I know it can be a little confusing. One minute I’m touting soups for lunch to help keep the weight down, the next I’m tempting you with chocolate desserts. But, hear me out!
No one says you can’t have the fattening foods you love! You can. I, for one, HAVE to have dessert everyday. If I don’t, I feel deprived and it’s all I can think about. Then, in the vain attempt to fill the void an absent chocolate chip cookie leaves, I start eating pretzel sticks – lots of them. Or raisins, followed by pretzel sticks. I think you see where I’m going. I end up eating more calories trying to avoid eating calories.
The key, of course, is portion control. We dessert lovers have to find a method to outsmart our sneaky ways. What sneaky ways, you ask? Let me paint a picture: You make a pan of brownies. You decide to store them in the baking pan so you don’t have to dirty a Tupperware. And you also decide not to pre-slice them so everyone can cut out the size brownie they want. You cut yourself a piece that’s about 1½” square – a reasonable size, right? But, gee – another ½” would just hit the spot. Oh, no! That last slice was not quite straight – let’s just fix that up (brownies should be at 90º angles, shouldn’t they?). But now the rest of the row is too big for one person, but not enough for two – might as well fix that, too. Whoops – you broke off a piece when you were removing that last bit. No one’s going to want that. Pretty soon you’ve rationalized eating the entire row.
Been there, done that!
I’ve been around this earth long enough to get to know myself. As stated previously, I need my dessert everyday. I just do. BUT, I’m also very vain and have always prided myself on my slim physique. It never came easy, but I always managed to keep my weight stable. Unfortunately, as time went on it got harder and harder. Before I knew it I was wearing nearly 10 extra pounds. That’s 2 sacks of flour! Something needed to be done.
Besides being vain and needing dessert everyday, I’m also basically lazy. So instead of cupcakes I’d make a layer cake, instead of muffins I’d make a loaf, instead of individual pudding cups I’d make a large bowl, and so on. The problem was I always knew there was more when I took my serving. If I cut a ½” slice of cake, it was kind of flimsy, and I felt like I was short-changing myself. So I’d go back for a wee bit more. BUT, if I have a cupcake I feel complete – even though if you cut a cupcake in half and place one half on top of the other it becomes a VERY thin slice of cake. Crazy! The mind is a funny thing. I guess when I grab a cupcake (or pudding cup, or pre-cut cookie bar) I know this is my dessert. But when face to face with a whole dessert, I can take as much as I want. And that’s where will power comes into play…..or doesn’t. Sigh!
So now I either make individual portions (such as cupcakes or pudding cups), or I pre-cut the dessert and remove them to a storage container. I’ve found if I leave it in the baking pan – even if I pre-cut – I’m tempted to cut off a little more.
This brings me to the No Bake Chocolate Rice Cereal Bars pictured above. The last time I made them I left them in the pan and didn’t pre-slice. I think I polished them off in 3 days BY MYSELF. I made my latest batch 6 days ago. There are still 2 left and I’ve had my husband and son to help me eat them. So, ladies and gentlemen – PORTION CONTROL! It works for me.
CHOCOLATE RICE CEREAL BARS
- 2 cups milk chocolate chips (I used Nestle’s)
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter
- ½ cup light corn syrup
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 4 cups rice cereal (I used Rice Krispies)
Melt together the chocolate chips, butter, and corn syrup in a large pot over a low/medium flame. Stir often so it doesn’t burn. Add in the powdered sugar and vanilla and mix until blended. Turn off burner. Pour in the rice cereal and stir gently stir (you don’t want to crush them) until well coated.
Pour into any size pan you want, depending on how thick you want you bars to be. If you want to make individual cookies, you can drop blobs onto waxed paper. Either way, put them in the refrigerator to set. You may want to store them in the fridge, depending on how hot it is in your house.
NOTE: I line my pan with waxed paper – that way I can remove the entire slab and make nice clean cuts with a long knife. If you have trouble removing the bar with the waxed paper, hold the pan WEARING OVEN MITTS and quickly run it over the stove flame to slightly melt the bottom. It’ll come right out.
Following the theme of this blogpost, cut the bars into whatever size pieces you want and store them in a covered container.