There is something therapeutic about cooking, at least for me. Perhaps because I love eating a little too much, and chocolate a lot too much. And also because it is so rewarding to make something that the Owl can eat, and does eat, and actually asks for more. So while I have a post sitting in my drafts folder about things I never thought I would be up against as a parent, I'm not sure about publishing it yet. I turn to chocolate and desserts instead.

For coffee hour at church several weeks ago, someone brought in a pan of those peanut butter rice crispy treats with chocolate frosting on top. I have noticed that kind of bar is really popular here in Minnesota, there are a lot of versions of them. The recipes vary, but they are full of gluten-containing cereal, of course peanut butter, and often butter, likely soy in the chocolate (since soy is in everything!), and clearly off-limits for my youngest son. He doesn't usually ask to eat anything at coffee hour, we always have safe snacks for him. But for whatever reason, he was really drawn to those bars and asked me to make a safe version for him. So we've been doing some experimenting at home--a dangerous thing because when we make a whole pan of bars that taste good but don't hold together, what is a person supposed do besides eat them? And then after finally making the perfect pan of bars, it is hard to resist eating even more. Now that I have the recipe mastered, we are planning to make more to share at church! If you haven't discovered No Nuts Golden Peabutter, I highly recommend it! If you are avoiding gluten, be careful not to buy the regular Rice Krispies, look for the gluten-free version that is often in the natural foods aisle. Or you could use Erewhon or another GF brand.

Peabutter & Chocolate Rice Krispy Treats

¾ cup sugar
1 cup agave nectar
1 ½ cups No Nuts Golden Peabutter
6 cups gluten-free Rice Krispies

10 oz. package Enjoy Life chocolate chips
¼ cup NoNuts Golden Peabutter

Heat sugar and agave in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring with a silicone spatula until sugar is fully dissolved. Add peabutter and stir until creamy. Remove from heat and mix in cereal. Press into a 9x13 pan greased with Spectrum palm shortening.

Add chocolate chips and additional peabutter to saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring until mixture is a smooth liquid. Pour over the top of the bars in the pan and spread evenly.

Cool & eat!

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