Hippie Crispy Treats

April 3, 2013

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: 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

Food52 Review: 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

Makes: 16 two-inch bars
Prep time: 2 hrs
Cook time: 30 min

Ingredients

The bars:

  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup brown rice syrup
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped bittersweet (70%) chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 4 cups crisp rice cereal

The topping:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped bittersweet (70%) chocolate
  • 1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
  • 1/4 teaspoon flaky salt (such as Maldon)
In This Recipe

Directions

  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. These treats are best the day they are made. They will keep at room temperature for several days, though the cereal will soften slightly.

More Great Recipes:
Candy|Cookie|American|Chocolate|Grains|Make Ahead|One-Pot Wonders|Christmas|Valentine's Day|Vegetarian|Vegan|Gluten-Free

Reviews (56) Questions (4)

56 Reviews

Sarah H. May 2, 2018
These are delicious. I used Dark Karo instead of brown rice syrup and 61% chocolate because it was what I had. Used 5 cups of rice cereal and at the last minute added a cup of shredded unsweetened coconut and I wished I had used a little less cereal. They cut cleanly but are a little delicate. The syrup/chocolate mixture was a little sweet once all melted together so I added Hershey’s special dark cocoa to taste and they have a dense dark chocolate taste, not too sweet at all. Will make these a lot.
 
cpc May 19, 2016
I used puffed millet instead of the puffed rice/rice crispier cereal & used 5 cups instead of four, per recommendations. Otherwise, I followed the recipe and thought this was good. Not too sweet and I'm normally not thrilled with very sweet things. The 70% chocolate was key. I think I could have added a little more salt on top and maybe would use a larger pan to spread the mix into. These were a little thicker than necessary. Next time, I might add a little chopped nuts and coconut to the mix. Definitely an easy treat that is a little on the healthy side.
 
Anna_Ch May 19, 2016
"to feed my fellow hippies at a music camp in Northern California" - are you talking about Cazadero, by any chance? My family loves that place. I'm sure these treats are a perfect complement!
 
Grace October 15, 2015
These are way too sweet and sticky. I would use 5 cups of rice crispies and reduce the maple syrup. I'm sticking with Alicia Silverstone's peanut butter krispies, which are perfect.
 
Kerry G. July 20, 2015
LOVED THESE! Used unsweetened chocolate in base, and was plenty sweet. ... Used maple syrup plus English treacle, and instead of rice cereal, I used crumbled rice cakes (the lightly salted Lundberg's brown rice cakes)... this added a wonderful nuttiness, and a little extra salt (YUM). I also took another commenter's advice and added dried cranberries.
 
Author Comment
Alanna July 20, 2015
I'm so glad those substitutions worked out. Dried cranberries sound especially delicious!
 
Lisa April 29, 2015
These bars are amazing! I used Guittard bittersweet chocolate and doubled the salt because I love that combo! The results were not too sweet and my son declared them the best dessert ever!!!
 
Author Comment
Alanna July 20, 2015
Yay!!!
 
Marivic R. January 18, 2015
Any recommendations on what can be substituted for brown rice syrup?
 
fearlessem March 27, 2014
Very tasty! I made these as the recipe stated other than using 5 cups of rice crispies, and leaving off the glaze. I don't think they need it, and didn't find them too sweet at all. Thanks!
 
Author Comment
Alanna March 27, 2014
Yay! So glad you like 'em! You're quite welcome, and thanks for the note. :)
 
kimberly.godwin March 23, 2014
I just made this. OMG.... So easy & So delicious. I used 4.5 cups of organic rice crispy cereal. I used to eat rice krispy treats at home when I was a kid, but as an adult, I stay away from 'junk food'. This is a much better improved healthier version. I like a good 'treat' now and then, and I think I just found it. Thank you.
 
Author Comment
Alanna March 24, 2014
That makes me so happy, Kimberly! I was also glad to relive my rice krispy treats fixation again through these guys, too.
 
