I’ve been vegetarian for almost 7 (!!!!) years now.
There are very few foods I miss, and my answers usually surprise people. No matter how long I’ve been vegetarian, I’ll still miss my Grandma’s stew and my Mom’s pot roast. I’ll keep on hoping that faux meat companies come out with something brilliant with which to replicate them, but I’m not holding my breath. Another favorite childhood food: rice crispy treats. My Grandma used to make them the best: extra thick and marshmallowy with tons of colorful M&Ms on top.
Over the years, I’ve been looking for a vegetarian version. In my research, I’ve found mainly two schools of thought: super healthy rice crispy treats made with ingredients like brown rice syrup, or super expensive ones made with store bought vegan marshmallows. I’m sure either version is tasty, but isn’t the accessibility and affordability of ingredients and ease of making rice crispy treats the whole point?
I’ve always thought the fix for my dilemma would simply be marshmallow fluff. It’s basically marshmallow without the nonvegetarian gelatin component. But what to use as a stabilizer? Cornstarch? Agar-agar powder? Powdered sugar?
It turns out, I’ve been overcomplicating this whole deal. Yesterday, my craving went from annoying to an I HAVE TO HAVE A RICE CRISPY TREAT OR I’M THROWING MY COMPUTER OUT MY WINDOW kind of craving. I blame hormones. Anyway, I failed to check one of the most obvious places: marshmallowfluff.com! Duh! So off to the store I went to gather ingredients.
I mixed, I assembled, I conquered. And then I ate half the pan in one sitting.
Vegetarian Rice Crispy Treats
1/4 cup butter, cut into 4 chunks
1-7 oz jar marshmallow fluff, storebought or homemade
5 cups puffed rice cereal
Line a 9″x13″ pan with wax paper (if using parchment paper, make sure to lightly spray with cooking spray). Place butter and marshmallow fluff into a medium sized microwave safe bowl. Pour cereal into a large bowl. Microwave butter and fluff for 30 seconds at a time, making sure to stir each time. Microwave until butter has fully melted and has been incorporated into the fluff. Using a rubber spatula, pour fluff mixture into cereal and immediately stir them together. Pour mixture into the prepared pan and spread as best as you can. Place a piece of wax paper (or sprayed parchment paper) onto rice crispy treats and press firmly and evenly into the pan. For firmer treats, I left mine out at room temperature and covered them fairly loosely with the wax paper I used to press them into the pan overnight.
*Recipe adapted from Marshmallow Fluff’s Marshmallow Fluff Treats Recipe
**I’m going to continue to work on perfecting this recipe (possibly by adding white chocolate?), so that they are the ULTIMATE vegetarian rice crispy treats. For now, and as evidenced by the fact that I ate a whole pan in two days, they are quite delicious as is.