This recipe was my attempt at making Rice Krispy Treats without marshmallows and with natural, healthy-ish ingredients. Inspired by David Lebovitz' Scotcheroos, I used chocolate, almond butter, coconut oil, and rice and maple syrups as the goo to bind the treats together, and topped them with a chocolate-coconut oil ganache. The treats were an instant hit, and now I make hundreds of them every summer to feed my fellow hippies at a music camp in Northern California. They are one of the most popular posts on my recipe blog, The Bojon Gourmet (bojongourmet.com).
A few notes: You can use corn syrup or golden syrup in place of the rice syrup if you prefer. Barbara's Bakery Crisp Brown Rice Cereal stays the crispiest of the four different brands I've tried. Chocophiles may want to double the ganache topping and sprinkle the top with cacao nibs. —Alanna
Test Kitchen Notes
Forget the traditional rice cereal treats with marshmallows -- these Hippie Crispie Treats are wonderful. Once you assemble the ingredients (rice syrup was new to my kitchen pantry), it all comes together easily. Setting the ganache in the fridge is essential; the treats remained crispy in my fridge for several days. I would make the salt & almonds on top optional. I’m adding dried cranberries to the next batch! This recipe is a family favorite already. —susan kelly
Line an 8x8 square pan with a sling of parchment paper. In a large saucepan, bring the maple and rice syrups to a rolling boil for 1 minute, stirring frequently with a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon (be careful not to let it boil over). Remove from the heat and stir in the nut butter, 1/2 cup chocolate, 2 tablespoons coconut oil, and 1/4 teaspoon fine salt until everything is smooth and the chocolate is melted. Fold in the rice cereal and pack the mixture firmly and evenly into the lined pan (damp fingers can help here).
In a small saucepan (or the same big one, if you've scraped it clean), melt the remaining 1/2 cup of chocolate and 2 tablespoons coconut oil together over very low heat, stirring constantly just until melted (be careful not to scorch the chocolate). Pour the chocolate mixture over the rice mixture, spreading it smooth. Sprinkle the nuts and flaky salt over the top.
Let the bars set at cool room temperature (about 2 hours) or in the refrigerator (about 1 hour) until firm. Lift the sling out of the pan, trim away the edges if you like, and cut into 16 squares.
These treats are best the day they are made. They will keep at room temperature for several days, though the cereal will soften slightly.