… Kicked up Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Fake Rice Krispie Treats!
There’s no “wanna-be” with these gluten-free, dairy-free rice cereal bars, even though I’ve labeled them as fake. They “are”! Yes, I can’t really call them rice krispie treats, but I can call them better.
Using brown rice cereal that stays crispy when mixed with the melted marshmallows, the bars have a great crunch. Then I’ve added cashew butter. This gives the bars a less sweet profile while adding some wholesomeness – though I could not really categorize these as a healthy snack. With a thin layer of tooth-tender chocolate spread over the top of the bars, the nut butter and chocolate flavors are oh so good together. Peanut butter, or in this case nut butter, and chocolate are always a classic combination, right? These bars continue to prove that point. I’ve given a variable measurement of the cashew butter, depending on how nutty you want your bars to taste. I like it with the full amount since cashews have a mild flavor. If you choose to substitute the cashews for another nut butter or peanut butter, you may wish to alter this quantity. The recipe will work fine regardless.
By mixing the chocolate with just a teaspoon of Karo syrup, the chocolate gains just just a bit of softness. I like the outcome but if you’re against using corn syrup, it is an optional ingredient and the chocolate will still make a wonderful topping.
As with any rice cereal bar, this recipe is easy, fast, and travels well for on-the-go snacks, picnics, or even in a lunch box. There’s really only one more thing to tell you … You gotta try these! Happy noshing!
Cashew Butter Rice Cereal Bars with Chocolate Topping
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: less than 10 minutes
Chill time: 10 minutes
2 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon non-dairy margarine, divided
1 ½ cups dairy-free semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips – I use Enjoy Life Foods chocolate chips
1 teaspoon corn syrup, optional – I use Karo
3 Tablespoons non-dairy margarine – I use Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread – soy free
5 ½ cups mini marshmallows – I use Kraft
¾ – 1 ¼ cups cashew butter, room temp – I use homemade* but any brand you like should work fine
6 cups brown rice cereal – I use Barbara’s Brown Rice Crisps
Prepare a 9×13-inch baking dish by spreading 1 teaspoon margarine on bottom and sides. Set aside.
Heat chocolate, 2 Tablespoons margarine, and corn syrup in a double boiler, or in a bowl placed over the top of a pot with a couple inches of boiling water, until melted. Stir well to make sure all chips are melted, then remove from heat. Set aside.
Melt 3 Tablespoons margarine in a medium pot over low heat. Add marshmallows and heat until melted, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Remove from heat and stir in cashew butter until mostly combined. Add brown rice cereal and stir quickly, until all cereal is coated and sticky.
Spread mixture into prepared pan and press down evenly with the back of a lightly greased spatula.
Spread melted chocolate mixture over top of rice cereal mixture. Place dish in freezer for 5-10 minutes to set chocolate. Cut into bars and serve or store in an airtight, re-sealable container at room temperature. Can be stored in fridge too. I particularly like these cashew bars when they’re cold. Enjoy!
*Homemade Cashew Butter Recipe: Combine 2 cups roasted and cooled (roast on flat sheet pan for 10 minutes at 350ºF, stirring once) or raw cashews and 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt in a food processor. Grind until cashews have become powdery. Drizzle in 7 Tablespoons grapeseed oil and process until smooth and creamy. The oil makes the cashew butter very spreadable (but not runny) when stored in the fridge. Store in an airtight, re-sealable jar (mason jars with plastic caps work well) in the fridge for up to two months. For sweetened cashew butter, pulse 3 Tablespoons honey into creamy cashew butter just at the end of the process. The longer you pulse the honey, the thicker and fluffier the cashew butter becomes.
Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™
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