I live and work among people who take deep, deep pleasure in preparing food. They revel in each step, seeing the acts of baking and cooking as more of an indulgence than the food itself.
These people are amazing. I am not one of them.
Cooking dinner shouldn't be complicated
If there’s a shortcut, I’m going to take it.
However, this doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy creating things in the kitchen—I just enjoy the whole experience more when it’s fast and easy.
Enter: Pampered Chef’s Snack Bar Maker.
The 10" x 15" silicone pan comes equipped with 12 “wells” that are practically begging to be filled with chocolate.
Buy It: $25; Pampered Chef
I suppose a healthier, more well-adjusted person would use it to make granola bars. But when I look at the Snack Bar Maker, all I see is potential candy.
So far, I’ve found two delicious uses for the pan: Dark chocolate bars with pecans and cranberries (perfect for Thanksgiving and holiday gift giving) and white chocolate bars with Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal (my personal favorite—get the recipe here).
The candy bar-making process is incredibly easy. All you have to do is:
- Melt baker’s chocolate, chocolate bars, or chocolate chips. Technically, this should be done in a double boiler to prevent burning. But, being the Shortcut Queen™ I am, I throw caution to the wind and use the microwave.
- Mix chocolate with whatever ingredients you want (nuts, fruit, cereal, etc.) and spoon mixture into wells. You can also do the more aesthetically pleasing thing: Spoon chocolate into wells and then place the other ingredients on top in a fun pattern.
- Place cover on top and let harden. You don’t technically have to cover the chocolate, but two curious cats make it a necessary step in my kitchen.
- That’s it! Seriously, that’s it. If you don’t plan to eat them in the next few days, stick the bars—cover and all—in the fridge.
You can buy the $25 Snack Bar Maker from Pampered Chef. I strongly recommend the Pampered Chef pan (it’s the only one I’ve used and I’m obsessed with it), but there's is a cheaper, similar-looking alternative available on Amazon for $9 too.
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