I never knew the best kinds of rivers are those with layers of peanut butter and ripples of chocolate. Have you ever wished for a river to skate away on? You’re looking at your golden opportunity. This winter, we’re dreaming of salted caramel, peanut butter, chocolatey rivers.
I came upon a recipe for Salt River Bars from Handle the Heat a few years ago. Yes, YEARS is how long I had this recipe saved to try. Salt River Bars get their name from salted soda crackers with layers of peanut butter, caramel and chocolate. In reading more about these bars, they were oringally created in a Phoenix-based restaurant called Liberty Market. Apparently, these Salt River Bars are a big deal as recipes for them keep spreading across the web.
I took a look at the ingredient list for Salt River Bars and knew immediately they could be made vegan and naturally sweet! The real beauty is that they use only a handful of ingredients and come together in about 30 minutes.
I decided to use Saltine Crackers in my bars to make sure the recipe was extra flavorful. While Saltine’s may not be the most natural product, they are vegan, sugar-free and eliminate the need for baking!
Saltines also make perfect (messy) squares that are easy to cut! Each layer is filled with ample amounts of salty and sweet in every bite. They are easy to whip up anytime you need something delicious. These are my kind of rivers. Skate away!
Salt River Bars
48 Saltine Crackers
3/4 cup Earth Balance Butter (or regular butter)
1 cup plus 1 Tablespoon Coconut Sugar, divided
2/3 cup Natural Creamy Peanut Butter
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
1 1/4 cup Sugar-Free Chocolate Chips, melted
Course Sea Salt, for sprinkling
Line a 7 by 11 or another small baking dish with foil or parchment paper, allowing enough for edges to hang over the sides. Lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray.
In a microwave safe bowl, gently heat the peanut butter with 4 Tablespoons of coconut sugar for about 30 seconds, stirring halfway. Stir to combine. Set aside. Melt butter and remain coconut sugar in a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir the mixture constantly as it slightly bubbles and smoothes into a creamy consistency, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and add the vanilla and stir.
ASSEMBLE: Place 12 bars at the bottom of the baking dish. The dish I used fit 4X3 perfectly. Spread about 1/3 of the caramel and 1/3 of the peanut butter over the bars. Top with a layer of saltines. Repeat two more times. Top the final layer with the last of the crackers. Spread the melted chocolate over the final layer of crackers. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt if desired.
Place the bars in the fridge for 20 minutes or until chocolate begins to set. Run a knife through the bars before the chocolate has completely set so they come apart nicely. Serve these bars chilled or at room temperature. They will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week and they can be frozen for up to 2 weeks