Swap Out The Marshmallows For A Sweet Twist On Your Rice Krispies Treats

Rice Krispy treats are the kind of baked good that pays tribute to your nostalgic sweet tooth. Traditionally made of puffed rice cereal, marshmallows, butter, and a dash of vanilla extract, these chewy bars were passed off as a snack when we all knew it was really an afternoon dessert. It's a perfectly flexible recipe too, inviting bakers to incorporate their favorite cereal into the mix, from Fruit Loops to Cinnamon Toast Crunch. But what if you revisited this classic formula and traded the marshmallows for something a little less gelatinous but just as sweet?  

Believe it or not, you don't actually need marshmallows to glue together your cereal. Instead, you can opt to use several other sticky, thick condiments to hold your Rice Krispy masterpiece together. The substitute breaks down like this: combine an invert sugar (like syrup or honey) with a nut or seed butter to create a sweet adhesive for your Rice Krispy treats. Not only does this sticky mix work as a proper swap for marshmallows, but it also brings its own unique flavor to your crunchy bars. So how should you go about making this marshmallow alternative for your next batch of Rice Krispy treats?    

Sweet and sticky alternatives to marshmallows

Let's start with the flexible list of ingredients. As mentioned before, one-half of the substitute should be an invert sugar, like honey, maple syrup, golden syrup, or agave syrup. Honey and maple syrup are some of the more common choices, as they're less processed, but other syrups will work fine. Just be cautious of using more strong flavored syrups like molasses or treacle, as that intense flavor may overpower all others. Your choices for nut butter are equally as flexible, as peanut butter, almond butter, and cashew butter will all work well. Seed butter, like tahini and sunflower seed butter, are also tasty options. Avoid using Nutella, though, as this mix is already sweetened and will become overly saccharine when mixed with the invert sugar. 

As for ratios, you'll use about ½ cup to ⅓ cup of each of the syrup and the nut butter for an 8-inch square pan serving of Rice Krispies, or ¾ cup of each for a traditional 9x13 pan of it. You'll mix the two together with either a mixer or melt it together on the stovetop before thoroughly stirring it into your cereal. If you don't mind adding butter to the mix, you could make the New Zealand and Australian classic, rice bubble slice, which boils butter, honey, and sugar together to create an impromptu toffee to meld the puffed rice together. The sweet options are there — you just have to decide which to go with.