Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Four Chocolates and a Nut Chews

I wasn't going to post this recipe, since I didn't get any photos of the final product and thought they were too cloyingly sweet to share, but popular demand has spoken! They surely did get eaten, both by myself and others, so I guess I should not have feared that they were overly sweet. Not sure if I should call these candies, or cookies, or bars, but regardless, they represent some chocolaty nutty chewiness!

This whole recipe is a perversion of David Lebovitz's Triple Chocolate Scotcheroo recipe, the changes driven by what is easily available to me in Israel. It's just a mess of sweet, good things stuck together, so feel free to improvise when it comes to the ingredients! That's what I did, after all. If you keep the same basic process (sugar syrup - nut spread - cereal - melted chocolates), it should work. You can skip the caramelized white chocolate step if you don't have time, and you can replace it with melted white chocolate or butterscotch chips.

Four Chocolates and a Nut Chews

1 C (200 g) sugar
1/2 C (320 g) honey
1/2 C (130 g) finely chopped pecans
1 1/2 C (130 g) Nutella, or a similar chocolate paste (I used the Israeli spread pictured above)
6 C (200 g) crisp chocolate-flavored cereal
1 bag (10-12 oz.) chocolate chips
1 C whole pecans
1 bag (10-12 oz.) white chocolate chips

optional (but highly recommended to balance the sweetness!): fleur de sel or flaky sea salt

1. Caramelize the white chocolate chips according to these instructions; in Israel, the white chocolate took about an hour longer than usual to caramelize, so I'm guessing the content of the chips is different, but it's done when it has a nice caramelized color.

2. Butter or spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan.

3. In a large saucepan (at least 6 qts) over medium heat, bring the sugar and honey to a full boil. Remove from heat and stir in chopped pecans and Nutella/chocolate spread, then mix the rice cereal in until completely coated. Press the mixture into the greased pan, making sure the top is smooth. If you use cereal that's in larger bits, this may just end up clumpy, which is fine (mine was VERY clumpy).

4. Melt the chocolate chips in a clean, dry bowl set over a double boiler or microwave, stirring gently until smooth and well-blended. Spread/drizzle over the cereal mixture, and sprinkle lightly with salt (if using). When the white chocolate is done caramelizing, drizzle it over the whole mess and place the whole pecans on top of the white chocolate, adding more salt if desired. Cool until set.

Serving: Once cool, cut into small sections with a sharp knife. These are very sweet and strong on the chocolate, so bite-sized portions are a good idea (The whole pecans and salt are intended to balance the sweetness. The honey may be reduced to made this less sweet).

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