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allow me my kitsch and kvetch

Recipe: rice crispy treats

My left arm has been all jacked up since Friday, but I am slowly regaining the range of motion. It has been quite the pickle getting back to cooking and baking, but I can say with certainty that I am indeed back. It’s a good thing I am right-handed, no?

Every now and again I get a hankering to make something from my youth. Having grown up in southern Virginia, I am well-versed in the food classics made of cheese-food, sour cream, mayonnaise, instant onion soup mix, cream of *your choice* soup, and all manner of white-trash food. I don’t know if rice crispy treats should be classified under 1970s or white-trash or both?

rice crispies and marshmallows

Rice crispy treats – one of the simplest goodies I have in my quadrille scientific notebook o’ favorite recipes. Rice crispies, marshmallows, butter – huzzah! Once, while visiting with my little niece and nephew, I saw they had rice crispy treats in their pantry (their pantry is a veritable advertisement for processed foods – it’s a little disconcerting). These were store-bought rice crispy treats. I scratched my head because isn’t that akin to store-bought peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? Lo and behold, they had pb&j’s in their freezer. Don’t people make food anymore? Is it even considered making food to slap bread, peanut butter, and jelly together?

add marshies to the melted butter

I never thought to experiment with ye olde rice crispy treats recipe until graduate school, when my brilliant friend, Carrie, told me to mix 1/2 cup of peanut butter into the marshmallows and butter. Peanut butter rice crispy treats! Jeremy was not so much a fan of those. I thought he was a purist until that fateful day I bought Cocoa Pebbles instead of Rice Crispies (but really, I buy generic). Chocolate rice crispy treats definitely rank above peanut butter for him. Even better is the organic cocoa pebbles with the panda bear on the cover.

mix in the cereal

Then one winter day, I poured in some nonpareils for giggles. Nonpareils, known technically as sprinkles where I come from, add a splash of color and a crunch to the texture. Since Jeremy is recovering from a cold, I made a batch of sprinkle rice crispy treats to cheer him up and to time warp back to the memories of my youth – when people actually made food instead of unwrapping it. Do it your way.

to put a smile on someone’s face

Rice Crispy Treats
[print recipe]

1/4 cup butter
10 oz. marshmallows
6 cups rice crispy cereal (or cocoa crisp cereal)
1/2 cup peanut butter (optional)
spinkles (optional)

Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish. Melt butter in a pan over medium heat (with peanut butter if using). When melted, add marshmallows and stir until melted. Remove from heat. Add cereal and mix well. If using sprinkles, add sprinkles and mix well (add more, and some more). Pour contents into baking dish and spread evenly. When cooled, cut into squares and serve.

33 nibbles at “allow me my kitsch and kvetch”

  1. Christine says:

    I’m sorry for your arm. But at least your svelte husband can still enjoy your tasty concoctions :)

    I love rice crispy treats. This is the one American sweet my mom allowed us to make in our home growing up. I think it’s because in Viet Nam, we’ve got a similar sweet using toasted, puffed rice – called bánh cốm. My mom actually prefers the American version. Now, that’s something.

    oooh, peanut butter…how decadent!

  2. peabody says:

    I make rice crispy treats at least once a month. And my mom sells baked goods to raise money for their community center(very small town) at the Farmer’s Market…number one seller is rice crispy treats.

  3. linda says:

    Sorry to hear about you arm. Hope it will be on full speed before Christmas!
    Never had rice crispy treats, it’s not a traditional Dutch treat ;) but I think I’ll like it them. It has sugar and butter so what’s not to like ;)

  4. Francesco says:

    Looks nice and easy. I guess this must be a nice treats for kids!

  5. Gretchen Noelle says:

    Your pictures are always so incredible! I love the idea of peanut butter in them, I have never tried that. We cannot get rice crispies here so I have been pondering the (generic) cocoa crispy idea. I think you just confirmed it for me! And I, too, am in awe of all that comes in a package. Wow…

  6. LyB says:

    I love Rice Krispies Treats! When I was in the hospital after the birth of my first child, my Dad came to visit every day and he made me Rice Krispies Treats. He makes the best, always with lots of marshmallows! I think adding sprinkles to the mix is a wonderful idea, It’s sure to make my kids happy!

