As a child, did you ever love a food so much that you would risk the wrath of your huge and terrifying older brother to sneak the last one?
The other day my husband and I were reminiscing about childhood junkfood favorites, and I remembered how much I desperately loved Little Debbie Star Crunches. I had a sick obsession with these things. This most likely caused me to block all thoughts of them from my memory after I went vegan. Once my memory was triggered, though, I became dead set on the idea of making them myself. I needed a way to once again enjoy the taste/texture of the individually wrapped treats that I used to stash everywhere: lunchbox, pocket, fridge, freezer, bookbag, dresser drawer. It was kinda out of control.
I loved them primarily because of their gooey and crispy and hard to explain texture… which oddly enough gave them most of their flavor. I think sans the strange texture of a Star Crunch, we would be left with pretty much just “sweet”.
To recreate these things I needed a great filler, because the crispy rice and chocolate part is easy. The answer was the Medjool date! Dates are absolutely magical… I am super happy to have discovered the many uses of them.
These cookies are definitely close enough to an actual Star Crunch to satisfy my craving… without the long list of creepy ingredients and eternal shelf life.
Vegan Star Crunch
makes about 8
- 7 medjool dates
- some confectioners sugar for dusting
- 2 cups of vegan chocolate chips
- 3 tbsp non dairy milk
- 2 tbsp agave or brown rice syrup (optional)
- about 2 cups crispy rice cereal- I used “Koala Crisp” for mine
De-pit dates and mix in food processor until smooth. Grab sections of pureed dates and roll into small balls, about an inch and a half across. Dust lightly with confectioners sugar if they stick to your hand. This should make about 8 balls.
Next, cover a plate with crispy rice cereal. Place one disk of date into the cereal and cover thoroughly with crispy rice while simultaneously flattening with you palm. You’ll probably crush a few crispies… more if you press too hard.
Once they are flattened and covered with crispy rice they should look like this:
They will be pretty floppy in this stage, so be careful handling them. Let these rest a bit while you make your chocolate coating.
Using a double boiler combine chocolate, agave and non-dairy milk and stir over medium low heat until smooth. Now, this is the tricky (or maybe I mean messy) part: the goal here is to cover the cookies with a thin layer of chocolate- enough to coat well. I went a little overboard with mine, and I really wish I hadn’t. I applied mine by simply using a butter knife and spreading a thin layer on the bottom, and then flipping it over in my hand and spreading a thicker layer on the top.
Once pretty well covered, just place the star crunch on wax paper, wire rack or a silicon mat and then stick in fridge until firm.
As usual… if you can’t wait that long, a quick trip in the freezer should firm them up nicely too. These will not get solid like a candy bar– they will remain just a tad softer once they hit room temperature.
Store in cool place and keep out of the sun! They could get melty. :)