Vegan Rice Crispy Treat Letters (or Squares)

I am half Dutch, and we celebrate St. Nicholas Day on December 6th. It is traditional to give chocolate or pastry that is shaped like letters (the first initial of each person). However, it is really hard to find any that are vegan and gluten free, so I have to make my own. You can temper vegan chocolate and pour it into letter molds, but I keep forgetting to order the molds, and I would only use them once a year anyway. So, I always end up making rice crispy treat letters instead, and they are both fun and yummy!

In my opinion, this recipe makes the best rice crispy treats ever! I created it several years ago after trying many different tips, but this combination of techniques and ingredients works beautifully every time. So, what makes these so easy to make and so very good to eat?

  • Spray your bowl, spatula, and pan (if making squares) with non-stick spray, and then wipe most of it off. This prevents sticking without making your treats greasy.
  • Toast the crispy rice cereal before adding the melted marshmallow, and keep the cereal warm until you are ready for it. The toasting adds depth of flavor and helps to keep the cereal from getting soggy. The warmth of the cereal gives you a little more time before the marshmallow sets, allowing for more elaborate shaping of the treats.
  • Add vanilla and a tiny bit of salt to the melted spread before adding the marshmallows. These additions really enhance the flavor and make the treats special.
  • Use Dandies mini marshmallows and Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice Cereal. I have tried other brands, but like these the best.

Note: If you are making letters, it is easier if you have someone to help you shape them. You can make them on your own, but you will need to work fairly quickly to get them all shaped before the mixture starts to harden.

Let’s get started! Here is what you will need to make them. (The food coloring is optional, and I left my letters plain.)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a large bowl and a sturdy spatula with non-stick cooking spray (If you are making rice crispy treat squares, also spray an 8″ x 8″ or a 9″ x 9″ square pan.)

Wipe most of the spray off your bowl, spatula, and square pan (if using one):

Put the pan of crispy brown rice cereal in the oven to toast at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for five minutes. When the timer goes off, turn the oven off but leave the pan in the oven. While the cereal is toasting, add the Earth Balance to a saucepan over medium-low heat:

Once the Earth Balance is mostly melted, add the vanilla, salt, and color if you are using it.

Add the marshmallows, and stir them around to get them coated with the Earth Balance mixture:

Continue stirring while the marshmallows start to melt. It will take a few minutes, so be patient and keep stirring continuously (remember to turn the oven off after five minutes or your cereal will burn!):

As soon as it looks like the photo below, take the pan off the heat, get your cereal out of the oven and into your prepared bowl, and scrape all of the marshmallow fluff onto the cereal:

Fold the mixture and the cereal together, gently but firmly enough to mix. I forgot to get a photo of the finished mixture, but keep mixing until there are no streaks of marshmallow. I use my hands (spray them with some nonstick spray first) after getting started with the spatula.

If you are making squares, press the mixture into your prepared pan. Let it cool completely, then turn the big square out onto a cutting board, and cut into nine squares. Enjoy!

If you are making letters, get one-fifth of the mixture (about 100 grams) and squish it first into a log shape and then into the letter of your choice. It is easier to do this if you work on a piece of waxed paper on a table:

Repeat until all five letters are shaped, then allow them to cool fully before packaging them. (I made one and a half times the recipe and made seven letters.)

I like to put each letter on a red plate, then wrap them in plastic wrap:

I made lots of homemade treats so I could send St. Nicholas gift boxes to family and friends! (I will be posting recipes for vegan party mix, peppermint patties, peanut butter crunch balls, speculaas cookies, and popcorn balls very soon!)

Enjoy!

 

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Vegan Rice Crispy Treat Letters (or Squares)

Make rice crispy letters for St. Nicholas Day! Or, make the traditional squares anytime!

Course Dessert, Snack
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 5 letters
Calories 430 kcal
Author Deborah Mesdag

Ingredients

  • 10 oz bag Dandies Vegan Mini Marshmallows
  • 180 g (6 c) Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice Cereal
  • 75 g (1/3 c) Earth Balance Spread
  • 2.5 g (1/2 tsp) Vanilla Extract
  • 0.4 g (1/16 tsp) Salt
  • Food Coloring (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a large bowl and a sturdy spatula with non-stick cooking spray (If you are making rice crispy treat squares, also spray an 8″ x 8″ or a 9″ x 9″ square pan.) Wipe most of the spray off your bowl, spatula, and square pan (if using one).

  2. Spread the crispy brown rice cereal out on a half sheet pan, then put the pan in the oven to toast at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for five minutes. When the timer goes off, turn the oven off but leave the pan in the oven. 

  3. While the cereal is toasting, add the Earth Balance to a saucepan over medium-low heat. Once the Earth Balance is mostly melted, add the vanilla, salt, and color if you are using it.

  4. Add the marshmallows, and stir them around to get them coated with the Earth Balance mixture. Continue stirring while the marshmallows start to melt. It will take a few minutes, so be patient and keep stirring continuously. (Also, remember to turn the oven off after five minutes or your cereal will burn!)

  5. As soon as all of the marshmallows have melted, take the pan off the heat, get your cereal out of the oven and into your prepared bowl, and scrape all of the marshmallow fluff onto the cereal. Fold the mixture and the cereal together, gently but firmly enough to mix. Keep mixing until there are no streaks of marshmallow. I use my hands (spray them with some nonstick spray first) after getting started with the spatula.

  6. If you are making squares, press the mixture into your prepared pan. Let it cool completely, then turn the big square out onto a cutting board, and cut into nine squares. Enjoy!

  7. If you are making letters, get one-fifth of the mixture (about 100 grams) and squish it first into a log shape and then into the letter of your choice. It is easier to do this if you work on a piece of waxed paper on a table. Repeat until all five letters are shaped, then allow them to cool fully before packaging them.

  8. I put each letter on a red plate, then wrap them in plastic wrap. Enjoy!

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