  7. Amy says:

    Yummmm! I love rice crispy treats! For the holidays I used the same idea, but substituted corn flakes and added a little green food coloring. Then I formed them into christmas wreaths using red hots for the berries on the wreath. I made tins of those and the wonderful chocaolate covered orange peels for the family. They were a hit! I love the colored sprinkles you put on yours. I hope you both have a wonderful holiday:)

  8. Make and Takes says:

    First of all, I love the title of the blog: Use Real Butter! Amen to that!!

    Secondly, I love the idea of the sprinkles. I had never thought to do that and it adds something fun to plain ole’ Rice Crispy Treats. Thanks for the fun idea.

  9. Pam says:

    I love adding things to rice krispie treats. It makes them seem unique and they tend to impress. I add crushed thin mint cookies, and my friends act like I’ve invented the wheel!

    Great photos!

  10. Sarah says:

    I make choco-rice crispie treats during football season. I free shape them into the shape of footballs and then use icing to draw on the “laces”. Everyone always loves them and thinks you are so creative (little do they know how easy they really are!).

  11. jess says:

    i’ve always been voted to make the best rice krispie treats, hands down. ill let you in on my secret….after the marshmallows melt, but before you add the cereal, add vanilla extract and butter flavoring….its makes them soo much more decadent….dont try adding more real butter though…thats what makes them get rock hard

  12. Sindy says:

    I make rice crispy treats with Fruity Pebbles (or generic version of the same) and let me tell you kids and adults alike SCARF them down. With all my culinary endeavors it kind of makes me sad that something so simple elicits such a big response. But they are pretty yummy!

  13. jenyu says:

    Christine – thanks, the arm is getting better! It’s just a result of surgery on my shoulder/chest. I’m glad it’s getting better too, because despite his charm and sweetness, Jeremy ain’t much of a cook ;) a ha ha! Yeah, I’m not a huge fan of peanut butter, but it’s great in the rice crispy treats.

    Peabody – isn’t it the truth? They are always the best sellers!

    Linda – thank you, you’re so sweet :) If you can get your hands on the ingredients, I highly recommend trying to make some. You’ll love them (and they don’t last long at all – so you’ll have to make more).

    Francesco – oh, kids definitely love these!

    Gretchen – thanks! I haven’t been to Peru before (Chile a lot), but I know there are some things that aren’t as easy to find there than in the States. If you can find the cocoa pebbles type, then even better :)

    LyB – oh, that is sooo sweet of your dad! I love that story. Kids (and my husband) seem to enjoy the sprinkles immensely.

    Amy – How cute! You have more patience than I do right now :) I can’t form anything with marshmallow in it without getting some in my hair… You’re so nice to give treats out to folks. I wish you and yours a wonderful holiday too.

    M&T – you’re very welcome!

    Pam – awesome idea. I think if I mention that to my husband, he’ll pass out at the thought. I like crushing thin mints and putting them in all sorts of things, but never thought to do this! I guess I’ll have to order more of those overpriced cookies from my neighbor’s little girl next time :)

    Sarah – wups! you got shuffled into my spam filter. Sorry about that! You have more patience than I. Shaping things with marshmallow make for an angry afternoon ;)

    jess – mmm, vanilla extract. That’s a good one. I am secretly afraid of butter flavoring. What’s in it? Thanks for the suggestion!

    Sindy – I’ve shied away from Fruity Pebbles just because I’m wondering if it will have the m&m effect – when the colors swirl together and wind up looking the color of vomit? (that’s what happens when Jeremy orders a Dairy Queen Blizzard with m&ms). But that’s also a neat and fun idea. I think we just all love things that taste good but are bad for us ;)

  14. Hillary says:

    You are too cute…I love the post title and these rice crispy treats are adorable! I love the little sprinkles inside…a fun touch!

  15. Kevin says:

    It has been a long time since I have had a rice crispy treat. I really liked them when I was younger. The addition of peanut butter sounds really intriguing.

