When I think about baking projects to do with the little miss, rice krispies treats are always at the top of our list. We make our share of muffins, cookies and even the occasional cake. But we make rice krispies treats more than we make anything else. It’s partly because rice krispies treats are the perfect kitchen project to do with kids. There are only 3 ingredients for the basic recipe and no oven time required. The division of labor is also good: I melt the butter and ‘shallows, little miss adds in the cups of rice krispies (yes, some do end up on the floor), we take turns stirring (and sing while we stir), then we coat our hands in nonstick cooking spray and press them into the dish or cookie cutter or whatever we plan to do with them. Also, you get to lick marshmallow off your fingers. I mean really, what’s better than that?!
The little miss and I make all sorts of things out of rice krispies treats. Last spring we made candy sushi rice krispies treats, Valentine’s Day rice krispie treat pops (squares on red stripy straw sticks, dipped in white chocolate and sprinkled with red and pink sprinkles) and we regularly make Olivia (the pig) shaped rice krispies treats with our Olivia cookie cutter.
I had a bag of pumpkin spice flavored marshmallows in the cupboard so I thought that making them into cute pumpkins would be a fun. Turns out that when you melt pumpkin spice marshmallows the mixture is slightly brown from the spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.), and when you add orange food coloring they turn even more brown (sadly, not at all orange). I made a batch of pumpkin spice rice krispies squares with the brown marshmallow mixture, and used traditional white marshmallows to make these pumpkins.
I was reluctant to post this recipe for pumpkin rice krispie treats. While the little miss and I found them easy to make, the original recipe that I saw for these on Pinterest had very mixed reviews. Several people said they could not mold the sticky mixture into a ball. I went ahead and made them anyway because what’s the worst that could happen – we end up with a sticky mess/blobs of rice krispies treats that we eat ourselves?
Turns out that they were very easy to shape/assemble. The little miss, who is 4 1/2, did most of the shaping and assembling of the pumpkin stems and leaves. I coated the little miss’s hands in nonstick spray (which she LOVES), I used a small spring-loaded scoop coated with nonstick spray (I used the scoop rather than eyeballing it so we would have nice uniform pumpkins), and I handed the little miss a scooped mound of the rice krispies mixture for her to roll and shape into round pumpkins. It really simple if you use enough nonstick spray. The most tedious part of the project was cutting the fruit by the foot “leaves” and cutting the Tootsie Rolls in half lengthwise and rolling them between our hands to make them long and smooth. To simplify, next time I make these pumpkin rice krispies treats I will just cut the Tootsie Rolls in half and pop each nubby piece in as the stem, which is what I put in the instructions.
A cute fall treat that you can easily make with the kids.
- 5 Tbs. butter
- 1 package (10 oz., about 40) marshmallows (I like Jet-Puffed)
- orange food coloring
- 5 cups Rice Krispies cereal
- 12 Tootsie Rolls, cut in half
- 1 green Fruit by the Foot or Fruit Rollup (I used Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Fruit by the Foot), cut into 24 small triangles
- Melt butter over low heat in large saucepan. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Add about 3 drops orange food coloring (or until desired color). Add 5 cups cereal, stirring after each cup is added until well coated. Cool slightly.
- While rice krispies mixture is cooling, lay 1 large piece waxed paper or plastic wrap on counter and cut Tootsie Rolls in half and Fruit by the Foot into small triangles.
- Coat small ice cream scoop or measuring cup (use 1/4 cup) with nonstick spray. Fill scoop with rice krispies mixture and put mound onto waxed paper. Continue to make 23 more scoops. Coat hands in nonstick spray and form each mound into a ball by squeezing to compact the mixture and rolling between palms. Coat hands with additional nonstick spray if needed. Push 1 Tootsie Roll into each ball and lay a triangle of Fruit by the Foot on the ball near the Tootsie Roll stem. Store at room temperature in airtight container for up to 2 days.
Be sure to use ample nonstick spray to prevent sticking.