Do you remember Kellogg’s marshmallow rice crispy squares? I say remember, I’m pretty sure they still exist in the world, but I haven’t come across one in a while. Chewy, sticky and deliciously sickly sweet, they were my favourite college snack, bought from the corner shop on the way back to my best friend Tash’s house in EVERY timetable break. Fast forward ten years and although I’m highly unlikely to pass on one when offered, I’d like to think my taste buds have developed a slightly more sophisticated palette (she says, ha).
Less sickly sweet and a little lighter, these Peanut maple rice crispy bars have been keeping me going this cold, rainy month. As a freelancer, I work from home quite a lot in January especially and I’m always looking for snacks. These tick all the right satisfy-me boxes, with a nuttiness from the peanut butter, a light sweetness from maple syrup and just the right amount of addictive, flaky salt. They feel gloriously substantial and are low in FODMAPs too, free from your usual dates and honey. Also great with tea.
I love that:
a) you can throw them together in ten minutes or less
b) you can’t mess them up
and c) they’re incredibly easy to adapt if you’ve got some rogue nuts or seeds in the cupboard that you’re desperate to use up in spring cleaning fashion – i.e some questionable sesame seeds that I just can’t remember buying
Make sure to really squish them down when you put them in the tin and keep them in the fridge so they stay firm. Try and get a plain crispy rice cereal if you can, but if plain puffed rice cereal is all you can find that’s good too. They might turn out a little softer, but they’ll be equally delicious.
125g gluten-free crispy brown or white rice cereal
2 tablespoons ground flax seed
6 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
4 tablespoons sesame seeds, black, white or mix of both
2 tablespoons coconut oil
185g peanut butter
125g maple syrup
¾ teaspoon flaky sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Line an 8″ square baking tin with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on all sides. Mix the cereal, flax seed, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds in a large bowl to combine.
Melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the peanut butter, maple syrup and salt and stir until warmed through, smooth, and glossy – this will only take a minute or so. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla.
Pour the peanut butter maple mixture over cereal mixture and stir thoroughly to coat. Transfer to your prepared pan and press down very firmly (really squish!) to compact. Chill until firm, about an hour.
When firm, remove from the tin and cut into 8 bars or 16 squares. These keep best in the fridge for about 5 days.