Don't Buy Rice Krispie Squares: Make 'em
It’s the end of my kid’s soccer/ball hockey/organized whatever game and the kids all gather around for snack time. They are so excited and then out comes a box of packaged Rice Krispie Squares. Every week I am shocked: pre-packaged Rice Krispie Squares? The easiest snack in the world to make?
I realize as a cookbook author and someone who loves cooking I have an advantage when it is my turn to provide snack. But I am going to pass on a secret to you: Rice Krispie Squares are so easy to make you will blush when you remember that you used to waste money on them.
Homemade Rice Krispie Squares contain four ingredients: Rice Krispies, marshmallows, butter and vanilla (though the vanilla is optional in a pinch). Packaged Rice Krispie Squares contain: Rice Krispies, marshmallows, fructose, soybean, palm and palm kernel shortening, glucose fructose, corn syrup solids, dextrose, glycerin, salt, natural and artificial flavour (contains milk ingredients), acetylated tartaric acid esters of mono- and diglycerides, acetylated monoglycerides, BHT. (Keep in mind I am not listing the ingredients for the actual Rice Krispies or marshmallows here.)
Notice all the extra ingredients including four more kinds of sweetener? The palm and palm kernel shortening? That stuff is junk. I know that Rice Krispie Squares are a treat and neither homemade or store-bought would be considered a health food but all those extra ingredients plus the extra packaging; it just doesn’t make sense to me. And did you know that you don’t have to cook Rice Krispie Squares? And that they are ready in less time than it takes you to go to the store and buy them.
So, in case you haven’t made Rice Krispie Squres since the time of the microwave. Here is what you need: box of Rice Krispies, bag of marshmallows, butter, vanilla, a lasagna pan, spatula and about 15 minutes of your time, 10 in a crunch.
1/4 cup butter
1 Pkg (about 40) regular marshmallows or 5 cups miniature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal (but any crispy rice cereal can be used)
- Butter a 13 X 9 pan ( a glass lasagna pan works perfectly)
- In a large microwave safe bowl, heat butter and marshmallows at high for 3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes
- Stir in vanilla and Rice Krispies cereal until well coated. Be careful the marshmallows are HOT.
- Using lightly buttered spatula press the batter into the pan and smooth. It will be very sticky. Press with your hands when slightly cooled.
- Alow mixture to cool slightly, cut into squares or shape into whatever you like.
For chewier bars use extra cup (about 8 large) marshmallows
Add in chocolate chips, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds or whatever you and your kids like
For a healthier version use a whole grain cereal like Kashi
Rice Krispies are not gluten-free but Rice Chex and Koala Crisp (yum, chocolate) can also be made into squares for a gluten-free treat but no matter what you use they will be called Rice Krispie Squares
If you don’t want to make them in the microwave you can melt butter and marshmallows in a pot and then add all the other stuff, but it takes a little longer
For more ideas check the Rice Krispie website.
End of my rant. Go make them.