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Again my Elvis craving has hit, but this time I’m leaving out the bananas and mixing things up a little. Peanut butter, bacon (coconut bacon), chocolate, and maple popcorn!! With me so far? I know it might seem a little strange but it’s good! So the first layer of the bars is like my Sprinkle Power Bars, this time making with just oat flour, crispy rice cereal, peanut butter, and maple syrup. Oh and of course some of the coconut bacon so the flavor goes all the way through. If you want you can certainly try using bacon bits I just don’t care for them and am loving the Organic Matters Coconut Bacon I got (I ordered off Amazon Prime as my local stores don’t carry it). Top that with a layer of chocolate, because well it’s chocolate and because I needed something for the bacon popcorn to stick to. Then yes they are topped with more coconut bacon and delicious maple popcorn! Seriously love Quinn Vermont Maple Popcorn! So if your still with me I’m guessing you are like me and your just drooling thinking about these bars! Making another batch to photograph and wouldn’t you know it’s when things finally start heating up around here so I threw them in the freezer to set and tried cutting them right away just in case the chocolate got warm. Well the chocolate didn’t melt, and didn’t on the trip I took them on, but after attempting to chop them pretty I decided these don’t need to be pretty these bars have character and it’s going to show all the way through! If you want pretty lines be sure to add just the cup and a half of oat flour as they are a little drier and denser with more flour, also don’t freeze them like I did to set the chocolate because you are in a hurry or if you do don’t leave them in there while you quick do something else. I would make yet another batch to photograph but really not sure my clothes can handle me eating that many more of these bars! Haha, not that they are bad but moderation and balance like everything else.
Peanut Butter “Bacon” Popcorn Bars
9×13 pan, 24 servings
3 3/4c Rice Krispies, or gluten-free puffed rice cereal
1 1/2- 1 3/4c oat flour
1/3c coconut bacon, divided
3/4c peanut butter (used Peanut Butter & Co Smooth Operator)
3/4c maple syrup, or agave
1 1/2c chocolate chips*
1 TBSP coconut oil, optional*
3-4c popped Maple Popcorn (used Quinn Vermont Maple Popcorn)
*Depending on the chocolate used you may want to add the coconut oil to smooth out and to make so it isn’t so hard, it is optional but I added it. If it is warm out spread chocolate and place in the refrigerator for a couple of minutes but not until fully set and top with bacon and popcorn, you still want it to stick. This can also be made with raw chocolate using 1/2 cup of coconut oil, 1/2 cup of agave or maple syrup, and 1 cup of cocoa/cacao.
If making these bars ahead of time make the base of the bars and place in the refrigerator or freezer and top with chocolate, bacon, and popcorn a couple hours before serving (as some chocolates will need time to harden depending on weather). If made too far in advance or in extreme humidity the popcorn can get stale.
Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl wish together maple syrup and peanut butter until smooth. Stir in oat flour (using 1 1/2 cups and reserving the 1/4 cup only if needed if the mixture is too sticky after adding in the cereal) but often adding 1 3/4 is too dry and can crumble as shown, especially when chopping them cold hard chocolate) until mixed together. Stir in the rice cereal and half of the coconut bacon. Press mixture into prepared pan. You will really want to press it in there, I like to top it with a sheet of parchment paper to smooth and really pack it down. Place in the refrigerator or freezer to set, about 10-20 minutes, or longer if making ahead. Pop popcorn per package instructions. In a microwave safe bowl melt chocolate, stirring frequently, until melted. Whisk in optional coconut oil if desired, if your chocolate is nice and smooth you can omit it. Remove bars and spread chocolate evenly over the bars. Sprinkle with bacon and popcorn. Let the chocolate set, you can place them in the freezer for the chocolate to set quickly you just don’t want to store them in the freezer. Bars are best enjoyed the day they are made but can be stored in an airtight container and enjoyed within a couple days. Enjoy!
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Linking up with Laura at Sprint 2 The Table for Strange But Good this week as well as some fellow bloggers for Foodie Friday! Check out more #StrangeButGood and #FoodieFriday creations by clicking the links below!