My youngest son & me

My youngest son & me

About me

My name is Tanja (Sater) Miller and I'm excited about sharing my journey of converting my favorite recipes to gluten free! I am not a fancy cook - I prefer just a casual, fun meal. I am married with grown children (and have small grandchildren) & 3 dogs. I work full time as a registered nurse & I am a geek. Yes, I love Star Trek, Star Wars, Fringe, Firefly, Farscape and most of the other Scify shows. You will probably see a little of my geek side come out once in a while! Please join me on my journey of cooking, baking & converting every day recipes into yummy gluten free meals that everyone can enjoy (not just those with a gluten allergy!) Don't be shy about checking out my recipes....I have the gluten free version along with the regular recipe that I adapted from!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Nutella Marshmallow Chocolate Bars

Nutella Marshmallow Chocolate Bars! The fabulous combination of the hazelnut chocolate flavor of Nutella combined with chocolate fudge brownie style crust and added gooey, fluffy marshmallow topping is absolutely incredible. The flavor is rich yet simple. It delights the taste buds. For extra crunchiness you can add chopped hazelnuts too. This recipe is easy to make but tastes like you spent a lot of time preparing it!

I had a recipe that I made for years that was similar to this one but it had peanut butter instead of Nutella and of course it wasn't gluten free. I wanted to make this recipe gluten free so everyone in our family could eat it. I also had a guest coming that didn't like peanut butter but loves chocolate and hazelnuts. mind was spinning around what to make other than plain brownies. I came up with this recipe and it was a HUGE hit! Everyone loves it. I was invited to a BBQ this weekend and this "brownie" was requested. (I have also made a similar version of this recipe using a yellow cake mix and lemon curd or raspberry jam or pineapple jam instead of of using the Nutella. It was also yummy but my husband and grand-daughter are little choco-holics and they prefer the dark chocolate version with naturally I make it the most!). I love recipes that are easy, affordable, delicious & easy to adapt with what you have on hand. This recipe is wonderful because you CAN change it up easily. You can use any flavor cake mix you want (I use gluten free of course. However, if you don't have a gluten allergy then by all means use a regular cake mix!) You can substitute the Nutella with peanut butter, almond butter, lemon curd or jam. I add sprinkle chocolate chips on the top but you can either omit those or substitute chopped up candy bars (like Reese cups, Carmello bars, Rolos, M&Ms or any other gluten free candy bar) or use white chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, etc. The combinations that you can use are endless! (One of my favorite creations is using a yellow gluten free cake mix and substituting lemon curd for the Nutella and use white chocolate chips in place of dark chocolate chips. I still use the marshmallow cream. It is absolutely delicious! I love the sweet & tart together! I will post the actual recipe for the lemon version in a separate post soon!)

You can use a store bought cake mix (be sure you use a gluten free one if you have a gluten allergy and watch the size. This recipe uses a 2 layer size and some of the mixes out there only make 1 layer which is fine if you want to half the recipe and bake in a 8x8 pan instead!). The other option is you can make homemade cake mix and not prepare it, just the combined dry ingredients. If you only have a yellow cake mix on hand and you prefer chocolate then just add 1/4 of unsweetened cocoa powder or a handful of melted chocolate chips and have chocolate cake! ;) This recipe also does not call for any EGGS. If you have an egg allergy then this is a great recipe for you!

Key ingredients you will need

Nutella Marshmallow Chocolate Bars Recipe:
  • 1 box of (2 layer size) chocolate cake mix, dry (I use gluten free cake mix but you can use a regular cake mix if you don't have a gluten allergy. You can also cut all the ingredients in half if you only have a 1 layer size cake mix. Just bake in 8x8 pan instead of 9x13)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted (You can substitute margarine, Crisco or oil. I personally prefer the flavor of real butter)
  • 1/3 (can substitute almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk, rice milk, coffee creamer, coffee or water in a pinch)
  • 3/4 cup Nutella (You can substitute peanut butter, almond butter, lemon curd or jam)
  • 1 jar (7 oz.) Marshmallow fluff cream (I like it a little better than mini-marshmallows. However you can melt your marshmallows slightly in the microwave until soft and fluffy like marshmallow cream. I have done it. I just use an extra handful of marshmallows so I have enough cream. If you don't have a microwave or marshmallow cream, you can certainly just sprinkle mini-marshmallows instead although the texture may be more firm).
  • 1/2 cup nuts, optional (I use hazelnuts if I have them on hand but you can substitute peanuts, almonds, walnuts or just leave out the nuts. It is good either way! Nuts can be expensive so if I don't have any on hand...I just omit them!) I did not use nuts in my recipe today.
  • 6-8 oz. chocolate chips (or substitute chopped candy pieces. Just be sure the candy and chocolate chips you use are gluten free. Some chocolate is processed on equipment that uses wheat flour to prevent sticking! Read the allergy label on the back of the package. It should list allergy alerts! If it says WHEAT then don't use it if you have a gluten allergy!)
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the dry cake mix with melted butter and 1/3 cup milk. Press 2/3 of the dough into the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan to make a "crust". Dough will be thick.  (Save 1/3 of the dough for topping.)

The "crust after it is baked for about 15 minutes

Putting the Nutella & Marshmallow cream on the "crust"

Photo just before putting it in the oven
Bake the crust (without any of the toppings) for 12-15 minutes or until the center is almost set. Cool about 5 minutes. (This will prevent the toppings from sinking to the bottom of the crust while baking and making a gooey mess. Spread Nutella onto the crust. Top with small spoonfuls of the marshmallow fluff cream sporadically over the Nutella. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate cake mixture over the marshmallow fluff cream. Sprinkle nuts if you're adding them and chocolate chips or candy pieces over the top of everything. Gently press the mixture down into the crust. Bake 15-18 minutes or until center is set. Cool completely before cutting into bars. These bars freeze great if you have leftovers or like to make a batch and freeze for lunch snacks or future dinner desserts!

Featured in my photos below, I used a 1 layer gluten free cake mix and used half of the ingredients and baked in a 8x8 pan. I didn't have a 2 layer cake mix on hand so I just made a small 8x8 pan size in gluten free since I am also taking a batch of gluten free cookies to the BBQ.

Hot right from the oven

I cut it while still slightly warm but it cuts better completely cooled!

It has a brownie textured crust which is hard to believe from a cake mix!
Up close view of the delicious layers!

Close up in the pan...after they cooled a little bit. Much easier to cut!

Ready to eat!

This would be delicious with ice cream!

I hope you enjoy one of our favorite BBQ casual desserts. People will think you slaved all day in the kitchen! ;)

Gluten Free Casually

1 comment:

  1. Pillsbury GF chocolate cake also works well in this recipe