Rice crispy treats (with chocolate possibilities)

Rice crispy chocolate treat

Rice crispy chocolate treat

The rice crispy treat is such a staple of the US bake sale that one of my recipe books starts with a dozen recipes for them. And they definitely have their merits: minimal equipment needed, no skill, quick and easy. They are pretty much devoid of any nutritional merit (apart from being gluten-free*) but hey, we can’t have everything.

This recipe caught my eye in Deb Perelman’s Smitten Kitchen cookbook. I’ve been a fan of Smitten Kitchen for ages, and eagerly snapped up her book the moment it was available in the UK. I’ll write more about that another time, but meanwhile on with the crispies.

Deb has added her own twist to the recipe: she browns the butter, which definitely adds extra flavour, I added another (optional) twist of my own: chopped chocolate. On a cool day, my key team of recipe testers fell upon these with glad cries and demolished them.

The only snag? They do need to be kept in a cool place. If you’re thinking of selling them on your cake stall, they may be tricky on a very hot day.

This recipe is based on the quantities that must be convenient in the US. Over here, you get left with half a bag of marshmallows. My leftover marshmallows disappeared quickly – not necessarily a good thing. So I’ve also added the ingredients amounts for 200g of marshmallows, which makes a thinner treat.

Cutting up rice crispy treats

Cutting up rice crispy treats

Equipment

Fridge or a cool place
Square pan: 20cm (8″) for tall treats, handy for teaparties; 22cm (9″) for flatter ones that look better for selling.
Large saucepan
Medium bowl for measuring crispies
Wooden spoon
Scales
Chopping board and knife
Clingfilm or baking parchment (optional)

Ingredients

Cooking spray or a little neutral oil such as sunflower oil
Dark chocolate – 200g (or chocolate chips – 200g)
Butter – 115g (preferably unsalted)
Salt – half a teaspoon (if using unsalted butter)
Marshmallows – 300g
Rice pops, Rice Krispies, or similar rice cereal* – 170g

*If you want these to be gluten-free, choose your rice cereal carefully. I just found out that Tesco’s own-brand is gluten-free, but Aldi’s isn’t.

Method

  1. Spray your pan with a little cooking spray or oil lightly with a minimum of oil
  2. If going for the chocolate option, chop the chocolate into small chunks. (I do this because it’s much cheaper than buying chocolate chips; if you’d rather spend a little more to save effort, buy chocolate chips).
  3. Weigh out the rice pops so they are ready to go into the mixture.
  4. Melt the butter in a large saucepan.
  5. For best flavour, keep it cooking until it turns brown and nutty. Watch carefully as it burns quickly. If this step sounds too tricky, skip it and just go with melted butter.
  6. If using unsalted butter, add the salt.
  7. Take the pan off the heat and add the marshmallows. Stir until they are melted and amalgamated with the butter. The mixture will look awful for a while but keep stirring and it will sort itself out. You may need to pop it back on the heat briefly but don’t cook it;  we want the marshmallows to just melt.
  8. Stir in the rice pops. It will look like you don’t have enough marshmallow mixture but you do really, just keep stirring until they are evenly covered.
  9. If going for chocolate, stir in the chocolate now.
  10. Scrape into your prepared pan and pat it down.
  11. If you want a smoother finish, cover with a piece of clingfilm or baking parchment and squash it down until smooth.
  12. Put into the fridge to cool for several hours, preferably overnight.
  13. Turn out and cut into pieces.

For taking to an office, I got 24 pieces out of this at about 145 calories each (chocolate ones)
For a cake stall, I would get 16 out of it to look more generous (218 calories each).

The plain option works out at:

  • 24 pieces from the recipe: 100 calories a piece
  • 16 pieces from the recipe: 150 calories a piece
Plain rice crispy treats

Plain rice crispy treats from 300g marshmallows cut into 16 pieces

UPDATE:  tried it again to work out for 200g marshmallows, the usual size of bag of marshmallows in the UK. I tried the plain version and It worked fine for these ingredients:

butter –  75g
marshmallows – 200g (one bag)
pinch of salt if using unsalted butter
rice krispies, rice pops, rice snaps or similar* – 115g

*If you want these to be gluten-free, choose your rice cereal carefully. I just found out that Tesco’s own-brand is gluten-free, but Aldi’s isn’t.

I used my trusty 20cm / 8″ square silicone pan, sprayed with a little cooking spray, and left it to cool overnight in a cool kitchen (no fridge). Worked perfectly and I got 12 fete-sized pieces out of it.

Rice crispy treats with 200g marshmallows cut into 12 pieces

Rice crispy treats with 200g marshmallows cut into 12 pieces

Ingredients prices (June 2013) approximately £1.70. Selling at 50p per piece, this would make £4.30 for your event. Or to sell for double the ingredient price, it would be 30p per piece.

I sprinkled on some strawberry sprinkles that I happened to have already to make them look fancier.

I’m sending this to the June 2013 Alphabake challenge – this month’s letter is RIce. Our host this month is  The More than Occasional Baker; Alphabakes is a joint project with Caroline Makes,

Alphabakes logo

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One thought on “Rice crispy treats (with chocolate possibilities)

  1. bakingaddict

    I love rice crispy treats! These are definitely staple cake stall goodies. Love the addition of strawberry sprinkles. Thanks for entering AlphaBakes.

    Reply

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