Classic rice cereal bars are given a seasonal update to become Fruity Springtime Crispy Rice Cereal Treats complete with fruit-flavored marshmallows and pastel M&M candies. Can be made with gluten-free or traditional puffed rice cereal. Great for Easter.
I remember my first Rice Krispie Treat. I was at my high school friend Wendy’s house and her mother had made a batch. Everything at her house was cool to me. She had matching twin beds in her room with coordinated bedding which matched the wall color. She had her own princess style phone also in the same shade of blue. Her mom made spaghetti without using whole canned tomatoes (which I hated). On this given after swim team practice hang out afternoon, I was introduced to the most enchanting treat I’d encountered. I was mesmerized by the texture and consistency; soft and chewy but crunchy too. Sweet but not overly sweet. It was love at first bite.
Spring is trying really hard to have sprung (though we are expecting snow for the weekend) and I’m ready for some springy treats. Though Rice Krispie treats are a well-loved favorite for many for those of us who are gluten-free we’ve been frozen out of that iconic option until rice cereal brands became available in a gluten-free form in the past few years. Yipee!
I never like to do the ordinary so when shopping for ingredients for these treats I picked up a bag of cute, pastel colored marshmallows and bunny-shaped marshmallows that I thought would be fun to use instead of regular marshmallows. Adding some springtime colored M&M’s to the top seemed a perfect touch too.
When I began to make the treats I realized two things: 1) because the marshmallows are melted they form one light tangerine color instead of the rainbow swirl I pictured in my head, and 2) the bag of marshmallows I picked up were fruit flavored marshmallows. That started as a surprise ‘uh oh’ and ended in ‘these treats are great’. So though I know the belief is that necessity is the mother of invention, in this case springtime fruit-flavored marshmallows are.
I wanted some embedded marshmallows too so stirred in an extra cup of marshmallows at the end which give more texture and some surprise pops of color too. These treats are light and chewy in the best way! Dotting the tops with M & M’s makes them fun and festive.
Fruity Springtime Crispy Rice Cereal Treats
- 3 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
- 10 ounce package plus 1 cup of Mini ‘FunMallow’ Jet Puffed Marshmallows (regular marshmallows may be substituted)
- 1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract
- 6 cups Crisp Rice Cereal gluten-free or regular (I used One Degree ‘Brown Rice Crisps’)
- ¾ cup M & M’s
Spray a 13 by 9 inch baking pan with non-stick spray. Set aside. Place the rice cereal in a large mixing bowl (enough to combine and stir in the marshmallows).
In a metal heat-proof bowl over a sauce pan of simmering water, melt the butter. Add the marshmallows and stir constantly to melt. TIP: to prevent sticking, spray a silicon mixing spoon with non-stick spray for stirring.
Stir the vanilla extract into the melted marshmallows; stir the marshmallows quickly into the cereal. When the cereal is coated add the remaining 1 cup of marshmallows just until combined (the marshmallows should not melt since the mixture has cooled).
Turn the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Add the M & M’s on top. Cover with a piece of wax paper sprayed on one side with non-stick spray; place the sprayed side facing the treats and press down to compact the treats. Allow them to set; about 20 minutes. Cut into 30 2-1/2 inch by 1-1/2 bars or 51 1-1/2 inch by 1-1/2 inch bars