The Smacks Crispies Experiment

March 17 |

This post originally appeared on Hipster Housewife on January 5, 2011.

I have a confession. I have never made a rice crispy treat. Until this experiment, I didn't even know how to make them. 

A few weeks back, friends and I were discussing snack foods and this brilliant idea struck me — wouldn't Honey Smacks cereal make an amazing rice crispy-esque treat? I'm familiar with some of the General Mills'-produced sister bars using Golden Grahams, but Smacks? Hells yes. 

We agreed this had to happen. We gathered the supplies, formed an assembly line, and got to work with all the tastiest cereals. The assembly line broke the task into several jobs: buttering pans (because I never have non-stick spray), melting marshmallows, and — most importantly — choosing which cereals to use. 

Husband Scott doesn't eat gelatin and wanted to experiment with vegan options. Luckily, our house is peculiar enough to have two kitchens so while the assembly line worked upstairs, Scott worked in the basement on his own gelatin-free versions of Smacks Crispies. 

When finished, we had eleven pans of mostly delicious baking experiments.

The best pan? Definitely our Golden Grahams creation, followed closely by the Conglomeration Pan — containing some of all the cereals.

The only disappointing pan was made with Corn Pops – way too bland. Really, Corn Pops? You let us down hard.

And how about the Smacks? Just as delicious as I thought they'd be. The Smacks Crispies Experiment was a success.

In high school biology, I learned that we had to write a conclusion to summarize the successes and failures of every experiment. Success: Getting seven people together to make eleven pans of overly-sweet cereal snacks. Success: Pretty much all of the cereal + marshmallow mixtures.

We did have a failure. Unfortunately, Scott's gelatin-free pans were not good. He used a corn syrup and sugar mixture that dried hard as cement. There are fake marshmallow mixtures out there, but they don't feel worth the purchase, so we'll probably keep experimenting with other ingredients. Got suggestions for a cereal to try or a sweet vegan binder? I'd love to hear them in the comments.

  1. My college used to have these huge cereal bins at food service, and whenever the cereal started to go stale or sit too long, they'd make "rice krispie" treats out of them. No matter what cereal it actually was. They occasionally dropped chocolate chips in the mix.

    I've heard good things about this recipe: http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=6559.0

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    • Mm, margarine would probably help. I think Scott's marshmallow replacement was just sugar and corn syrup and it dried ROCK hard.

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      • I could totally see that happening. Theoretically, you could make softer and less sturdy Rice Krispie treats with vegan marshmallow FLUFF, which is an altogether more useful kitchen ingredient than plain marshmallows. So if you choose to invest in an ingredient, fluff might be the way to go.

        But, margarine would probably work like.. wait for it… BUTTAH.

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    • My college did the same thing. Lucky Charms bars were the BEST. For some reason they always had them on snow days…. so now as an adult I make them when it snows :)

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  2. I have Celiac (and Rice Krispies have gluten) so I make my marshmallow treats using (I admit this sounds RIDICULOUS!) EnviroKidz brand Organic Peanut Butter Panda Puffs Cereal. DEE-FREAKING-LICIOUS! Seriously! Try it :)

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    • I LOVE Panda Puffs! I'm going to have to try that now!!

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    • Yes! I've done rice crispies with peanut butter and corn syrup and they were AMAZING! I can't remember the recipe I used, but I'm sure you could find one online.

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    • Oh hells yes, I will have to try this. I have celiac and making treats from the cereals that I have tried ended in huge fails. Thanks!

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    • oh my god I have done this too! actually with groilla munch and koala puffs too!

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    • I have a friend who has Celiac as well, she made some using Rice Chex (which are gf) and WOW MY GOD THEY WERE SO GOOD!

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    • oh!! Panda puffs!! definately going to try that! mmmm panda puffs… theres a new lemur something, mix of chocolate and peanut butter…

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  3. FLUFFERNUTTER. It is gelatin free, tastes exactly like marshmellows and works well with rice krispie treats.

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  4. Vegan option: PEANUT BUTTER KRISPIES!!

    I love this recipe more than the marshmellow recipe even before I turned vegetarian.

    1 Cup Sugar
    1 Cup Corn Syrup

    Heat together until melted

    Add 1 Cup Peanut Butter (this adds the yummy flavor but keeps the sugar/corn syrup from turning to cement)

    Then add Rice Krispies and/or any other yummy flavors. You can add chocolate chips for variation as well.

    I stand by this recipe, its yummy, vegan, and super duper easy.

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    • This is SO GOOD with Cocoa Puffs or Reese's Puffs. Holy Snorks!

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  5. I'm off to make a batch of rice krispie treats too !

    This is what Off Beat Home needs more
    Off Beat recipies – YUM !

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  6. My Rice Crispies treat recipe is:
    50 grams margarine
    100 grams dark chocolate
    5 tablespoons corn syrup
    All heated together in a pot.
    Add 100 grams Rice Crispies.