  16. cedar says:

    I was planning on making rice crispie treats this week, even before I saw your post!! I love that you put sprinkles in, what a great idea.

  17. jenyu says:

    Hillary – thank you :)

    Kevin – if you like pb, then you’ll like the pb rice crispy treats for sure!

    Cedar – oh, I hope you got a little jazzy with your rct this week!

  18. sarahmarie says:

    rice krispie treats put me in a happy place.
    warning: the following suggestion may prove expansive to the waist line.

    for that sweet attack take a snack size bag of marshmallows and melt them in a small fry pan with a pat of butter. stir an individual size box of rice krispies right into the pan. take pan off the stove and to the couch (with a hot pad of course) eat warm gooey yumminess right from the pan while you watch your favorite tv show.

    ps. there is not enough to share. get your own pan.

  19. jenyu says:

    sarahmarie – oh, that’s great! ha ha. i had better not tell jeremy about that. i probably wouldn’t do it, but he might! ;)

  20. Sprinkled Rice Crispies | Make and Takes says:

    […] I was immediately hooked just from the words “real butter”! Then she did a post on Basic Rice Crispies, but with a fun colorful twist, Add Sprinkles. The Sprinkles make it look like a party’s […]

  21. Alyson says:

    We love these…. inspired us to do so this weekend for the grands. We love the addition of melted chocolate spread on top. Yummy!

    Alyson LID 01/27/06

  22. jenyu says:

    Alyson – oooh, melted chocolate on top! That’s decadent :) Don’t tell Jeremy! :) sshhhhhhh!!!

  23. Lyston Louks says:

    They look and sound good im a kid but im looking for something to do……

  24. jenyu says:

    Lyston – okay, dude.

  25. Sil says:

    Jen, I wondered about this recipe since I taste this sweets when I went to Palmer Station (Antarctica). A little hard to find marshmallows here in Argentina… but I’ll try! Cheers!

  26. jenyu says:

    Sil – good luck :)

  27. Margaret Muravyev says:

    yum! thanks i used this for a school powerpoint!

  28. Margaret Muravyev says:


    Thank you for the wonderful recipe for Rice Krispies. They sound delicious! Oh, by the way, thank you for the photographs of the ingredients. I used them in my Powerpoint at school, for a project on “How To Do..” It was on “How To Make Rice Krispies”. I hope I get an A. Wish me good luck!:)



  29. jenyu says:

    Margaret – you’re welcome.

  30. Chocolate Rice Crispy Footballs for Game Day | Make and Takes says:

    […] Rice Crispy recipe – I used chocolate flavored Crispy Rice cereal, but you can simply color your marshmallows with brown food coloring when making these treats. Or make them in their natural color with different colored frosting for the laces. […]

  31. “Split-personality” Rice Krispie Treats « baketivities says:

    […] I decided to do a “split personality” sheet of rice krispies – one half original topped with M&Ms and one half peanut butter krispie treat with chocolate ganache. The candy didn’t stick to the treats very well, even though I pushed them in pretty hard after pressing the krispies into the pan. I’m not sure if that was a me-mistake or just some sort of unwritten rice krispie rule of which I’m unaware. Regard the peanut butter personality, I went a little crazy with the chocolate ganache (using ¾ cup chopped dark chocolate melted with 1 tablespoon unsalted butter) and it overshadowed the peanut butter. Next time I’ll drizzle the chocolate instead of glopping it everywhere. It also took a long time to set on account of the muggy pre-hurricane air. Grievances aside, I loved them. It has been so long since I’ve had a rice krispie square and I loved how I got the choice between peanut butter and original. I didn’t do anything to change the recipe, so I’ll link you right to it. […]

  32. Emily says:

    Amaze! Thanks so much for this amazing recipie!

  33. Jeana says:

    I used this recipe at Easter, using Fruity Pebbles instead of rice crispies. I molded them into plastic eggs. Then wrapped them in colored plastic wrap, tied a ribbon at the top, and placed them in a basket filled with Easter grass on the dessert table. They looked amazing! And they tasted pretty good too!

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