Pam March 4, 2014
LOVE these bars. They are very easy and quick to make. I used Agave for the liquid sweetener. I also used 5 cups of cereal as recommended by someone. They were still VERY sweet!
 
Author Comment
Alanna March 5, 2014
Hi Pam, Thanks for the note. I'm so glad you love these! Agave is sweeter than brown rice syrup (by three times, says this site: http://www.allaboutagave.com/agave-vs-liquid.php) so the bars made with it will naturally taste much sweeter. It is also thinner and wetter, so it would make sense that you'd want more cereal in there. Thanks for giving them a go!
 
Pam March 5, 2014
Well, I didn't know that. Good to know. They are wonderful the next day.
 
Author Comment
Alanna March 6, 2014
So glad you like them! I didn't know that about agave either until I Googled it just now.
 
NC July 17, 2013
This is a great simple recipe! The only thing I did differently is add (just because I had them already) yacon syrup instead of maple and rice syrups,had organic brown rice cereal, used MCT oil when making the almond butter and threw in a handful of salted mixed nuts with the (3 oz) chocolate. It turned out perfect!
 
Author Comment
Alanna July 18, 2013
Ooh, I'm really glad to know that you can substitute yacon syrup for the maple and brown rice syrups! So glad you like the bars - thanks for the lovely comment. :)
 
Golfchef May 29, 2013
What can I sub for the almond butter? My wife has a nut allergy.
 
Author Comment
Alanna May 29, 2013
You should be able so sub any nut or seed butter. (For the record, I once used peanut butter, and the bars came out gooier than with the almond butter, but they were still tasty.) If your wife is allergic to all nuts, I would try sunflower seed butter, as it has a fairly neutral flavor.
 
placidplaid May 13, 2013
I found out why my bars were crumbly the first time, six cups of rice krispies instead of four. I made again yesterday with four cups. I think the perfect number would actually be five cups because they were over the top too sweet. My kids complained a little too, they liked the first batch better. You're right about the spray coconut oil, it's really not very nice.
 
Author Comment
Alanna May 20, 2013
Ah, that explains it! Also, are you using 70% bittersweet chocolate? I think chocolate with a lower percentage of cacao could definitely make them too sweet. I made these the other day with 85% chocolate and they tasted quite grown-up to me. :)
 
Carrie V. May 13, 2013
I love the name of these bars :). Excited to make them!
 
Author Comment
Alanna May 20, 2013
Thanks, Carrie! Let us know how you like them!
 
placidplaid May 6, 2013
two tablespoons! yeesh<br />
 
placidplaid May 6, 2013
I meant tablespoon.
 
placidplaid May 6, 2013
I also wanted to say that I did not buy a jar of coconut oil since it was pricey. I bought the spray coconut oil and loaded up a teaspoon of it to add to the recipe. I figured if I ended up not liking the end result at least I'd have cook spray on hand to use rather than having a jar of expensive oil languishing in my cupboard.<br />
 
Author Comment
Alanna May 6, 2013
Ah, ok, I think that would be the culprit for the crumbly bars, since the spray has stuff added to it to make the oil liquid at room temperature and thus sprayable. The coconut oil helps solidify the bars, along with the chocolate, as both are solid at room temperature. Hope this helps!
 
Stephanie G. May 5, 2013
these are good! Next time I will double the salt in the bars.
 
