Sometimes, you just want chocolate. But you don’t want to turn on the oven. You don’t want to crack eggs. You don’t want to sift flour...and cocoa...and sugar. And you certainly don't want to tie on an apron and waste away the afternoon in a hot, sweaty kitchen, only to be left with a mountain of batter-dripping dishes and endless minutes of painstaking waiting. You just. Want. Chocolate.
And the days you really need chocolate are most likely the days you lack the ambition to decorate 24 darling little cupcakes, perfectly frost a three-tiered masterpiece or do anything with a knife other than take out your aggregation.
But with cooking and baking out the door, there really aren't many options, unless you're willing to settle for an over priced, preservative-packed candy bar (guilty) or a handful of chocolate chips straight from the bag (guilty).
Ahh...but have we forgotten about the microwave and its magical powers to, in just minutes, turn ordinary chocolate chips into hot, swirly bowls of melty chocolate that can be quickly molded into just about anything our cocoa-craving hearts desire? It's true!
These surprisingly low-cal, delicious little candies are basically a grown-up version of chocolate-covered Rice Krispies treats. (And by grown-up, I really just mean more chocolate and less cereal.) Or maybe more like a crunch bar on steroids. Either way, sweet-tart dried cherries, slivered almonds and vanilla pair perfectly with white and dark chocolate and the airy crunch of Rice Krispies. Delicious!
For your own little candy bars at a moment's notice, just melt a little chocolate, stir in the rest of the ingredients, shape, and throw into the fridge to chill...for an hour.
Seems there is a little waiting in this recipe. But well worth it, I assure you. And hey, there's always that chocolate-covered bowl and spoon to "clean up" while you wait. After all, sometimes, you just. Want. Chocolate.
Chocolate Almond Cherry Crisps
Laura Zapalowski, Cooking Light, DECEMBER 2007
Yield: 36 servings (serving size: 1 crisp)
Note: Prepare up to two days in advance, and store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. You can also experiment with different types of chocolate, nuts and dried fruit.
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups oven-toasted rice cereal (such as Rice Krispies)
3/4 cup dried cherries
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Cover a large baking sheet with wax paper.
Place semisweet and white chocolate chips in a medium glass bowl; microwave at HIGH 45 seconds. Stir, and microwave an additional 45 seconds or until almost melted. Stir until smooth. Add cereal and remaining ingredients; stir quickly to combine. Drop mixture by tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet; chill 1 hour or until firm.
Nutritional Information: Calories: 68 (44% from fat), Fat: 3.3g (sat 2g,mono 0.8g,poly 0.2g), Protein: 0.6g, Carbohydrate: 9.7g, Fiber: 0.7g, Cholesterol: 0.0mg, Iron: 0.3mg, Sodium: 6mg, Calcium: 7mg