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posted: 2/13/2018 6:00 AM

For healthier candy, these chocolate haystacks crush it

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  • Chocolate Haystacks With Crushed Strawberries. These festive treats taste completely indulgent, but they are pretty healthful as candy goes.

    Chocolate Haystacks With Crushed Strawberries. These festive treats taste completely indulgent, but they are pretty healthful as candy goes.
    Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

 
By Ellie Krieger
The Washington Post

I have been making some variation of these chocolate haystacks for years now, and whenever I do, I feel a little sly because they are unexpectedly simple -- and more healthful than they let on.

A melt-in-your-mouth chocolate confection with a cookie-like crunch, the haystack comes across as exacting to make, yet all that's involved is coating shredded wheat cereal in melted chocolate and mounding the mixture into small piles onto a tray.

The haystacks also register as completely indulgent, but they are pretty healthful as candy goes. I sometimes add chewy dried fruit and/or toasted chopped nuts to the mix -- I particularly like them with dried cherries. Here, I took a more blatant Valentine's Day approach by sprinkling the tops with a pink shock of crushed, freeze-dried strawberries.

Wrap these festive haystacks in a cute box and gift them to someone you love. When you get raves about how good they taste, you can divulge how easy and good-for-you they really are, or you can keep quiet and relish that feeling of being just a tad sneaky.

• Ellie Krieger is a registered dietitian, nutritionist and author who hosts public television's "Ellie's Real Good Food." She blogs and offers a weekly newsletter at www.elliekrieger.com.

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