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Chocolate Rice Crispy Treats

Loaded with chocolate, nuts and raisins, these no-bake chocolate rice crispy treats are your answer to that after-dinner sweet craving. Rich, chewy, crunchy, nutty, chocolate-y deliciousness. Just 10 minutes of hands-on time to prepare (plus chill time).

My grandmother (kook Jenna’s great grandmother) made chocolate rice crispies every holiday since I was a little girl. My mother, my two sisters and I followed the tradition, meaning they continue to show up at every family event. I love them. 

chocolate rice crispies on plate f1

For the holidays, I tweak the recipe by substituting the raisins with dried cranberries to add a bit of festive color and sweet-tart contrast. 

Unlike most baked goods, the chocolate rice crispy treats are pretty forgiving. A little more of this or that won’t matter. And there are several variations and substitutions you can try.

The old rice crispy treats we all grew up on – butter, marshmallows and rice Krispies – certainly had their hay day.  But I think – and I know I am biased –  these are way better.

What are chocolate rice krispie treats?

The original rice krispie treats were invented by a Kellogg’s employee in 1939. The ones with the butter, rice Krispies and marshmallows.

They have different names according to Wikipedia. Rice krispie squares in Canada and the UK. Chocolate crackle in Australia (which, by the way, call the main ingredient rice bubbles). Spellings are different too – crispies and krispies. The common thread, though, is snap, crackle, pop. 

The original recipe is hugely popular to this day and many have played around with it to create interesting variations.

FAQ

What can I substitute for marshmallows in rice krispie treats?

Nowadays, you have lots of options. If you’re vegan, you can buy gelatin-free marshmallows or substitute with almond butter and maple syrup (here’s a recipe for healthy vegan rice crispy treats). Or, substitute every 1 cup of marshmallows (8 pieces) with 1/2 cup marshmallow fluff (which also has no gelatin).To reduce sugar content, buy sugar-free marshmallows.

How do I make sure my rice krispie treats aren’t hard?

To ensure soft, chewy treats, make sure you heat the butter, chocolate and marshmallows over low heat. Don’t rush it. And use fresh marshmallows (you can even throw in a couple of extras).

Can I use miniature marshmallows instead of regular ones?

Yes. 1 regular marshmallow = 13 mini marshmallows. Here are some good equivalents: 32 regular marshmallows (for this recipe) = 8 jumbo marshmallows = 4 cups miniature marshmallows = 2 cups marshmallow fluff

What can I do with leftover marshmallows?

Add them to hot chocolate. Make smores. Top cake, cupcakes or baked sweet potatoes, then broil until browned and melty. Or make more chocolate rice krispie squares 🙂

How to make chocolate rice crispy treats

rice krispies, marshmallows, nuts, raisins, vanilla, butter, chocolate
Ingredients: rice Krispies cereal, marshmallows, chocolate, nuts, vanilla, raisins, butter
dish lined with parchment
Line a baking pan with parchment paper. I scrunch it up so it sits better in the pan.
chocolate rice crispies on plate f2
chocolate rice crispies on plate p2

Tips

  • Use fresh marshmallows
  • Heat butter, chocolate and marshmallows on low heat.
  • Line the pan with parchment for easy clean-up.

Tailor To Your Taste

Chocolate options

  • I love the combination of semi and bittersweet (so the rice crispies aren’t too sweet), but use whatever you like – dark, semi, bittersweet.
  • Get good quality chocolate if you can such as Lindt, Ghirardelli, Godiva, Bakers.

Add-ins

  • Use cranberries, dates or other chopped dried fruit instead of raisins
  • Leave out the nuts or raisins if you prefer
  • Add toasted coconut
  • Choose the nuts you like – toasted and chopped pecans, walnuts, almonds, macadamia or pistachios.

Flavor options

  • Instead of vanilla extract, try a couple of drops of almond extract or, for the holidays, peppermint.
  • Drizzle on melted caramel
  • Sprinkle the finished rice crispy treats with flaky sea salt.

Serving options

  • Instead of pouring the rice crispy mixture into a baking dish to firm up, you can form it into balls. Use wet hands as the mixture will be sticky.

Shortcuts

This recipe only takes about 10 minutes to make, not including the chill time, so you can only shave off a few minutes. But you can eliminate some of the clean up – a big plus,

  • Use miniature marshmallows instead of regular – they melt a lot faster and you can save a few minutes.
  • Clean up bonus: Line your pan with parchment. Once the rice krispie treats are chilled, simply lift out the entire block and literally put your pan way. Love that.

