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’s 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 included homework and waking up to an alarm … ugh.
Strawberry Cocoa Crispy Treats are a Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free Sweet
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 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 with 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! And many of you will be happy to know, these strawberry cocoa crispy treats can also be a “school safe” sweet.
Special Diet Notes: Strawberry Cocoa Crispy Treats
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, optionally soy-free, optionally vegan, and optionally vegetarian.
- 6 cups cocoa crispy cereal
- 10 ounces marshmallows (Use marshmallows like Dandies if you want to keep the recipe vegan)
- ¼ cup dairy-free buttery spread (such as Earth Balance)
- ¼ cup strawberry preserves
- Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.
- Pour the cereal into a large bowl.
- Melt the marshmallows, buttery spread, and jam over medium heat in a saucepan, stirring constantly until the marshmallows are just dissolved.
- Immediately scrape the melted mixture into the bowl with your cereal, and working quickly, stir it together.
- Scrape the mixture into your prepared baking dish and press it in. You can spray your hands with cooking spray or use a piece of parchment paper to keep it from sticking to your hands a you press it in. 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.
- Let them cool, then cut into treat-sized bars.
Quick Variation: You can alternately press the crispy mix into cupcake liners (place them in muffin tins so they hold their shape as you press the mixture in) and top with your favorite dairy-free candy or sprinkles.