Part of Halloween’s popularity is we all get to be kids again. Which includes playing with our food and eating nostalgic cookies and candies.
And what’s more nostalgic than Rice Krispie treats? For awhile these were off-limit to vegans (most marshmallows contain animal gelatin), but vegan marshmallows are becoming easier and easier to find. One widely available brand is Dandies – and they even come in flavors now, such as pumpkin spice and maple. They can be found at stores like EarthFare, Whole Foods, and Amazon Prime. If you’re in Charlotte, you can also find Dandies at The Greener Apple. Another brand is Trader Joe’s – this store carries their own brand of large marshmallows in the summer and small ones in autumn/winter.
Ingredients for Rice Krispie Monsters:
3 Tablespoons “Butter” (such as Earth Balance)
5 1/2 Cups Mini Vegan Marshmallows, or a 10 oz. package of Large Vegan Marshmallows (If in doubt, always err on the side of too many marshmallows, rather than too few)
6 Cups Rice Krispie-ish Cereal*
Skittles (for eyes)
Black Writing Gel (Found in stores near the cupcake supplies; I used Betty Crocker here)
In a large saucepan, melt butter over LOW heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. This may take awhile, but you want to go slow. Melting the marshmallows over too high heat will make the treats hard. Once melted, remove from heat.
Add the cereal. Stir until well coated.
Using a buttered spatula or wax paper, evenly press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Let cool slightly.
Gently press in Skittles for eyes. (You’ll have to guestimate.) If you do this while the treats are too hot, the colors will run; if you do this after the treats are completely cooled, the candies won’t stick.
Let cool completely. Cut into 2-inch squares.
Draw screaming mouths using the black writing gel. Don’t worry if you can’t draw perfectly round O’s of horror. It looks creepier if it’s a little messy.
Eat quickly – same day or next day is best! As the days pass, these treats turn from soft and gooey to hard.
About Flavor Additives
It seems like everyone has a “secret ingredient” for Rice Krispie-ish treats. Adding almond extract, or coconut, or extra vanilla … My advice is, make a batch according to the original (veganized) recipe first. There’s a reason this treat has been so popular over the years, and adding extra flavors diminishes the nostalgic taste. Also, if you are making this for children, keep in mind their palates are more sensitive and less refined. They typically don’t like strong or unusual tastes – which is also true of many people recovering from Covid. After you’ve made your first batch, you can modify as you see fit to suit the tastebuds of you and your family.
*Why Do I Say Rice Krispie-ish Cereal?
Rice Krispies are fortified with Vitamin D3. In the past, Vitamin D3 was only sourced from lanolin. In recent years D3 has also been extracted from lichen, which means some D3 is vegan. Since Rice Krispies do not specify which form is used, some Level 5 vegans abhor Rice Krispies. If this is a concern for you, there are a few brands of similar cereal you can substitute, such as Nature’s Path.
Excellent! 😀 They look spooky and delicious. 😀