Things I stress-ate last weekend include half the batch of these irresistible Cardamom Rice Krispie Treats. Marshmallow laden, sweet, chewy yet crunchy, rice cereal treats. A classic kid-approved favorite, my former kid-self and current inner child both included. You know ‘em, you love ‘em. But you probably haven’t eaten too many of them since rounding the corner into this magical land called adulthood.
So let’s upgrade them a little bit with some sensible swaps and feel better about entering full-blown "treat yourself" territory. Or at least feel like we tried to make them slightly more dignified and mature (and just maybe borderline pretentious).
Coconut oil is subbing in for salted butter, and brown rice cereal is stepping in for the usual white rice based classic.
We are adding in:
- some vanilla extract to amp up the dessert/ baked good/ cake vibes
- a bit of pink Himalayan salt because it has some extra minerals packed in, so why not chuck it in (regular table salt will do just fine here)
- AND a cardamom-cinnamon spice combo to make you feel ultra-worldly and well-traveled without leaving the range of your at-home wifi
Easy to make, and (dangerously) easy to eat. Fancied up kid food at its finest.
So as I was sitting in my apartment, feeling quite proud of myself while munching on my third chewy cardamom rice krispie square - I googled it to see if this thing I had just dreamt up was already a thing. And much to my chagrin (but not to my surprise), wouldn’t you know it the world is WAY clever-er and more advanced than me. The internet had come to this conclusion already without any of my help. I was to have no glory and get no credit for what I had hoped would have been an original creation.
The collective conscience of the world wins out again.
This was totally already “a thing”. A very been-there-done-that swap.
And why wouldn’t it be? People have been using coconut oil as a feel-good choice instead of butter for a little while now. Heck. They are even swapping out their argan oil hair treatments or storebought skincare regimens in favor of slathering themselves in the stuff.
Side note: I may or may not have done this before. You pretty much cannot leave the house if you decide on a Saturday to coconut oil your limbs. As it turns out a little goes a long, LONG way. And it takes a long lonnnnng LONG time to soak in. Meaning you can’t touch anything in your house with your oil covered appendages or those things / people / animals will each also get a full spa treatment.
Mirrors, door handles, sinks, couches, dogs, windows. Nothing is safe. Little kid finger smudges, streaks, and smears will be running rampant around your place. You don’t know how many surfaces you touch in a day until you have covered yourself in coconut oil and suddenly are trying to avoid contact with all things. My friend, Mac, texted me in a panic to let me know she was similarly house bound one such afternoon after making the unfortunate choice to paint her legs in the stuff.
So please, I beg of you. Learn from our Pinterest inspired // 21-beauty-hacks-to-try-before-you-die derived lunacy and save yourself the embarrassment of teetering around your home as a human grease ball for hours upon end.
Much like avocados, whole nuts, seeds, olive oil, whole eggs, and nut butters - coconut oil is dense in its own unique composition of healthy fats. The micronutrients and what it does when it gets inside your body is what differentiates the two. That and a mild difference in taste.
There are many purported health benefits of incorporating coconut oil into your diet regularly, a quick web search will turn up a host of articles for your reading pleasure. Everything from regulating blood sugar, aiding digestion, easing stress levels, and helping to promote weight loss -to- staving off the onset of bigger scarier things like Alzheimer’s and heart disease.
As far as I’m concerned, I just really like the taste of it. Even its scent is just intoxicating. I like that it has a long shelf life and can sit on my countertop at the ready (read: does not take up ANY prime real estate in my always packed fridge). I also like that it’s a nice, semi lighter feeling alternative to the richness and heaviness that butter can sometimes bring to the table.
And the fact that I can buy it in bulk at Costco certainly adds to its appeal.
It just comes down to your personal taste, nutritional preference (ie: non-dairy, vegan, low-cholesterol diet), or what you happen to have on hand in your own kitchen when the whip-up-a-batch-of-sweets craving hits you hardest.
My grown-up marshmallow treat recipe is unabashedly based on the original back-of-the-box recipe that you can find on most Kellogg’s Rice Krispie boxes or on their website. The old adage of it ain’t broke, don’t fix it rings true once again.
I just tweaked it a little to work with what I had, which at the time was only 4 cups and not 6 cups of cereal. This made for chewier, gooier consistency which I took no issue with. I heart marshmallows. The more, the merrier. But if you like it closer to the classic, be my guest and add in a cup or two more of that crispity, crunchity cereal.
With or without the spices, this is good eats. I like cardamom because it’s slightly floral and reminds me of holiday spices when combined with cinnamon. Plus my mom sent me a little spice shaker of it as a gift and I decided it was high time I tried it out. But if you kept things simple with just salt and vanilla, you would still be one happy camper with all that marshmallowy goodness wrapped around those crunchy little cereal pieces. You do, you!
We are gearing up (literally) for our big annual camping // road trip and you better believe these sticky sweet squares have got me craving some of those good old summertime s'mores. Cannot wait to be fireside so soon.
The countdown to this year's long-awaited adventure is officially ON!
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 4 cups of marshmallows about one large bag
- 4 cups brown rice cereal
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon pink Himalayan salt*
- ⅛ teaspoon cardamom
- ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
- GREASE PAN: Prepare an 8 x 8” baking dish that has either been lined with parchment paper or greased with more coconut oil / nonstick spray. Place rice cereal in a large bowl and set both dishes aside.
- MELT THE MARSHMALLOWS: Melt coconut oil in a sauce pan over medium-low heat. Once it has melted and begun to warm, add the marshmallows. Stir marshmallows around in coconut oil with a spatula until melted down into a homogenous mixture. Should take only a few minutes or so. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla, salt, and spices.
- MIX THE TREATS: Pour sauce pan contents over rice krispies and stir until evenly coated. Use a spatula to pour out the cereal-marshmallow mixture into the prepared baking. Press lightly to distribute evenly. Allow to cool and set before cutting into squares (or cookie cutter shapes) using a large sharp knife.