These rich and creamy gluten free cookies and cream white chocolate bars are made completely from scratch with our homemade vegan white chocolate.
Why you should make your own cookies and cream white chocolate bar
The easiest and certainly the quickest way to make gluten free cookies and cream white chocolate is to purchase white chocolate made for baking, melt it, add some crushed cookies, and let it solidify. But I only willingly eat commercially-made white chocolate when it’s in the form of chips in a homemade chocolate chip cookie.
Otherwise, if you want white chocolate that tastes like actual chocolate, particularly if you want it to be dairy free, you must make it yourself. You’ll need one single specialty ingredient, raw cacao butter. But it’s easy to find, at least online.
Cookies and cream chocolate bars may seem like kind of a small thing, but if you’re gluten free, you’re never going to have a Hershey’s cookies n cream bar. If your child is gluten free and he loves cookies and cream white chocolate, you’ll want to read on about how you can make this recipe for him…
Melting chocolate or cacao butter
When I’m melting chocolate for use in a recipe, I typically melt it in the microwave. Microwaves have their shortcomings (heating unevenly is a big one), but I find it really useful for my teenagers to reheat food, steaming vegetables, and melting chocolate.
To make it easier to melt chocolate in the microwave, I even have two spouted ceramic cups made by Wilton specifically for the purpose. They’re really useful for melting the chocolate evenly without overheating it, and keeping the chocolate at a relatively consistent temperature after melting.
But sometimes, like when melting cacao butter to make white chocolate, a double boiler works best. You can never melt chocolate that’s wet or over direct heat. It will seize and likely burn, and be ruined forever more.
Using a double boiler
A true double boiler is actually a specific pot that has two layers: a bottom one for holding simmering water, and a separate top one for holding whatever you’re melting. It heats the chocolate more slowly, and keeps it from ever getting wet.
I happen to have a double boiler (pictured with cacao butter and shortening in it), but you absolutely don’t need one. You can place a relatively small, heat-safe bowl on top of a saucepan of water that’s smaller than the widest part of the bowl.
Add only as much water as you can without allowing it to touch the bowl, and heat it to a gentle simmer. Place the chocolate or cacao butter in the bowl, and stir occasionally while the contents melt.
How to choose chocolate molds (if you even buy them)
I have a variety of chocolate bar molds in my kitchen. I bought them all to use in recipe development while writing my fourth cookbook, Gluten Free Classic Snacks.
The molds were a bit difficult to find at the time, but now they seem to be available everywhere. They can be made of either food grade plastic or food grade silicone. Just do a quick Amazon.com search, or even a Google search and pick the one you like best, by appearance and reviews.
How to make this recipe without molds
You certainly do not need chocolate bar molds to make this recipe for gluten free cookies and cream white chocolate bars. Really, any flexible container will work just fine.
The chocolate bar molds are the most fun because they complete the visual experience. But you could use a silicone or even metal or plastic ice cube tray.
Ingredients and substitutions
For basic information about the 6 ingredients in this recipe that make up the homemade white chocolate, please see our recipe for vegan white chocolate. The following is more information as it relates specifically to this recipe:
The base recipe for white chocolate in this recipe is vegan, so it has no dairy by its nature. If you’d like to make the entire recipe dairy free, you’ll just need to be sure to use a gluten free dairy free chocolate sandwich cookie.
Glutino brand chocolate sandwich cookies is pretty readily available, and it does not include any dairy-containing ingredients. It does have a warning about dairy cross-contamination. It might not be appropriate for you if you are strictly dairy free.
You must use cacao butter in this recipe. It’s the only thing that makes it, well, chocolate at all. You may have found other brands of ready-made white chocolate that don’t have any cacao, but they’re not really chocolate at all.
If you’ve ever found that you don’t like white chocolate because it’s just “too sweet,” you’ve probably had a variety that didn’t have enough cacao butter. Be sure to buy odds and ends pieces of cacao butter, since they’re less expensive.
There are a number of great brands of cacao butter, and it’s shelf stable for quite a long time. The most recent brand I bought was Navitas Organics, and it worked great.
Gluten Free Cookies and Cream White Chocolate
2 1/2 ounces gluten free chocolate sandwich cookies (5 to 6 cookies)
4 ounces (112 g) edible raw cacao butter, chopped
4 tablespoons (48 g) nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening (see Notes)
1 tablespoon (16 g) smooth natural cashew butter (see Notes)
1 cup (115 g) confectioner’s sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Chocolate bar molds (optional) (See Notes)
- Shortening: You can replace the shortening with an equal amount, by weight, of cacao butter. The resulting white chocolate is much richer. You an also replace it with triple-filtered virgin coconut oil (the kind that’s solid at room temperature, and doesn’t smell like coconut at all), which will result in a slightly less stable chocolate bar.
- Cashew butter: You can use natural almond butter, but it will flavor the white chocolate in a way that cashew butter will not.
- Chocolate bar molds: Since I wrote a cookbook called Gluten Free Classic Snacks for which I created gluten free recipes for all the name-brand snacks, candies, and treats you can imagine, I have a variety of chocolate bar molds. They were difficult to find at the time, but now they seem to be available everywhere, made of either food grade plastic or food grade silicone. Just do a quick Amazon.com search, or even a Google search and pick the one you like best, by appearance and reviews.
Place the chocolate sandwich cookies in a wide, flat bowl and, using the back of a large spoon or your hand wrapped in plastic wrap, crush the cookies into small chunks. You should have some crumbs, but the cookies should be mostly in chunks about 1/4-inch wide.
In a medium-sized heat-safe bowl or the bowl of a double boiler, place the cacao butter and shortening. Heat indirectly by placing the bowl over small pot of simmering water or filling the double boiler, making sure that the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Allow the cacao butter and shortening to melt, stirring occasionally. The mixture will be thin.
With the mixture still over the simmering water, add the nut butter and mix to combine. Add the confectioner’s sugar, salt, and vanilla, and mix until smooth. Remove the bowl from the pot and allow to cool briefly before transferring it to a measuring cup for pouring into molds. Add the crushed cookies in two parts, stirring to combine fully in between.
Pour the mixture into chocolate bar molds if you have them (really any flexible container will do) and refrigerate until solid. Remove from the molds and serve. For storage, wrap each bar in foil and store in the refrigerator.