Sunday, December 7, 2014

Mexican Chocolate Rice Krispy Treats

I feel a little guilty bringing you this sort of simple, no-brainer recipe after such a long absence. We moved to a new house and had internet issues, so that's slowed me down a bit. Now that we're settled in and up and running, I'll make up for lost time.

There are some familiar and much-loved foods that you think you'll never see again when you go vegan, and Rice Krispy treats were probably toward the top of my list. There are a few store-bought kinds that just don't taste quite right. The texture is there, but the flavor is off in a way that you can't quite put your finger on. When you think about it, there's really no reason to be buying them pre-made. In 30 minutes, you can have fresh, homemade ones that have your own little spin on them. Chocolate-dipped Rice Krispy treats are probably my favorite of the next-level kinds, but the possibilities are endless.

Vegan marshmallows have come a long way in just a few short years. Now there are quite a few varieties of good-quality marshmallows to choose from. I used Dandies brand for these, and they worked perfectly. The texture is right, the flavor is spot-on and they melt really well.

A note about the chocolate: I really love cinnamon. I used a ton of it in this chocolate because I wanted it to really come through. If you'd rather have it be more subtle, dial it back a bit and work up from there.

4 tbsp Earth Balance
4 cups of vegan marshmallows
6 cups of puffed rice cereal
1 bag of vegan chocolate chips (semi-sweet or dark)
1 tbsp cinnamon, or to taste

Grease up a 9x13 glass baking dish with cooking spray and set it near your stove.

In a large pot, melt the Earth Balance over medium-high heat. Add all the marshmallows and stir them around until they're well-coated. Keep them moving around and don't let the heat get too high. This will prevent them from scorching. They take a while to melt, but if you whip them around vigorously with a wooden spoon, it will happen. It takes about 5 minutes or so.

Add the cereal 2 cups at a time, stirring between each time to incorporate.

Once it's all in and well-incorporated, take it off the heat and scoop it all out into the baking dish. Use the spoon to smooth them out so the top is level. Place the dish into the freezer for 15 minutes.

While they're cooling, pour the bag of chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave them for 30-40 seconds, take them out and stir them with a spoon. They should be softened up enough to start melting. Do another 10-20 seconds if not. Don't go more than a minute or so. Once a few of them are melty, stirring them will cause the others to melt.

Add the cinnamon. If you're worried about using a full tablespoon, just do a teaspoon at a time and taste test until you've got the right amount.

Pull the dish out of the freezer and use a sharp knife to cut out squares. Put them back into the freezer for another 2-3 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it near your bowl of melted chocolate.

Take the dish back out of the freezer and pull out individual squares. Dip one end into the chocolate, making sure to coat all four sides well. Place them on the baking sheet to let the chocolate set.

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