They served a dessert called cocoa puff bars and I loved them. I can't actually now recall which lunch the bars went with, although I have never forgotten the green beans with the mac and cheese, the flabby pizza, and hot sauce with the Vietnam fried rice.
I remembered those bars a month or so ago and suddenly realized: I could make them! And eat them again! But alas, a Google search showed me that there are several versions of cocoa puff bars around (one, oddly, with a ganache topping; these are cocoa puffs, people, and they are not gourmet).
They are super-simple to make and the cocoa puffs give a delicious crunch in the rich peanut-buttery goo. If you can ignore the questionable nature of the puffs (what, exactly, are they?), these bars are wonderful.
I've made these bars twice now, and both times I finished the box by dumping the cocoa puffs into a finished batch of chocolate buckwheat granola with a fierce ironic glee. Health food: meet strange food! Wheeee!
Cocoa Puff Bars, the old-school Mennonite version
Heat together (I do this in a large pot):
1/3 cup butter
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
Stir to melt. Turn off heat and add:
1 cup chocolate chips
Stir again. Fold in:
7 cups cocoa puffs
Press and smooth mixture gently into lightly greased 9x13 pan. Cover. Cool to room temperature. Cut into bars.
Now...do I dare substitute a "healthy" choc. puff cereal, or make this a real treat and just buy cocoa puffs. Hmmm.
huh. I never even thought to LOOK for a healthy cocoa puff cereal!! Is there such a thing?
Sounds exactly like one more chocolate recipe I DARE NOT MAKE! Something like the peanut butter/butter/marshmallow/butterscotch chip squares that I dare not make.
Love your line "... with a fierce, ironic glee ..." - funny!
Just realized my squares don't even have chocolate in them. But ANY rich recipe is something I need to stay away from!
I've just re-read my comments from last night and, after laughing a bit I thought, oh my, I sound critical! I hope you guessed I was lecturing MYSELF. I've put on five pounds lately, and the culprits include chocolate :(
I miss the Chicken Corn Soup the PA Dutch ladies used to make in my Catholic school for lunch!
I say, everything in moderation, including moderation. The peanut butter and honey makes these healthy!
Yes! You can get big bags of the organic (I think even GF!) version of cocoa puffs.
I think the honey/peanut butter is an adorably necessary fixture in "healthy" 70s desserts.
This is completely off topic, but I read this article about a cookbook book club and immediately thought it sounded right up your alley. If you try it, I hope you'll write about it.
I just had to let you know that I made your cocoa puff bars this week and they were a big hit with my husband, mom and sister (oh, and me too!). Your recipe has already been passed on twice. : ) Thank you for sharing!
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