I would just like to say that the rice krispie treat is underrated. They come together in LITerally five minutes and their deliciousness makes you have shameful conversations with yourself. “I already had one, I don’t need another. But they’re basically breakfast cereal, so another one is fine. Marshmallows are fat free, so it’s cool if I have a third. Oh look, that edge isn’t totally straight, I should even it out”.
Even though they’re easy, there is room for improvement. I hate when they’re too hard, or too dry, or fall apart too easily. I like when there are packets of marshmallow that didn’t completely melt, and I LOVe when peanut butter’s involved. These revamped treats are just as easy to make, but with the addition of a few ingredients they are made just THAT much better. A bit of light corn syrup makes them glossier and chewier – yum, and the addition of brown sugar and vanilla deepens the flavor, giving the taste more dimension. By adding some marshmallows into the pot when you add the krispies, you’ll get those lovely pockets of chewy whiteness in each treat. I gave you specific measurements (as I specifically measured the first batch), but for the second batch I kind of just threw things into the pot in approximate amounts – feel free to do this as it worked out just as well!
Lastly, if you are pursuing gluten-free snacks, this is a great one to check out. I’ve made gluten free chocolate chip cookies before – they aren’t very good. I mean, there is chocolate in them, so that’s awesome, but the cookie part sort of dissolves like sand in your mouth and it’s weird. Why eat weird cookies when you could make these instead? Though puffed rice cereal is technically gluten free, if you’re REALLy allergic they sell Rice Krispies that are certified gluten free (as in, not made with machinery that also processes wheat). Marshmallows, corn syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, butter and peanut butter are all gluten free, so you’re good to go with this original recipe. Feel free to add nuts, dried fruits, or chocolate to the mix as well to customize it.
“Jazzed-Up” Peanut Butter Rice Krispies
Makes about 20 bars
3 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. light corn syrup
1/4 c. lightly packed brown sugar
1/3 c. creamy peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 c. mini marshmallows, plus 1/2 c., divided*
6 c. puffed rice cereal (Rice Krispies or a healthier brown rice version will both work)
*You will add 4 c. to the pot and stir to melt, and then add the 1/2 c. later with the krispies
1. Spray a 9×12 baking pan with nonstick spray.
2. In a large pot set over medium heat, add butter, corn syrup and brown sugar. Mix until melted and smoothly combined.
3. Add peanut butter and mix until combined. Add 4 c. marshmallows and stir until melted and combined.
4. Remove from heat and add vanilla – stir.
5. Add cereal and stir quickly until combined. Pour mixture into prepared pan – wet hands and press mixture gently into pan until even.
6. Let sit at least 20-30 minutes before slicing into squares. Treats will keep several days air tight at room temperature.