My mother can’t recall for sure but she thinks maybe 9 or 10. That’s how old I was when I made my first batch of Rice Krispie Treats. It’s something that I reckon 75% of all North American kids know how to make. The method is not so commonly known to kids in the UK or Europe, who prefer drizzling melted chocolate over clumps of Rice Krispies. They know about the marshmallow version because you can buy them for an outrageous amount of money in the supermarket but not unsurprisingly these little sweet treats are dead easy to make and cheap as chips.
I make them with sugar-free marshmallows (again dietary restriction rather than dieting) and a vegetable and olive oil margarine spread. The original recipe uses butter rather than margarine.
Here’s the original recipe at the Kellogg’s website, which yields a lot more than a dozen 2-inch squares. Rice Krispie Treats
Note: Be sure that the Rice Krispies are fresh because if they’re stale the end result is a rather sweet rubbery concoction. Not totally unpleasant, as our Springer Spaniel has proven in the past by eating them without chewing and in hardly enough time to blink. She got her chompers on a few quite by accident, and naughty-naughty us because they were left within sniffing distance of her nose. She’s a good dog, but she is after all a dog.
To press the warm mixture into a greased/buttered pan can be tricky as the marshmallows stick to everything. I wrap my hand in cling film, smear a bit of margarine on it, and then press and smooth the warm treats into the pan. Don’t try this if the mixture is molten because you’ll melt the cling film – let it cool just a tad first. Then smooth and level the mixture into the pan corners, pressing down slightly (and carefully so as to not crush the cereal) until everything is *lightly* compacted and compressed.
Rice Krispie Treats
Ingredients: (makes approx a dozen)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine spread
150 grams marshmallows (I use Sainsbury’s Sugar-Free Marshmallows)
80 grams Rice Krispies
Prepare a square, glass baking dish (8x8x2-inch) by covering the base and sides with a light coating of margarine or butter. Set aside.
In a large non-stick pan, slowly melt the butter/margarine. When melted, add the marshmallows and stir constantly until melted and the butter is combined with the marshmallows. Remove the pan from the heat, and pour in the Rice Krispies. Carefully and with a light touch, combine the melted marshmallows with the Rice Krispies until completely and evenly mixed.
Transfer the warm mixture into the prepared glass dish, and then spread and level the mixture into the corners of the baking dish. A buttered spatula or greased cling film works well for this. Press the mixture lightly to compress it, but not too much as you don’t want to crush the airiness out of the cereal.
Cut into 2-inch squares. These are best eaten on the day that you make them, but if covered tightly with cling film, they’ll stay fresh and crunchy for up to 3 days.