Cherries and chocolate. And crispy rice. And February. Nothing celebrates National Cherry Month and the month for lovers better than this richer and creamier version of the familiar crispy rice treats that we all love.
Tart and tangy dried cherries combine with white and dark chocolate, plus the addition of vanilla bean paste and a touch of salt to produce a treat for the sweethearts in your life. Use an 8-inch square pan rather than the usual 13 x 9-inch pan for taller and thicker pieces.
If you prefer, use your favorite heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut special Valentines for the sweet ones in your life. You’ll want to do that while the treats are still slightly warm.
The pigment that makes cherries red is also a disease-fighting antioxidant, so let’s all agree that eating these is good for you!
Cherry Chocolate Crispy Rice Treats
Makes 16 squares
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 10-ounce bag miniature marshmallows
- 2 4.4-ounce bars quality white chocolate (such as Lindt)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 5 cups crispy rice cereal
- 1 cup dried cherries, chopped
- 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips, melted
Line an 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil (see note), allowing a sling of foil to hang over the pan edges.
Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, melt butter in a microwave over medium power.
Add marshmallows, white chocolate chips and salt to butter. Melt thoroughly in microwave at 70% power in 30 second increments, stirring well after each.
Stir in vanilla bean paste.
Stir in crispy rice and cherries until thoroughly incorporated.
Scrape mixture into prepared pan and press into bottom and corners.
Cool at least 1 hour before removing from pan.
Cut into desired size and shape.
In a small bowl, melt dark chocolate chips in microwave until smooth, about 30-60 seconds.
Use a fork to drizzle dark chocolate over crispy rice treats. Store in an airtight container.
Note: To make an easy liner for your pan, turn it upside down and mold the foil over the pan. Remove and re-insert into the pan.
Post by Debbie Arnold of DiningwithDebbie.net.