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These delicious bars are perfect for a cool treat on a hot day like today.  Or any day you’re craving both chocolate and a rice crispy square.

I used a combination of carob and chocolate instead of just chocolate for a few reasons.  Carob doesn’t have the caffeine that chocolate has, which makes it a better choice for those with that sensitivity (like me).  It also contains plenty of vitamins and minerals including three times as much calcium as chocolate.  Also, carob is naturally sweet so you don’t have to use as much sweetener in recipes.  I like combining the flavours of both carob and chocolate in these bars but you can use all chocolate if you like.  This recipe was inspired by the No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Crispies with PB Fudge from Oh She Glows, one of my favourite blogs.

Almond Fudge Rice Crispy Bars
Crispy rice layer
1/3 cup almond butter
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup chocolate almond milk
1/4 cup carob powder
2 cups rice cereal (I used Nature’s Path GF Organic Crispy Rice)
1/3 cup chopped almonds or other nuts
1/3 cup carob chips

Fudge layer
1 cup chocolate or carob chips (I used a mix of both)
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Chopped nuts or dried fruit for topping

Over medium heat, combine the almond butter, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla extract, chocolate almond milk and carob powder in a medium-sized pan and stir.   When well combined, remove from heat and stir in the rice cereal, nuts and carob chips.

Pour mixture into a greased 6-cup (1.5 L) pan and press down so the layer is even.   When cool, place in the freezer to firm up while you make the fudge topping.

In the same stove-top pan, melt over low heat the chips, coconut oil, maple syrup and cinnamon, stirring well.  When combined, pour over the rice crispy layer and smooth out using a spatula.  Top with chopped nuts or dried fruit (I used walnuts and bananas).  Return to the freezer until firm.  Slice into squares and serve.

I made these bars the night before, keeping them in the freezer the next day, then moving the pan to the fridge at the start of dinner so the bars wouldn’t be too frozen to cut.  They were a big hit!

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