BitterSweet

Sweet Musings with a Bitterly Sharp Wit

A Very Merry Unbirthday to You!

9 Comments

Birthdays come and birthdays go. Some are occasions to rejoice, some are best forgotten. Ready or not, they happen to the best of us, and we find a way to struggle through, as it sure beats the alternative. For the remaining 364 days a year, we tend to gloss over the fact that we’re still getting older, still surviving to see another morning; why shouldn’t we celebrate that too? Treat yourself to a nice dinner because it’s Monday. Splurge on some fancy olive oil because you answered all your emails. Throw yourself a party because you damn well feel like it. Most importantly of all, eat cake simply because it’s delicious.

Birthday cake is the first thing that came to mind upon cracking open a bottle of baker’s extract, my new favorite secret ingredient. Primarily vanilla but so much more, Rodelle describes it as having notes of chocolate, caramel, cream and oak mingling within the dark emulsion. If you ask me, it’s like vanilla with the dial turned up to 11. Robust and smooth, just a few drops add incredible richness and complexity to any sweet treat, which is why I’ve been reaching for this bottle more often than not. Blend it into pancakes for legitimate cakes made in a pan. Add a splash to a protein drink transform it into a cake batter milkshake. In the case of today’s recipe, mix things up with simple cereal bars, and create an everyday birthday treat.

The much beloved childhood cereal bar morphs into a convincing cookie and cake hybrid with just a few small tweaks. Crunchy, chewy squares of crisp rice are bound together with a simple sticky syrup, bolstered by that extraordinary baker’s extract and just a touch of cake flour to really cement the theme. White chocolate stands in for frosting, keeping these snacks packable, portable, and perfectly suited for whipping up on every unbirthday you please. Speaking of which, don’t you have one coming up soon, too? Maybe you should start planning your next batch right now.

Though technically optional, I would argue that it’s really not a birthday without sprinkles, so err on the side of whimsy and let it rain. If you really insist on being an adult about it, chopped nuts could be an acceptable topping as well… Albeit considerably less fancy-free.

This post was made possible thanks to Rodelle and their sweet contributions.

Birthday Cake Crispy Rice Treats

5 Cups Crispy Brown Rice Cereal
3 Tablespoons Cake Flour
1 Tablespoon Vegan Butter
1/2 Cup Light Agave Nectar
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Teaspoon Rodelle Baker’s Extract

6 Ounces (About 1 Cup) Chopped Vegan White Chocolate, Homemade or Store-Bought
1 – 3 Tablespoons Assorted Sprinkles

Line an 8 x 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease. Combine the cereal and flour in a large bowl; set aside.

Set a medium saucepan over low heat and begin by melting the butter. Once liquefied, add in the agave, sugar, and salt, stirring as needed until the sugar crystals dissolve. Bring the mixture to a steady boil and then cook for an additional 3 – 5 minutes, until it appears to have thickened slightly. Remove from the heat and quickly stir in the both extracts.

Pour the contents of your saucepan over the dry mix and fold it in carefully but briskly with a wide non-stick spatula, being careful not to crush the cereal.

Transfer the sticky mixture into your prepared pan and gently press it out into an even layer. It’s easiest if you grease the bottom of a flat measuring cup and use that to smooth it down, applying firm downward strokes across the full pan of cereal.

Seal the deal by melting down the white chocolate and pouring it on top. Distribute the sprinkles equally across the top, and let the chocolate cool until set. Slice and celebrate!

Makes 10 – 12 Bars

Printable Recipe

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Author: Hannah (BitterSweet)

Author of My Sweet Vegan, Vegan Desserts, Vegan a la Mode, and Easy as Vegan Pie.

9 thoughts on “A Very Merry Unbirthday to You!

  1. This is such a lovely post and so very close to my heart! I LOVE my birthday, am having an absolute blast welcoming each new year — and I LOVE Cake! I became 66 last July, retired to hot, steamy Florida and am enjoying every trickle of sweat that travels down my back. Soon it will be cooler and I’ll be making favorite vegan cakes, cookies, scones and more. Though I do live alone and don’t want to have to eat, lose weight, eat, lose weight, so every dessert is in moderation and I size the recipes to fit my singledom.
    Hannah, you never disappoint, thank you so much for your diverse recipe posts and your craft projects.
    I still hope to make a few pop-tart phone covers for the December holiday season. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can’t begin to tell you just how happy this comment makes me. Truly, it’s the kindest, most heart-warming thing I’ve heard in weeks! You’ve definitely got the right approach to retirement there, and living well in general. I’m so touched that you’re still enjoying those knitting patterns, too. I really should get back to the craft…

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  2. So adorable! Almost too cute to eat. I love the simplicity of this recipe a lot.

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  3. You always take everything to the next level! :)

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  4. These are looking adorable…Loved it !!

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  5. These are adorable and so fun! Perfect for making year around – thanks! :-)

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  6. Just looking at these makes me happy. I can only imagine what I’d feel if I was eating them!!

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  7. That looks so good:) And that extract sound fabulous:)

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