done so far! Before we got a Whole Foods a few months back, finding gluten free products was a challenge. For those of you who don’t have a specialty store like Whole Foods, there is good news! There is a new cookbook available that is chock full of delicious, gluten free recipes!
Sweet Cravings, by Kyra Bussanich, offers 50 seductive desserts right at your fingertips. In Sweet Cravings, Kyra Bussanich, the first gluten-free baker to win the Food Network's Cupcake Wars, shares her indulgent recipes for cakes, muffins, scones, cookies, brownies, cobblers, buckles, tarts, and more. With delicious flavor combinations and unique recipes like Cherry White Chocolate Scones, Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes, and Mexican Chocolate Baked Alaska, this collection of 50 foolproof recipes invites home cooks to whip up sweet treats that everyone at the birthday party, brunch, or potluck can enjoy.
Kyra Bussanich was diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder when she was 20 years old. Part of staying healthy meant switching to a gluten-free diet. After being disappointed in the gluten-free products that were available on the market, she thought she’d have to live without birthday cakes and scones and doughnuts. So she attended the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu patisserie program and acquired a solid foundation of knowledge in classical French baking techniques. She then dedicated herself to baking gluten-free, opening up Kyra’s Bake Shop (originally Crave Bake Shop), in Lake Oswego, Oregon.
By craving, and by necessity, Kyra began experimenting with alternative flours and developed a set of cake recipes that taste as good, if not better, than traditional wheat-filled cakes. Her culinary creations know only the bounds of her own imagination and the desires of the people who ask her to develop something new, special and unique.
I recently received the book for review. As I flipped through the pages, I was delighted at the colorful food photos, the easy to read recipes, and the variety of treats that looked simple enough to make. When I got to these Peanut Butter Truffle Crispy Rice Bars, I knew this was the first recipe I was going to try. It looked easy and delicious, and I knew it was a dessert my whole family was going to enjoy.
Crispy Rice Layer-
1/4 cup butter
1 10 oz bag jumbo marshmallows
2 tsp vanilla extract
8 cups gluten-free crispy rice cereal (such as Erewhon)
Peanut Butter Layer-
2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups dark chocolate
1/4 cup butter
Spray an 8 x 11 inch baking pan with gluten-free cooking spray and set aside.
To make the crispy rice layer, melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter browns, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the marshmallows and vanilla. Stir continuously until the marshmallows are melted. Remove from heat and stir in the cereal. Pour entire contents into the baking pan. Wet or grease your hands and pat down the cereal so it is level and compact. Freeze for 15 minutes to cool and set.
Using a stand mixer with paddle attachment, combine all the ingredients for the peanut butter layer and blend on low speed. **(Note, while the recipe did not call for it, I added 2 tbs milk to smooth it to a creamier frosting.) Remove the crispy rice layer from the freezer and spread the peanut butter filling evenly over it. Freeze until firm, 30 to 60 minutes.
In microwave safe bowl, or over a double broiler, melt the chocolate and butter for the chocolate layer and stir together until smooth. If using the microwave, heat at 30 second intervals, stirring well in between each interval. Working quickly, spread the chocolate evenly over the peanut butter layer. If the peanut butter is cold, the chocolate will set quickly.
Freeze the pan again, 15 to 30 minutes, as it will be much easier to cut if the peanut butter layer is firm. Cut into bars and serve cold or at room temperature.
These were seriously the best crispy rice bars I have ever made! The 3 layers all combined were pure bliss! And while I talked about loving to share, I was a little miffed when my husband decided he was taking in some of the bars to his co-workers. I wanted to be selfish this one time and eat them all myself! These will definitely be a staple treat in our home from now on.
There are so many other yummy, gluten-free recipes included in the book. You’ll find classics like warm apple crisp, or even recipes for dinner sides like Yam Biscuits.
More about the book:
List $12.98 Hardcover $9.99 Kindle
144 pages color smooth glossy paper
Ten Speed Press
First Edition September 10, 2013
ISBN-10: 1607743604 ISBN-13: 978-1607743606
Sweet Cravings, by Kyra Bussanich can be purchased today at Amazon.com and all major book stores.
One lucky Theresa’s Mixed Nuts reader is going to win their own copy of Sweet Cravings, by Kyra Bussanich! The giveaway is open to residents of the US, 18+. No PO Boxes will be accepted. The giveaway will run through 10/18. The winner will have 48 hours to respond, or a new winner will be selected. Please enter on the Rafflecopter form below.
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*Disclosure- I received the above mentioned product courtesy of the sponsor for the purpose of this review. No monetary compensation was provided. All opinions are genuine, based on my experience with the product, and have not been influenced by promotional items.