This past weekend my teen daughter was home sick. It seems some form of a respiratory cold is making its way through the high school and everyone she’s around is also sick. She was home from school Friday and then in bed most of the weekend. During this time the TV was running and I don’t know if you notice when having the TV on the same station for multiple hours of the day, but the same commercials tend to repeat. After 48 hours she said to me ‘I know I can’t have one (due to being gluten-free) but these commercials really make me want a Kit Kat bar!’ She went on to say there was something so satisfying about the crunch they make in the commercials (ah, the power of good marketing!).
My kids and I have been gluten-free for over 10 years. My daughter would have been going into first grade when changing her diet so many classic candy bars would have eluded her if they contain gluten. I generally have not looked at becoming gluten-free (for medical necessity) as an obstacle and with all the gluten-free products now available on the market, it is rare we can’t find or make some substitute for a favorite gluten food. I’m always up for a challenge and this seemed to be one presented in the form of a sick child’s longings!
I too had to draw on my faint memory of having had Kit Kat bars before becoming gluten-free to conjure up how to make a semblance of a copycat. For me the most satisfying part was the crunchy wafers inside and fortunately there are a number of companies making those wafer cookies we all remember from childhood; thin waffle-embossed cookie wafers separated by cream, layered with multiple wafer and filling comprising a perfect light, rectangular cookie. They snap in half easily and have a great ‘bite’.
I could picture what I wanted to do in my head but of course the proof was in the final product which got rave reviews. Even my husband who can eat gluten, affirmed their uncanny similarity. My almost-teen son and I debated as to whether this actually constitutes a recipe, having only 2 ingredients, but I prevailed maintaining regardless of the number of ingredients, the method of combining them into this copycat candy bar was worth sharing!
Though I made these gluten-free, gluten-eaters never fear! These wafer cookies are more readily available in gluten form so this recipe can easily be made NOT gluten-free (gluten-filled?). It’s an easy project and one I found very satisfying to make.
These Copycat Kit Kat Bars are not only delicious but have the signature crunch when biting into them and the snap when breaking the segments apart. For those gluten-free it's a dream come true; for gluten-eaters it's a fun home project!
I used Glutino brand gluten-free chocolate-covered vanilla wafer cookies. They are a nice, slim shape perfect for this recipe. The amount of wafer cookies in a package (18) allows 6 copycat Kit Kat bars to be made per package of cookies. There are other gluten-free and gluten brands of chocolate wafter cookies available too. To figure out the number of bars you'll end up per package, divide the total number of cookies per package by 3.
The melted chocolate chips go a long way so the recipe suggests beginning with 1 cup chocolate chips to melt. Additional chocolate can be melted quickly during the process if needed. If more final candy bars are desired, increase the number of cookies and chocolate chips.
- 1 11.5-ounce bag Milk Chocolate Chips
- 1 package Chocolate Covered Vanilla Wafer cookies (I used Glutino brand gluten-free wafers)
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Follow the melting directions on the package of chocolate chips, and melt 1 cup of the chocolate chips in the microwave. Alternatively they may be melted in a metal bowl placed on top of a medium saucepan of boiling water (stir until melted) on the stove top.
- Place one wafer cookie into the melted chocolate and press it into the melted chocolate with a fork. Turn it over with the fork to ensure it is fully coated with the chocolate.
- Place the fork underneath the cookie in the chocolate, lift it up over the melted chocolate and allow any excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl. Place the coated cookie onto the prepared baking dish. Note: if desired the chocolate can be smoothed out with a dining knife.
- Repeat with a second cookie. Place this cookie next to the first one leaving about 1/8-inch gap between them, allowing the chocolate on the facing sides of the cookies to meet. This will allow the two cookies to be snapped off from each other when done.
- Repeat the steps above for the third cookie.
- Complete the rest of the cookies in this manner and place in the refrigerator to fully cool and become hard (1-2 hours). If necessary, melt additional chocolate to complete the bars. The bars are ready to eat when they are fully hard, the chocolate does not come off on your hands and the wafers can be snapped off from each other.