They’re not perfect, and we’ll be making more, but here they are!
The real trick to making “branch blocks” or “natural log blocks” or whatever these are, is curing the wood. “Curing” the wood really means heating and drying it out to kill bugs/bug eggs, as well as to prevent warping and mildew.
To cure the wood, you can either bake your wood in the oven at 175˚F – 200˚F for a few hours. I hear you can also microwave the wood for 1 minute. I preferred the oven, because that meant I didn’t have to cut the blocks while the wood was still moist and green, so I just put a couple logs in the oven to cure before they became blocks.
For those of you following along back home: I have a lot of allergies to various foods (all very recent and alarming, but not my point right now) which means since November of last year, our family has been eating (pretty much) strictly vegan.
Reading labels of foods at the store has been such a chore, so processed foods are just not a thing we eat anymore.
But man, do I miss chocolate bars.
Cue today’s brain wave.
I was at the store, getting one of my pre-approved treats, wishing it was chocolate.
Then it hit me. Hey! Isn’t a rice cake a lot like the stuff inside a Krackle bar?
1/3 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
3 Tablespoons Maple/ Agave syrup
Melt all ingredients in microwave-safe bowl, stir to combine evenly until the chocolate is smooth and silky. Crumble rice cake (I only used about 1/3 of 1 rice cake for the amount of chocolate bars I made) into the molds and spoon liquid chocolate into the molds. For best results (I didn’t do this, but I totally should have), spoon a bit of chocolate into the mold before adding rice cake crumbles, to ensure a nice finish. Put your molds in a level place in the freezer to harden your chocolate. Makes roughly 2/3 cup of liquid chocolate.
The resulting chocolate is very quick to melt, and will absolutely melt in your hands, not just your mouth, so it’s best to keep them in the freezer.
I think it’s also good to note that this lovely concoction is a perfect “Magic Shell” on ice cream. My kiddos love this stuff on frozen fruit, especially blueberries and bananas.