Rice Crispy Treats are just one of those timeless desserts. They remind you of childhood but taste just as good when you are old (and perhaps with refined tastes). Maybe they’re only delicious because I have such fond memories of eating the sticky sweet squares at the end of a “rigorous” soccer game, or adding red and green rice krispies to make them “Christmas-y”. But something about the simple combination of rice crisps, sugar, and a touch of salt just always hits the spot. As a child I tried many versions of these (both packaged and homemade) but this was my first attempt at a more nutritious version, and I am pleased to admit that I like these even more.
Although not a mother, I work with a lot of toddlers and kids, and am always aiming to find unprocessed and refined-sugar free treats that they enjoy too. This was a win, because these treats are likely to please even the littlest and pickiest of tastebuds. They are free of all the “fake” stuff and instead made of organic brown rice crisp cereal, peanut butter for a little added protein and flavor, brown rice syrup, and of course the dark chocolate to balance out the sweet and salty. With more and more child (and adult) allergies and sensitivities, these are super safe too, particularly if you sub almond butter or sunbutter for peanut butter and leave out the chocolate. Best of all, they take about 10 minutes to make, and no baking involved!
I had never cooked with brown rice syrup before, but was really pleased with the result. Unlike agave or maple syrup, this syrup is really thick and helps to keep the crispy treats together. I actually don’t think this recipe would work with anything but brown rice syrup, or maybe honey too. Not only does the nut butter add the extra richness and flavor, but it also helps with the perfect gooey/sticky consistency of these treats. So make these your own, get creative, give in to your sweet tooth, and spread the timeless tasty goodness around! Tis the season, of course.
Ingredients (makes 16 squares):
- 4 cups brown rice crisp cereal
- 1/2 cup brown rice syrup
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1 tbsp butter (vegan, if desired)
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips (vegan, if desired)
- In a large saucepan, heat rice syrup, peanut butter, butter, and salt over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly until ingredients are melted and mixed together.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, and then rice cereal. Mix well to coat all rice crisps.
- Pour mixture in prepared 8×8 baking pan and press down with a spatula to even it out.
- Place in refrigerator while preparing chocolate glaze.
- Heat chocolate chips in a small saucepan over low heat. When completely melted, spread over rice crispy treats using rubber spatula.
- Place pan back in refrigerator and let cool for at least an hour before cutting into squares.
- Store in tupperware in refrigerator or just at room temperature (but not so warm that chocolate melts). Enjoy!