I'll be 100% honest with you guys, I don't miss anything from my carnivore days, except for marshmallows and candy corn. I would eat them until I made myself sick. I was obsessed. I still haven't found a candy corn replacement, but about two years ago, I discovered Dandies vegan marshmallows, and my life was forever changed. They taste just like what I remember marshmallows tasting like, and they have that air puffed texture, so basically they're like real marshmallows, but better. Today, I'm going to show you how to take Dandies, and a few other ingredients, and make vegan and gluten free Rice Crispy Treats. Prepare for your new favorite addiction.
So first things first, you need: 1x 10oz package of full size Dandies marshmallows, 6 cups of any gluten free brown rice cereal, 4 tbsp of vegan butter (I prefer Earth Balance Soy Free butter), and a dash of vanilla extract. Vanilla extract is literally my secret ingredient in everything I bake. Being a vanillaholic, I feel like vanilla adds a little something extra. I have seen a variety of different recipes, but this one I have tweaked a bit to make it my own. You can feel free to add stuff like chocolate chips, Sprinkelz (they're amazing, I was going to add them today but my supermarket didn't have them and my specialty store was closed), peanut butter, peanut butter chips, chocolate drizzle... the possibilities are endless. Also, you will need a large sauce pan. I used a pot, which I really should've used my other non-stick pan but it was dirty and I just didn't feel like washing it, if I'm being honest! Also, a 13x9 in pan to put them in when you're done, or a Pyrex glass container, which I prefer because you're going to need to keep them in an air tight container anyway. You want to lightly grease these before you use them so the Treats don't get stuck in the container. I took a baggie, turned it inside out, and use a smidge of butter to grease mine. The butter does not affect the taste of the final results, I promise! Lastly, don't forget a measuring cup for the cereal, measuring spoon for the butter, and a wooden spoon to mix it all up!
To begin, melt your butter in your saucepan over low heat. If you have the heat too high, and you don't stir enough, your butter will burn, and your Treats will taste burnt. I will be honest though, I have burnt mine before and you get a burnt flavor to the Treats but somehow because it's marshmallows it doesn't taste bad, in my opinion. It taste like you just roasted them over a fire, so it has that summer time campfire feel to it. So just in case you do, don't worry! Everything is still edible! Next, add the entire bag of marshmallows to the pan, stirring frequently until the marshmallows are melted. When the marshmallows are all melted, add your vanilla extract. You will only need about a tsp of it. I usually just eyeball it, but feel free to measure it out. Stir it into the marshmallow mixture.
Once the above steps are completed, you want to begin adding your cereal. Things are about to get sticky (literally) real fast. Also, you're in for a workout because as you add more cereal it takes more and more muscle to fold it into the marshmallow mixture. My fiancé and I took turns doing this part as our arms got tired! Make sure as you add the cereal in, you do it little by little and fold each cup in thoroughly before adding another. Otherwise, you will get one huge Rice Crispy Treat ball. All of these steps should still be done while the stove is on low heat to prevent the marshmallows from hardening. If you do this in the cooler months, you'll stay nice and toasty. Considering it's currently July, this is a less pleasant time to stand over the stove so long! But still totally worth it because the end results are delicious!
Once you have added all of your cereal, and thoroughly folded everything in, your finished product should look like this:
At this point, you want to carefully transfer the mixture into either your lightly greased 13x9 pan or your lightly greased Pyrex container. Use the back of your wooden (or whichever you're using) spoon to push the mixture into the container. Once you have your mixture all packed into your container, let cool and cut into squares, the you're ready to chow down on some home made delicious vegan and gluten free Rice Crispy Treats! Place the lid on any leftovers!
If you're anything like us, (like us I mean impatient) we cut a small piece and ate it while it was still warm and it was SO GOOD! You can either leave them in your air tight container and cut a piece as you eat it, or you can cut them up and wrap them up individually in plastic wrap for your lunch or a quick snack on the go. You can even add some ribbon and a note for holidays, or any special event. These Treats are so versatile and you can do so much with them! They keep about 5-7 days in an air tight container, but if you can get them to last longer than 5-7 hours I'll be impressed lol. Enjoy!