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  7. you could try making your own vegan marshmallows, (recipe: http://tiny.cc/39g5t) you wouldn't even have to bother with the whole panning/ setting steps. Just whip it till it's at the fluff stage add a few pats of butter/margarine fold in the cereal and voila!

    and FYI Kix make some AWESOME crispy treats! :-)

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  8. Since I was a kid, my mom always made rice crispies with all the left over, usually stale, cereal since us kids were always notorious for never finishing a damn box. Cheerioes, Lucky Charms, Reece's Puffs, etc. all would go in the same pan. They always turn out great. I actually bought some marshmallows last week to get rid of all the cereal my fiance and I haven't finished. =D

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  9. Vegan marshmallows exist (and are amazing!). Sweet and Sara makes a homemade style type that melt in your mouth, and Dandies makes a jet-puffed style type that roast and melt just like any regular marshmallow. Both make great rice crispy squares! If you live in a bigger city that is generally veg-friendly, local health food stores should carry them? :)

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  10. Agar is a common substitute for gelatin, but I'm not sure whether it counts as being vegan, as it's made from algae (not an animal in my book, but I'm not really familiar with vegan rules.)
    Some other alternatives could be gums (Arabic, Xantan, Guar and Locust Bean gum), but I have no experience with these myself.
    Another product that seems to be populair these days is Carrageenan. From what I understand it has a lot of similarities with agar, but according to wikipedia it's vegan (in which case agar should be too). I've never used this myself, but I think it's used by a lot of (pastry) chefs.
    As the main ingredients for marshmallows are sugar and corn syrop, Scott was well on his way to making his own marshmallow mixture, all he needed was some more fluid and some kind of vegan binding product instead of gelatin.

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  11. Fruity Pebble treats are the way to go in my house. We served them at our wedding, that's how much my husband loves them. :) As amazing as two kitchens would be for dinner parties and such, I can't be trusted do one kitchen's worth of dishes in a timely fashion…

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    • We make Fruity Pebble treats a lot in our house. I live with my 28 yr old boyfriend and 29 yr old male roommate and we make them at least once a month and always serve them at parties next to the jello shots.

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    • Ses…those were so good at your wedding! Robert wants a plate now and I am interested in adding chocolate chips or peanut butter and making some out of cheerios. Maybe Lindsey can make them for us…

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      • Steph! Thanks :). Maybe we can take stuff to make them Friday night. I'm glad you're my 'offbeat' friend!

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  12. Unfortunately I cant help with a vegan version but I CAN SAY that some of the BEST krispie treats I have ever had was last summer and they were made with Fruity Pebbles. I have always LOVED the texture of them and they work PERFECT in this form YUMMMMM\m/

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  13. I have a recipe that I love to make for cons of "healthy" rice crispy treats. I got the recipe from Good Eats. You make them with brown puffed rice instead of Rice Crispies (found in most health food sections), flax seed oil, honey, and dried fruit (think dried blueberries and cranberries). And marshmallows – no alternative given there. The recipe calls for slivered almonds, but I like throwing coconut in them. They are so good and even my junk food adoring husband loves them.

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  14. Back when I was vegan, I'd eat RiceMallow. Hell, I'd still eat it now over regular fluff. Your husband should give that a whirl!

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  15. My mom used to make peanut butter captain crunch treats. OMG DELICIOUS!!!

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  16. My Mom never used Marshmallows to make Rice Crispy squares. It was always a corn syrup mixture.

    Don't have a clue what was in it other than corn syrup though.

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  17. I'm a little late to this party, but for a "forever young" type theme party I invented my own favorite twist on the rice krispie treat: I made the treats as usual, but added the marshmallows from a box of Lucky Charms as well. Just stirred them in with the cereal, and they are AWESOME.

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  18. We totally had a cereal party where we had cereal milk martinis and 5 different kinds of rice crispie treats. Two favorites were definitely fruity pebbles and cinnamon toast crunch. :)

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  19. I've used Dandies Vegan Marshmallows to make treats and they ROCK. They are small, so don't roast over a fire all that well (though they do toast, just hard to keep on the stick.) They are also certified Kosher, which makes me happy!

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  20. Ok a tip needed from you all that make rice krispie treats on the regular. How the heck do you get the mixture into a pan without it sticking to every spoon, finger, EVERYTHING!! LOL my rice krispie treats always look very odd shaped even in the pan. How do you get the evenness??? Thanks!!!

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    • You just put butter on EVERYTHING! When I do them, I melt some butter in the microwave and with a pastry brush (because I'm fancy like that, but you can use anything else, or your bare hands…) I butter the bottom of my pan and the wooden spoon I use to mix. And then when I pour the mixture into the pan, I butter my hands really well and flatten the mixture by pressing and going over it with my hands. Remember to re-butter your hands as soon as they start sticking again, otherwise, you undo all your work to even it out!

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