Copycat Little Debbie Star Crunch! (gluten/egg/dairy/nut free)
Those Little Debbie snack cakes we all know and love were probably a staple in everyone readings homes and lunchboxes growing up, I know they were in mine! If you have been following my blog and been a subscriber to Club Angell for a while you will recall that I was on a "Little Debbie kick" a while back, and the response was overwhelmingly positive! So I tried to think of what favorites I hadn't done yet and it dawned on me... Star Crunch! Crisped rice cereal, caramel, chocolate, whats not to love! I thought this recipe would be a breeze to create, turns out I was wrong, this one was definitely a labor of love! After hours of plugging away we finally nailed it! The key to this recipe's success is homemade marshmallow. Making marshmallow may sound intimidating, but it really isn't at all! All you'll need is a stand mixer and candy thermometer for this no-bake treat!
Yield: 8 Star Crunch
· 1 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
· 3/4 cup butter or ghee
· 3 tbsp heavy cream or coconut cream
· 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
· 1/4 tsp sea salt
· 1/4 cup cold water
· 1 1/2 tbsp gelatin
· 1/2 cup raw honey
· 1/4 cup water
· 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
· 1/8 tsp sea salt
· 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp dark cocoa powder
· 4 cups crisped rice cereal
1. Combine the butter/ghee, palm sugar, cream, vanilla and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until the butter is melted and the ingredients are well combined. Use a candy thermometer and allow to cook until it reaches 248 degrees, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. In a stand mixer, combine the gelatin and water, mix to combine and then set aside.
3. In a deep pot combine water, honey, salt, and vanilla. Heat over medium-high. You will need a candy thermometer, to reach 240 degrees, the hard ball stage (roughly 9-14 minutes).
4. Pour carefully into stand mixer (this will be VERY hot).
5. Gradually increase speed on mixer to high, and whip for 8-10 minutes. During the last 4 minutes of this time, reduce the speed to low, gradually add in the cocoa powder, and gradually increase the speed back to high.
6. Once the marshmallow is done, quickly stir in the cereal. Carefully fold in the prepared caramel. This is a very messy and sticky process so take your time to incorporate everything well.
7. Using a large cookie scoop or just a 1/3 cup measuring cup, scoop out the mixture, form into a ball and flatten between your hands. Place the prepared star crunch on a parchment lined baking sheet sprayed with oil to prevent sticking and place into the fridge for at least an hour to set.
These are best stored in a cool dry place in a sealed bag!