Sunday, December 22, 2013

Have a Holly Jolly (& Sweet) Holiday! Gluten Free & Vegan Chocolate Peanut Butter Chex Mix

As a child growing up outside of Seattle, I don't remember a holiday that didn't include an overflowing bowl of freshly baked Chex Mix. My father, an accomplished home cook and avid watcher of Julia Child cooking shows, routinely made the popular cereal concoction but never followed the original recipe proudly displayed on its box. Sometimes he'd add a simple dash of cayenne pepper for a bit of a Southwest feel, other times it was cheese crackers, homemade BBQ sauce, and Tabasco.

photo by Runs With Spatulas
 In lieu of the traditional mix, this holiday I've opted for a slightly sweet, chocolatey, and nutty version that is gluten free & vegan ("Glutenfreegan"), dairy free, egg free, soy free, and low in refined sugar (modified from Chex's "Muddy Buddies®" recipe). Our recipe contains nuts (almonds & coconut oil) but can be made without. It also contains rice & corn (from the Chex®; corn is also in most conventional powdered sugars); if you are allergic or avoiding either one of these ingredients, you can substitute the other cereal for the entire amount listed below. Wholesome Sweeteners offers a powdered sugar made without corn (but it tends to clump easily, I recommend sifting the powdered sugar before step 6 below). For those with peanut allergies, just swap in almond butter for the peanut butter. 

Here's the recipe (Yields 8 cups):

3 cups (3.5 oz) Corn Chex®
3 cups (3.5 oz) Rice Chex®
2 cups (11 oz) raw or toasted almonds*
1/2 cup (4.5 oz) natural peanut or almond butter (no added sugar)
1/2 cup (3 oz) 70-85% chocolate, chopped (I use Theo Chocolate 85%)
2 tablespoons (1 oz) raw organic virgin coconut oil, melted (I use Trader Joe's brand) or non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening for those with nut allergies (I use Spectrum Organic brand)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon (about 2 pinches) freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 cup powdered sugar (organic preferred)

cereal mixture, once coated with chocolate

How to make GF&V Chocolate Peanut Butter Chex Mix:

1. Place cereal and almonds in a large mixing bowl and set aside. 
*If using raw almonds, place nuts on a cookie sheet at toast at 325 for 10 minutes. Let cool slightly before adding to the cereal. If making without nuts, add 2 additional cups of cereal to substitute. 

2. Place peanut or almond butter, chopped chocolate, coconut oil (or shortening, if using), cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg in small sauce pan and heat over medium low heat until chocolate is melted. Stir well with a whisk until all ingredients are combined.

3. Pour chocolate mixture over cereal & nut mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until all the cereal and nuts are coated. 

4. Line 2 standard sized cookie sheets with parchment/wax paper (or use silicon baking mats) and place half of the coated cereal mixture onto each sheet, spreading into a single layer.

5. Place cookie sheets in refrigerator to help the chocolate set, takes about 30 minutes.

6. Remove sheets from refrigerator and using a metal or wood spatula, transfer cereal mix into a resealable gallon plastic bag. Place powdered sugar on top of cereal, seal bag, and shake until evenly coated.

7. Store in air tight container in refrigerator. 

Share with family & enjoy!!


Marisa, The Radical Cupcake