What's For Dessert: Red, White, and Blue Patriotic Crispy Rice Treats

This recipe is exactly why this blog is called "a less processed life" and not "an unprocessed life." Sometimes you just gotta go with the processed ingredients to make a quick treat to share with friends. Of course, I could have chosen to make my own marshmallows from scratch, but let's face it, it's just a lot easier to buy the pre-packaged products when you're crunched for time. 

And really ... these crispy rice treats are seriously yummy. D and I shared them with friends last night, and we nearly demolished the entire pan ... I saved just enough for photography (and, uh, afternoon snacking) purposes today.

And of course, to help celebrate the Fourth of July holiday, I opted to take them up a (tiny) notch with the addition of red, white, and blue sprinkles. (You'll notice I also added in some leftover red and white hearts from a Valentine's set of sprinkles, as my mixture seemed to be heavy on the color blue.) With the addition of sprinkles, you could customize these treats for any holiday -- brown and orange for Halloween, red and green for Christmas, pink, white, and red for Valentine's Day, multicolored confetti for birthday celebrations ... you get the picture.

And the best part? These crispy rice treats come together in mere minutes. Meaning, if, say, you've forgotten that you promised to bring something to the July 4th picnic, you can whip these together in no-time flat. You're welcome in advance. :)

Red, White, and Blue Patriotic Crispy Rice Treats (printer-friendly version)
makes about 32 squares

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 package (10 ounces) miniature marshmallows
6 cups crispy rice cereal
2 tablespoons red, white, and blue sprinkles (plus additional for sprinkling on top)

1. Melt the butter in a large microwave-safe bowl (30-45 seconds).
2. Add the marshmallows to the bowl and toss to coat in the butter. Microwave for 45 seconds, then stir. Microwave for an additional 30-45 minutes, or until melted. Stir until the mixture is smooth.
3. Stir in the crispy rice cereal and sprinkles.
4. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray (or grease with butter). Press the marshmallow-rice mixture into the dish, forming an even layer. Top with a few more sprinkles, and then lightly press to help them adhere. Let cool completely before cutting into squares.

(lightly adapted from this Kraft recipe)


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