Make Ahead and How to store rice krispie treats

  • Make the treats and store them in an airtight container or bag
    • on the counter for 2-3 days,
    • in the fridge for 5-6 days or
    • in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • I like to eat them cold and firm from the fridge. But most people like them softer at room temperature, so let them sit out for 15 minutes before serving.
chocolate rice crispies on plate f1
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Chocolate Rice Crispy Treats

Loaded with chocolate, nuts and raisins, these no-bake chocolate rice crispy treats are your answer to that after-dinner chocolate craving. Rich, chewy, crunchy, nutty, chocolate-y deliciousness. Just 10 minutes of hands-on time to prepare (plus chill time).
Cook Time10 mins
Chill time1 hr
Course: Dessert, Treat
Cuisine: American
Servings: 30 squares
Author: Cheryl

Ingredients

  • 1 stick butter, salted Note 1 (1/4 pound, 57grams or 8 tablespoons)
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate (2 Bakers squares or 6 tablespoons chocolate chips)
  • 1 ounces semisweet chocolate (1 Bakers square or 3 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips)
  • 32 regular marshmallows, Note 2
  • 2 1/2 cups (72g) rice krispies cereal
  • 3/4 cup (110g) raisins (or cranberries or dates, chopped)
  • 3/4 cup (100g) toasted chopped nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans, pistachios)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • a couple of drops almond extract (optional)

Instructions

  • PREPARE PAN: Line an 8 x 8 inch square pan (20.3 x 20.3cm) lined with parchment paper (or foil) for easy clean up. Tip: Crunch up the parchment, then flatten it to help it stay in the baking dish. Alternatively, butter the pan or spray it with oil. To double the recipe, use a 9 x 13 inch (22.8 x 33cm) pan
  • MAKE CHOCOLATE RICE CRISPY SQUARES: In a medium-large saucepan, melt the butter and chocolates over low to medium-low heat (4/10), stirring regularly for 2 minutes. Add marshmallows and stir until melted (about 5 minutes for regular marshmallows). Remove from heat. Add rice crispy cereal, nuts, raisins, vanilla and almond extract (if using), Note 3. Stir to coat with the chocolate marshmallow mixture. Fold into the prepared pan. Pat down lightly to even it out (use wet hands).
  • CHILL: Refrigerate for 1 hour. Remove from pan (just lift out with parchment) and cut into 20-30 squares. Serve at room temperature. If you store them in the fridge or freezer, let them sit on the counter for 15 minutes before serving.

Notes

  1. Butter: I used salted butter. If you use unsalted butter, add 1/4 tsp kosher salt. 
  2. Marshmallow options: I use 32 regular marshmallows, but you can add a few extra marshmallows if you like – the squares will be softer. Fresh marshmallows are best. Here are the equivalents for 32 regular marshmallows:
    • 8 jumbo marshmallows
    • 4 cups miniature marshmallows
    • 2 cups marshmallow fluff
  3. Variations
    1. Chocolate – use semisweet, unsweetened or dark chocolate in any combination you like. 
    2. Add-ins: Leave out the nuts or raisins if you prefer; or use different nuts; add in toasted coconut
    3.  Flavors and toppings: Instead of vanilla extract, try a couple of drops of almond extract or, for the holidays, peppermint. Drizzle on melted caramel. Sprinkle the finished rice crispy treats with flaky sea salt.
    4. Make ahead and storage: Make the treats and store them in an airtight container or bag:
      • on the counter for 2-3 days,
      • in the fridge for 5-6 days or
      • in the freezer for up to 3 months.
    Nutrition values are estimates for one square (of 30) and will depend on add-ins and how large squares you cut. 

    Nutrition

    Nutrition Facts
    Chocolate Rice Crispy Treats
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 80 Calories from Fat 27
    % Daily Value*
    Fat 3g5%
    Saturated Fat 1g6%
    Trans Fat 1g
    Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
    Monounsaturated Fat 1g
    Cholesterol 1mg0%
    Sodium 20mg1%
    Potassium 39mg1%
    Carbohydrates 13g4%
    Fiber 1g4%
    Sugar 7g8%
    Protein 1g2%
    Vitamin A 156IU3%
    Vitamin C 2mg2%
    Calcium 6mg1%
    Iron 1mg6%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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    This chocolate rice crispy treats recipe has been updated with new information, tips and pictures.

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