Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Rice Crispy Treat Workshop

When Steve and I were dating, (35 years ago....) he went with me to get a Christmas tree for our family.  We picked it out, brought it to my house, and I made him a big batch of Rice Crispy Treats and hot cocoa to impress him with my amazing cooking skills... haha.  I found out later, that he is not too fond of sweet things, (I am the one who makes up that side of our marriage).  He would take a roast beef sandwich and hot cup of black coffee any day over rice crispy treats and cocoa.  But He himself is a very "sweet" man, and ate his rice crispy treats like a gentleman and choked down his cocoa very nicely.

 In spite of the fact that he isn't that fond of sweets, I make Rice Crispy Treats every year when we decorate the Christmas tree as a happy remembrance of our Christmas tree date those 35 years ago.  He will usually have one small one (and a cup of coffee).  The rest of the household finishes off the treats before you can say Santa Clause.  Now I am learning to freeze the extras right away so that they don't get eaten too quickly or too often (especially by me).

In the last year or two, I thought to myself that there must be such a thing as Brown Rice Crispy Cereal, and sure enough there is.  Now I can make a healthier version of my Christmas time favorite.  I found a few different ideas of how to make them the healthier way;  I adapted and tried 5 different recipes.

Here they are all on one post for you to compare.  They are all good, so take your pick, and at the end of this post,  I will tell you which ones I liked the best. 

Treat # 1
Traditional Rice Crispy Treats using Brown Rice Crispies

3 Tablespoons Butter
5 1/2 cups Miniature Marshmallows
6 cups Brown Rice Crispy type cereal (I used Barbara's Brown Rice Crisps)


Spray a 9x9 or 9 x 13 baking pan with non stick spray or grease with butter.
In a medium stock pan, melt butter over medium heat.
Add Marhsmellows.
Cook and stir until melted.
Add Rice Crispies.
Mix well.
Pour and spread evenly into prepared pan.
Cool and cut into squares.

Treat # 2
Reese's Rice Crispy Treats

We don't use Reeses peanut butter cups for these, but this treat will remind you of a peanut butter cup and Crackle Bar combined.

3 Tablespoons Butter
1 cup Natural Peanut Butter
1/2 cup Brown Rice Syrup or Honey
1 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
3/4 cup Chocolate Chips
1/2  teaspoon Real Salt or Himilayan Salt
3 cups Brown Rice Crispy Cereal

Spray an 8 inch square baking pan with non-stick spray or grease with butter.
In a medium stock pot, melt butter, peanut butter, brown rice syrup, vanilla, salt  and chocolate chips over medium heat.  Stir well and add rice crisps.
Stir until well mixed.
Pour into prepared baking pan.
Cool and cut into squares.

Treat # 3
Brown Rice Crispy Treats with Homemade Marshmallow Fluff

I looked pretty extensively to find a recipe that used a marshmallow type of binder and finally found  a blog that made a brown rice crispy treat using a homemade marshmallow fluff. It looked good so  I gave it a try. Now this one was a little more nerve wracking than the other others, because there is a little bit of candy making skill required for the marshmallow fluff.  I did end up throwing out the first batch of sugar syrup because I wasn't watching closely and it went way past the required temperature.

So if you make this one, read your directions through at least three times, and when your sugar syrup begins to boil, don't take your eyes off of it until it reaches  the proper temperature.  For a minute you may feel that this is more work than you want to do when you consider how easy Rice Crispy Treats are supposed to be.  But it really only takes about 10 minutes more of your time, and a little forethought and patience, and I think it came out the closest to the old favorite out of the 4 that didn't actually use store bought marshmallows, at least as far as flavor is concerned, but it didn't hold together well, and so was not very good as a bar.  I think the "little bitty" ones of the family could enjoy it though, since they are still in process of getting teeth, it would be easy for them to eat.

For Marshmallow Fluff
This little procedure took a little coordination and thought. Here are my suggestions:  Put your egg whites, vanilla and salt into your mixer and let sit until you have your syrup ingredients in the pan and ready to go, then begin whipping the egg white mixture (this assuming you have a stable bowl type mixer), start your candy mixture as follows:

For Sugar Syrup :
1 candy thermometer
3/4 cup  Evaporated Cane Juice (the original recipe called for sugar, but I used evaporated cane juice)
1/4 cup water

Put 3/4 cup Evaporated Cane Juice and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan and turn to medium high heat. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and simmer the syrup without stirring until the thermometer reaches 240 degrees. Occasionally swirl the pan and use a pastry brush dipped in water to brush down the sides, removing sugar.