Author Comment
Alanna May 6, 2013
So glad you liked them! A little extra salt never hurts. ;)
 
placidplaid May 5, 2013
I made this a couple of days ago and my kids are crazy for them. I used Lyle's Golden Syrup since I had it on hand instead of the brown rice type. Another sub that could be used was molasses but I thought that that flavor would shine through too much. I wonder if using pure cacao without sugar would make them less sweet since they are a bit much in that way? Also they did not stick together that well, a bit crumbly.<br />
 
Author Comment
Alanna May 6, 2013
I would have thought Lyle's syrup would be a good substitute for the brown rice syrup, since they are similar consistencies, but it looks like Lyle's is a bit sweeter than rice syrup, according to this article from Cook's Thesaurus: http://www.foodsubs.com/Syrups.html. That would explain the extra sweetness. I think using unsweetened chocolate would be a good call for less sweet bars. I've never had a problem with crumbly bars, so I can only imagine that the Lyle's syrup is also the culprit here, unless they didn't get packed firmly enough into the pan. I'm so glad your kids loved them regardless!
 
jstephanie396 April 30, 2013
I cant wait to try these, where can I get brown rice syrup btw? I'm also gonna learn and rock, but the problem is i do not able to find any good centers myself. This is the one http://www.saiinstitutes.in I have chosen. Can someone help me to find if it is a good one. It will be really helpful, thanks
 
jstephanie396 April 30, 2013
Can't wait to try these. I'm also planning to learn it from one of the local institute saiinstitutes.in. Not sure if they are the best in this, but am unable to find any other competing institutes.
 
FabFran April 29, 2013
Thanks for reminding me to use our local Whole Foods more often...I would like to try recipe as written before experimenting.
 
Author Comment
Alanna April 29, 2013
You bet! Be sure to let us know how they come out. :)
 
FabFran April 29, 2013
I can't wait to try these...however, I went to two stores and they scratch their heads when I asked for brown rice syrup and almond butter. The hunt is on so that I could make the most expensive Rice Crispier Treats!
 
JanMc April 29, 2013
Not sure about the rice syrup but you'll find almond butter with the peanut butter-Target and most grocery stores have it. Justin's Nut butter is my fav.
 
Author Comment
Alanna April 29, 2013
Yeah, I'm surprised you couldn't find them! Any healthy foodie store (such as Whole Foods) will have both. Though I'm guessing that any nut butter will work in place of the almond butter (including peanut butter). You can also make your own almond butter by blending the crap out of a bunch of almonds (toasted or not) in a food processor. And you could probably use corn syrup in place of the rice syrup, though they will lose some of their hippie status. :) Not sure if it's a typo, but I like "Rice Crispier treats."
 
NC July 17, 2013
It takes two seconds to make your own almond butter at home. throw some almonds in a blender (or chopper), a touch of salt and sugar, a bit of oil I I used MCT oil) a touch of water just to make it spin better and there you have it.
 
Melanie Y. April 29, 2013
Can't wait to try these! They look & sound amazing!
 
Author Comment
Alanna April 29, 2013
Thanks, Melanie!
 
Gabrielle O. April 28, 2013
calories???
 
kath1 April 30, 2013
I should think they have all the calories in the world.
 
Mike Q. April 28, 2013
Wait. I'm an old hippie... you left out the most important ingredient! Just how much pot do we add?
 
Author Comment
Alanna April 28, 2013
Ha!
 
darksideofthespoon April 26, 2013
These sound amazing and totally cater to my hippy side. I'm going to have to try these soon as I have everything in my pantry already!
 
Author Comment
Alanna April 28, 2013
Aw, thanks! Let us know how you like 'em. :)
 
maryjo April 7, 2013
just made these, so good :) my jar of coconut oil dropped as i reached for it and broke so replaced with canola oil, excited to try again with coconut oil!
 
Author Comment
Alanna April 8, 2013
Oh no! How did they turn out with the canola oil? Did they set up? Thanks for giving the recipe a try!
 
maryjo April 13, 2013
they were fantastic! i did put them in the fridge because we were having some warm days here but the coconut oil would make them set better?
 
Author Comment
Alanna April 14, 2013
I think so, but I'm so glad they worked out nonetheless!
 
Midge April 4, 2013
Hippie yum!
 
aargersi April 4, 2013
My happy Hippie Heart is loving these!
 
Author Comment
Alanna April 4, 2013
Haha- yay!!