Rice crispy treats are a classic kid’s dessert, but many moms prefer to steer clear of the sugary cereal additives that are often included in the recipe. Favorites like fruit circles, mini marshmallows, and sugary puffs, meant to add flavor and variety, are often loaded with extra calories and sweeteners.
A healthier substitute features sensible but sweet cereal choice in place of classic kids brands. Featuring dried fruits, crispy nuts, and whole grains, the cereals are combined with traditional puffed rice and added to the melting marshmallows.
The chewy marshmallow and crunchy “snap” of the classic puffed rice bars remain the same in this modified dessert treat, with additional sweet and plump golden raisins adding new flavors to the sticky treats.
- two bags mini marshmallows
- two tablespoons butter
- one cup puffed rice cereal
- one-half cup whole grain Cheerios
- one-half cup Honey Bunches of Oats (or similar brand)
- one-fourth cup golden raisins
- one nine by thirteen baking pan
- baking parchment
- Line the baking sheet with parchment paper to protect the dessert bars from sticking. Smear the wax paper with one tablespoons of butter to grease.
- In a saucepan, heat the marshmallows until they soften and begin to melt. Add the leftover butter to the mix.
- Add the cereal to the melted marshmallow, stirring rapidly to combine the ingredients into a sticky and soft combination. If grain cereals featuring dried strawberries are not a preferred flavor, substitute another crunchy grain cereal combination.
- Scrape the mixture into the lined pan and press out across the surface to form thick and even bars.
- Allow the mixture to cool, then cut into generous-sized portions using a knife. Remove and dispose of the wax paper lining.
- Cover the finished dessert with plastic wrap until ready to serve.
Additional Tips and Suggestions
Add dried fruit and nuts to the bars for additional chewy or crunchy flavor. Although the cereal recommended above includes dried strawberries and nuts, other kinds can be substituted featuring bananas, oat clusters, or blueberries. Choose dried fruits like apple, apricots, citrus, and cherries to sweeten the bars while adding nutrients.
Don’t use cereal flakes or shredded wheat as the primary ingredient for the marshmallow bars, since flakes can grow soggy when heated with marshmallow. Puffed rice, corn, and nut clusters add crunch to the marshmallow bars.
For individual treats, spoon the mixture into muffin tins holding cupcake liners. The individual marshmallow bars make great on-the-go snacks for busy kids with sports and after-school activities, especially healthier versions that offer a daily dose of fruits and grains.