Meet Alex Caspero
Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.
Salted Caramel Hippie Bars! A vegan, gluten-free and naturally sweetened rice crispie treat!
This was recipe was originally published in 2015 and updated in 2020.
I don’t even want to remember a time without Google.
Of course, I do remember a time where the internet was only accessible by stockpiling AOL CD’s and my sole-purpose for signing on was AIM chat or sending a zillion chain emails to my entire address book (um, 4 of my best friends).
But, now? I must google a hundred times a day. I don’t even try to think about the answer first, google will tell me in less than 10 seconds. It’s fascinating how easy is it to access information, both the important and utterly ridiculous. I had this same conversation the other day with my grandmother, reminiscing on how the internet has forever changed the way we consume food. Before the million+ blogs and recipe search catalogs, there were cookbooks, magazines, and the weekly food column in the Sunday newspaper. Of course, those things are still around today (❤️ my cookbook collection) but you don’t have to own any of those items to find enough new and exciting recipes to last a lifetime.
So, it was on a recent I-don’t-want-to-work, I’ll-just-google rabbit hole search that I found these Chocolate Hippie Bars. Be still my procrastinating heart.
Chocolate – Marshmallows = Dessert!? Internet, I love you. Thank you for existing so I could find these babies. It’s everything I want in a dessert. Naturally sweetened chocolate mix, crispy cereal, and a ganache topping. I’ve made them at least six times of the past year and they are a hit every time.
But then I changed it! To a version that is just as delicious, but with salted caramel! Yes, it’s as good as it sounds.
I’ve been on a salted caramel kick for a while now. It all started back in Sacramento when I was introduced to salted caramel gelato (!!) and things just went downhill from there. I think it’s like the grown up version of pretzels in ice cream, weird at first, then suddenly the best thing you’ve ever eaten.
Flaky sea salt and sticky, sweet caramel don’t disappoint in these hippie bars. Sure, they’re vegan, gluten-free and naturally sweetened, but they aren’t virtuous. Just a better version of what a Rice Krispie Treat should be. It’s the adult version of kid food, and I’m loving every bite.
You’ll probably have to make a stop at Whole Foods (or Amazon pantry) to grab a few of the ingredients as brown-rice syrup isn’t mainstream just yet. It’s a little more mellow than honey or maple syrup, sweet but not overpowering.
The original recipe says you can swap in corn syrup or golden syrup in it’s place, but I kinda feel like the defeats the purpose of making these hippie bars. Yeah, I want a marshmallow-less bar, but I don’t want to swap in corn syrup, ya know?
Essentially, you are making two caramel sauces. The first to coat the crispy cereal with (brownie points if you use brown rice cereal- Barbara makes the best) and a second to top the bars with.
The hardest part of making these bars is waiting for them to cool long enough to cut! BL and I looked like pathetic little dogs, peering over the glass container, doing a few poke tests, just waiting to take a bite. Let them set. It’s hard, but it’s worth it. If they get too warm, they will turn into sticky, cereal clumps.
Delicious, but no. After you enjoy a few, stick them in the fridge to stay hard. I loved them right out of the pan but BL swears they taste better the longer they sit in the pan.
If you try these salted caramel hippie bars, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge . I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking!Print
Salted Caramel Hippie Bars! A vegan, gluten-free and naturally sweetened rice crispie treat! You HAVE to try these, perfect for adults and kids!
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(30 comments) leave a comment
So I’m trying to figure out how peanut butter + maple syrup + coconut oil = a salted caramel sauce. Am I missing something?
Hi Justen- have you tried it? Believe it or not, cooking those ingredients down together creates a luscious caramel sauce. Sprinkle with flaked sea salt at the end for the ‘salted’ part of ‘salted caramel’
I’m trying it this week. Just got my rice syrup. I was just confused by the use of the word caramel but I guess it’s just a sweet sticky sauce. Sounds delicious and I’m looking forward to it!
Any substitutions for brown rice syrup?
Hi Briana, I’ve tried these with maple syrup and they didn’t work; it wasn’t “sticky” enough. That’s why I like the brown rice syrup, though I haven’t tried honey yet. Is it because you have trouble getting the brown rice syrup? You can buy it online.
I stumbled across these when I was searching for allergen free desserts, and I’m so happy I did! I made them for a group that has multiple food allergies so everyone could eat then, and everyone loved them!! I made them almost exactly as written, using sprouted brown rice crispies, but I did sub sunflower butter for peanut butter so those with a nut allergy could eat them. I wanted to report that they turned out perfect, even with the sunflower butter swap. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!!
Awesome Christina! Thanks so much for your comment.
Could I use almond butter or sunflower butter instead of peanut butter?
I think that would work, though- I haven’t tried it. If you do – come back and let us know how it turned out!
Awesome! Thank you so much!! I will definitely do so! 🙂 Have a fantastic Easter!! God bless!
Thanks Miranda! You as well.
You’re so very welcome, Alex! And thanks!!
Hi, what recipe did you use for the salted caramel? I can’t see it on here. They look so delicious!
Hi Sam, it’s in the recipe. You combine 2 tablespoons coconut oil, 1/4 cup 100% pure maple syrup, 1 tablespoon peanut butter and 1/2 teaspoon flaked sea salt together.
I attempted to make these two times, but they turned out hard as rock. What am I doing wrong??
Hi Cassie… hm, I’m not sure. Did you make any substitutions? My initial thought is make sure that you use 100% maple syrup (not breakfast/pancake) and brown rice syrup instead of honey or maple syrup. I haven’t made these in a few years, but I will put them on my list to make ASAP to triple check them again.
I can feel my new year’s resolve dissolving….
There is 1/2 c creamy peanut butter listed in the main ingredients but not mentioned in the instructions. Does it get mixed in with the maple and brown rice syrup? Is there a heavy peanut butter taste in the finished product?
These look amazing. And your pictures are beyond gorgeous!!
Thank you friend!
These look amazing. And your pictures are beyond gorgeous!!
These look seriously delicious!