Wow, time sure does fly by doesn’t it? A friend just told me that her kids are getting ready to go back to school next week. It is so hard to believe that summer is already winding down for some people. Growing up, Labor Day Weekend was our last summer hoorah, and it was always a little bittersweet. I was eager to see friends, wear my new fall clothes, and get into a routine again … but, that routine was school, and homework, and waking up to an alarm … ugh.
As little “rewards” for making it through the day (or at least until noon!) I would often bake chocolate chip cookies or whip up some crispy treats for my lunch. Yes, my sweet tooth and love of baking started at a very young age. However, I wasn’t very creative in those days. I pretty much stuck to the Tollhouse recipe, and the directions on the box of crispy rice cereal.
My friend Katie on the other hand, is always reformulating old favorites. She took the organic cocoa crispy cereal , added some strawberry jam, and tossed it all into the traditional rice crispy treat recipe for a delicious back to school (or work!) cocoa crispy treat reward.
I love the flexibility of cocoa crispy treats. You can stir in chocolate chips, make them into traditional bars, top them wit candies or sprinkles (Katie’s favorite), or even make “cupcake” cocoa crispy treats! However you decide to make them, you will definitely enjoy Katie’s super easy recipe below!
- 6 cups Cocoa Crispy Cereal (I used Erewhon Gluten-Free Cocoa Crispy Brown Rice Cereal)
- 10 Ounces Marshmallows (Use marshmallows like Dandies if you want to keep the recipe vegan)
- ¼ Cup Dairy-Free Margarine (such as Earth Balance; use a soy-free variety if desired)
- ¼ Cup Strawberry Preserves
- Spray a 9 x 13-inch pan with cooking spray.
- Measure the cereal into a large mixing bowl.
- Melt the marshmallows, margarine, and jam over medium heat in a saucepan, stirring constantly until the marshmallows are just dissolved.
- Immediately pour into the mixing bowl with cereal and stir until it is completely and evenly coated.
- Pour the mixture into sprayed pan and flatten. I usually flatten the treats with my hands, after liberally spraying them with more cooking spray. You can also spray a spatula if you want to be more civilized, but then there isn't anything to lick off your fingers. Not that I would do that.
- And I know you’re thinking this can’t get any better, but YOU’RE WRONG. Because sprinkles make everything better. Liberally douse with sprinkles.
- Let them cool, then cut into treat-sized bars. (see option below for crispy "cupcakes")
This recipe is Dairy free, Egg free, Gluten free, Nut free, Peanut free, optionally Vegan, optionally Vegetarian, and Low fat.
Quick Variation: You can alternately press the crispy mix into cupcake cups and top with your favorite dairy-free or vegan candy.