Monday, September 27, 2010

EXTRA GOOD Crispy-Rice-Cereal-Bars

The lovely people at Chicago Soy Dairy recently sent me TWO packages of their lovely Dandies vegan Marshmallows to experiment with. My kids were overjoyed, as they LOVE all things "marshmallow-y" and probably feel more deprived over the lack of marshmallow-y goodness in their diet than most kids would over a cheeseburger.

I have to admit (sorry Dandies) that I was never a fan of any type of marshmallows, so the only thing I had ever done with them was make Rice Krispies Treatstm or S'mores for my kids. And a lack of good vegan marshmallows never seemed to be a problem for me. (Apparently I was very, VERY wrong!!)
Nevertheless, I was more than willing to make use of these babies to give all the marshmallow-lovers out there yet one more wonderful way to enjoy vegan marshmallow-y-ness - including my kids and their slightly warped palates.

Let me say, these little gems delivered in both taste AND texture. My kids were perfectly happy and insisted the Dandies were JUST as good (obviously better, since they're animal free, right?) as the gelatin-filled, jet-puffed counterparts. And cooking with them seemed just the same, no weird vegan-only directions needed to conjure up a quick gooey, sticky marshmallow-based snackky things!

The first bag was immediately made into the standard Rice Krispies Treatstm that we all know and love. And devoured just as quickly. No pictures taken, I suppose I could show you the empty pan, virtually licked clean by several teenagers and their friends...

The second bag, I determined to make something a little more "original' than your standard back-of-the-box Rice Cereal Treat. I have to admit, my treats still have similarities to the original, because just as I pulled out the whole grains, nuts and dried fruits, my kids squawked that they wanted MORE marshmallow-y Rice Krispie Treatstm treats, so we compromised. Just a bit. I am pretty sure health-conscious parents AND marshmallow-cereal-bar fans alike will be happy with the end result!!

EXTRA GOOD "Marshmallow" Rice Cereal Treats

* 1/3 cup REAL maple syrup
* 1 1/2 Tbsp. coconut oil
* 4 cups Chicago Soy Dairy's DANDIES Vegan Marshmallows
* 1/2 cup peanut or almond butter
* 1/2 teaspoon maple-flavored extract
* 5 cups Crispy Rice Cereal of your choice
* 1 cup granola
* 1 cup dried cranberries or cherries
* 1/2 cup chopped dried apricot
* 1 cup chopped or sliced almonds

Lightly spray a 9x13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray or oil, and set aside.
In a large saucepan set over low heat cook the maple syrup and coconut oil until melted and bubbly.
Add the marshmallows, extract and nut butter and cook, stirring often, until melted.
Remove the saucepan from the heat. Mix in the remaining ingredients, stirring until combined and well coated.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and press into place with a large square of wax paper or a buttered spatula.
Cool completely. Cut into desired size bars.
Store in covered containers between layers of wax paper in the fridge or a very cool room (like the garage).


radioactivegan said...

Okay, these look amazing. Thanks for posting! I'm pretty jealous of your kids right now for having a whole plate of these to munch :)

k's mumbo jumbo said...

Those look fabulous.
Dandies do make excellent S'mores and I think I know a ten year old who would love some treats such as these.

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Oooh, YUM! These look great.

Veggie Cookster said...

Hmm... i have a package of Dandies in my cupboard AND hubby's been on a rice cripsy treat kick. Can't wait to forward this recipe and give him puppy eyes to make me a batch. ;) Thanks for sharing!

Carrie™ said...

Dandies sound dandy! (Lame, sorry). I was never a big fan of Rice Krispie Treats, but with some added fruit, nuts, almond butter and MAPLE, they suddenly sound so much more appealling. Wonderful idea!

Anonymous said...

Oh Yum! That looks way better than a regular rice krispee treat!!!

Anonymous said...

Will any oil work in these or does it have to be coconut? I do not have any of that but do have all the other stuff. How about olive oil, canola oil or just earth balance?