For Marshmallow Fluff Base
4 egg whites
1 pinch of Real Salt
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1/4 cup Evaporated Cane Juice


Place egg whites, salt, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whip attachment. Whip on high until frothy. Slowly add remaining 1/4 cup evaporated cane juice/sugar. Whip until soft peaks form. Continue whipping until medium peaks form. Reduce speed to medium, then pour hot syrup into meringue in a slow, steady stream while whipping.  Increase speed to high and continue whipping until stiff peaks form. Reduce speed to medium and whip until meringue is cool.

Brown Rice Crispy Treats with Homemade Marshmallow Fluff

3 Tablespoons butter
2-3 cups homemade marshmallow fluff
6 cups Brown Rice Crispy Cereal
Melt butter in a sauce pan.
Add cereal.
Fold in Marshmallow fluff.
Spread into greased 9X13 Pan.  Refrigerate and allow to set an hour or two.  Your're supposed to cut into squares and serve.... it didn't really cut into squares, so dish it into a bowl and enjoy.

Treat # 4
Brown Rice Crispy Treats with White Chocolate and Coconut

2 Tablespoons Butter
2/3 cup  Brown Rice syrup
1 1/2 cups White Chocolate Chips : (for homemade White Chocolate Chips click here).
2 teaspoons Vanilla
4 cups Brown Rice Crispy type cereal
2 cups Unsweetened Natural Shredded  Coconut
Grease an 8 inch baking pan.  In a medium large sauce pan,  melt butter and add brown rice syrup, white chocolate, vanilla, and salt.  When all is lightly bubbly, remove from heat and add cereal and shredded coconut.  Mix Well and spread into square pan.  Cool, cut and serve.

Treat # 5
Brown Rice Crispy Treats with Nut Butter

3 tablespoons Butter
2/3 cup Brown Rice Syrup or 1/2 a cup of  Honey (honey is sweeter than brown rice syrup so you need less).
1 cup Nut Butter of choice (Peanut, Almond, Cashew, Sunflower)
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
6 cups Brown Rice Crispy Cereal

Grease an 8 inch baking pan.  Melt Butter in Medium Sauce Pan.  Add Brown Rice Syrup,  Nut Butter and Vanilla Extract, and stir well; bring to a gentle boil.  Add Cereal and mix thoroughly.  Pour into baking pan.  Cool, cut and serve.

Now Comes the Verdict.... which one is best.  I couldn't choose a"Best One".   You can't get any tastier than #1 the original recipe with brown rice, in my opinion, but I wish I could have found a healthier equivalent for those delicious, corn syrup laden, marshmallows, but I couldn't.  I think I might try my hand at homemade marshmallows, because I have wanted to try making them for quite a while now; but I am not sure if they will melt in the same way a store bought marshmallow melts.  I did hope that treat #3 with the Marshmallow fluff would do the trick, but those treats did not hold together at all; although they tasted really good, and the fluff would be great for a fruit or cake dip (perhaps I did something wrong in that recipe). Each one was very good, and I would make them at any time, considering, what I was in the mood for or had on hand. I liked the one with the peanut butter... for when I have a peanut butter craving, and I liked the one with the chocolate and peanut butter.... same reasons; I liked the one with the coconut, it was very good too.   Give some of these a try.  I think you'll love them.


  1. Wow and Yum!! so many options I bet for the healthy version you could make them with Almond Butter instead of peanut butter and maybe like and earth balance instead of butter....Did I just take all the fun out of the treat hehehe....What a sweet story that is I met my husband in my living room lol! I was friends with his brother and we were hanging out at my house watching movies (my Dad is a huge movie nut he always has a movie on) and one day I walked away to do something and he came to the door while I stepped away and his brother let him in and when I stepped back into my living room and there he was. He said he knew at that moment that I was the one. Me too!! ~Have a Merry Christmas with your sweets and sweet heart !!

  2. Hello, Thank goodness, I can eat the original with the brown rice brand cereal without all the hard work.
    You saved Christmas!
    I think it is so sweet that you have this tradition!
    I am learning to just eat a smaller portion of those things ladened with sugar. Enjoy all things this Christmas.
    Cooking brown rice as I comment:)
    Blessings, Roxy

  3. Yummy! I am always partial to the ooey gooey traditional ones, but I am in favor of trying new versions. I have made ones similar to your nut butter ones and of course they are delicious. I make ones with almond butter with drizzled dark chocolate on the top for my Marshall. Those are always a BIG hit in this house. Hmm... now I need to come up with a few more versions as well. Thanks for getting my creative juices going!

    When do your kiddos arrive?

    Well, I hope you enjoy every minute of them and take lots of pictures.

    Blessings to you and your family!

    Much Love,

  4. Wow-oh-wow-MOM! I love all the different recipes and variations! I think this is the first year I didn't make any, but I can live vicariously through you and this post ;)

    Thank you for writing out that particular story of you and Dad. It put the best picture and reminder in my memory! I can't wait for when I can be there again decorating and eating with you two. I love you so much!