Homemade Raw Butterfingers

Nestle's Butterfinger. (Photo: Evan Amos.)

Nestle’s Butterfinger. (Photo: Evan Amos.)

butterfingers-1

Homemade Butterfinger.

— by Challah Maidel

Healthy butterfingers are candy bars that defy all logic. They are perhaps one of the most underrated chocolate candy bars in the market. Many people claim that they are palatable and nothing more.

My homemade raw butterfingers have the same toffee-like crunch as do the commercialized butterfingers, but unlike the original version, these butterfingers candy bars are whole grain, high in iron, and completely void of high-fructose corn syrup. Plus, the filling does not stick to one’s teeth as much.

Learning how to make homemade butterfingers is not a far stretch from making homemade snickers bars. The methods are quite similar and the flavors are comparable.

This vegan butterfingers recipe does not get any easier. Unlike many vegan butterfingers recipes, mine does not require any cooking. Peanut butter and peanuts are recommended for this recipe, but you can use almonds and almond butter if you have a peanut allergy.

Ingredients for 8 to 10 bars:

  • 1 1/2 cup of bran flakes, corn flakes, or dried white mulberries. (You can use rice cakes, although the texture would not be as authentic.)
  • 3/4 cup of peanut or almond butter
  • 1/2 cup of pitted, soaked  dates
  • 1/3 cup of chopped peanuts or almonds
  • 2 tablespoons of agave nectar or maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
  • Bittersweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Pulse the bran flakes, corn flakes, or dried white mulberries in a food processor until crumbly.
  2. Add the remaining six ingredients and pulse until large, sticky clumps form. Add more agave or syrup if the dough is not holding together.
  3.  Pour the dough and spread it out evenly onto a prepared 8×8 pan.
  4.  Cover and freeze for 15-20 minutes, or until firm.
  5.  In the meantime, melt chocolate chips, in a microwave or over a double boiler, and set aside.
  6.  Remove the dough from the freezer and cut into bars while they are still in the pan.
  7. Gently pour melted chocolate over each bar.
  8.  Return them to the freezer and freeze for an hour before serving. Store them in the freezer if you wish to retain their crunchiness.

Challah Maidel blogs about healthy kosher eating.

Homemade Chocolate Spread

— by Challah Maidel

Sweet or savory, spreads are very addictive. Put a bowl of crackers and a spread in front of me and they both will be devoured within minutes.

I never cared for store-bought chocolate spreads. Overall, I find them to be too sugary for my liking. Nutella happens to be on the top of my favorite spreads, because the sweetness is not as overpowering.

The lack of sugar, minuscule amount of oil, and natural ingredients are what set this homemade chocolate spread apart from most chocolate spreads. This chocolate spread takes minutes to make and can be used as a chocolate frosting or icing.

Adjust the measurements in the following ingredients depending on the consistency you like. You can even add a nut spread to the ingredients if you like.

Recipe after the jump.
Chocolate Spread

  • 4 tablespoons of coconut oil, or trans-fat free margarine
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup of agave syrup or date honey
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  1. Melt the coconut oil or margarine, either in the microwave or in a warm oven.
  2. Add agave syrup and vanilla extract and stir.
  3. Add cocoa powder. Add a bit of water if spread is too thick.

Yields about 1 cup.

Challah Maidel is a blog about healthy kosher eating.  

New Year’s Fruit Salad

— by Challah Maidel

Rosh Hashana marks the Jewish new year, which starts in four days. Thankfully, I am covered for most of the meals. On Rosh Hashana, we eat foods that symbolize good things we hope for in the coming year. Apples and honey hint of a sweet year, while fish hint of a prosperous year to come.

Apples and pomegranates are some the many symbolic fruits that are featured in this fruit salad recipe. That is why I dubbed it “new year’s fruit salad.” The title is predictable, but the flavors have a surprise factor. I purposely selected these ingredients, as they give this fruit salad recipe a semblance of festivities.

Full recipe after the jump.
Sometimes, an Asian pear would be presented at our table. Our family tradition was to present and serve fruits that we normally do not eat on a regular basis. An Asian pear, or a pyrus pyrifolia, looks like a cross between an apple and a pear. Its tree species is native to China, Japan, and Korea. Also known as “apple pears,” Asian pears are low-calorie fruits that are high in fiber and vitamins. This fruit’s skin is thin enough for eating the fruit raw like an apple, without peeling, but easily removed with a sharp paring knife to reveal creamy white flesh.  

You can also add in star fruit, dates, or walnuts if you prefer. I have included a lemon honey dressing for this salad. A bit of ginger adds a nice touch as well. After all, given that much of the time during the Jewish new year holiday is spent either sitting in synagogue praying, or sitting around the dining room table eating, it is a good idea to include salads on the Rosh Hashanah menu.


An Asian pear looks like a cross between an apple and a pear.

New Year’s Fruit Salad

  • 3 Asian pears, sliced
  • 3-4 sour apples, sliced
  • 1 cup of pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of minced ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg

Place all of the ingredients in a salad bowl, and toss. If not serving immediately, securely cover salad with plastic wrap so the fruit won’t oxidize.

Yields 4-6 servings.

Challah Maidel is a blog about healthy kosher eating.  

Mango-Avocado Salad

— by Challah Maidel

There are many ways to keep cool in the summer, and a refreshing salad does it for me as just well as ice cream, cold soup and swimming. This mango-avocado salad recipe was originally borrowed from “Reader’s Digest,” many issues ago. This is a good salad to enjoy now that fresh mangoes and avocado are in the market. I recreated this recipe at a family barbecue and the only complaints I received were that I didn’t make enough for everyone. At events where the meals are heavy in protein, salad is always a nice balance, and even some coniferous meat-eaters can agree with that. I recommend Serving this salad along with grilled chicken.

The ingredients of this salad, except for avocado and mango, include tomatoes, red onions and lime vinaigrette. These ingredients induce an interesting flavor of spicy, sweet and sour.

Full recipe after the jump.
Mango Avocado Salad (Yields 4 servings.)

  • 1 large ripe mango peel, removed and cubed
  • 2 ripe Haas avocados, cubed
  • 4-5 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 4 tbsp fresh lime juice (you can use lemon juice as well)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, or parsley
  1. Place all the chopped vegetables in a salad bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk lime juice, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.
  3. Lightly toss into a salad.
  4. Top with chopped cilantro or parsley and serve.

Challah Maidel is a blog about healthy kosher eating.