You are just 15-minutes and 5-ingredients away from this chocolate striped, peanut butter rice crispy treat. Sweet, simple and delicious, this treat is one that everyone will love and enjoy.
Here’s Why You’re Absolutely Going To LOVE These Little Squares💕
- This sweet treat requires only 5 simple, wholesome pantry ingredients.
- It comes together in just 15 minutes.
- It is clean eating, gluten free, dairy-free, and vegetarian friendly.
- Compared to other versions, this recipe is healthier than the store-bought counterparts.
- It is incredibly easy to make and a wonderful treat to make with your little ones.
- It makes a great and pretty gift!
You’ll Need the Following Ingredients:
- Raw Honey: For today’s recipe I’m using a raw wildflower honey from my favorite local brand Keez Beez. You can use whatever your favorite brand of honey is.
- Natural Peanut Butter: This recipe was created to use natural peanut butter, this is peanut butter made using only peanuts, and maybe a touch of salt but other than that contains no other ingredients.
- Rice Crisps/Cereal: Today I’m using a cocoa-dusted rice cereal, you can also use this puffed whole grain sprouted brown rice version as well or any choice of rice cereal you enjoy.
- Vanilla Bean Paste: I’m opting to use vanilla bean paste instead of vanilla extract because it contains no alcohol which often reacts with the natural oils in the peanut butter causing it to seize. Two of my favorite brands are Heilala or Nielsen-Massey, the one I’m using today.
- Dark Chocolate (not pictured): this ingredient makes up our chocolate drizzle. Opt to use a high quality dark chocolate for the best results. Note: If you’re aiming to keep this recipe dairy-free, a lot of major brands produce dairy-free chocolate chips such as: Nestle, Enjoy Life, Bakers, Guittard.
A Quick Note About Honey 🐝🍯
When it comes to the honey you use, I recommend using raw or pure honey. Using fake, processed or adulterated honey (this is usually honey that is combined with corn or some other type of syrup to reduce costs) will affect the set of your bars. Recipes I’ve made and tested using this kind of honey never really turn out quite right. In the case of this recipe, what I found is that set of the bars never fully occur, they remain soft and fall apart easily the moment you pick them up.
In my experience, adulterated honey is more commonly the kind you’ll find on grocery store shelves in plastic bottles and they tend to be cheap. Despite that, I’ll be honest in saying that it’s hard to spot the fakes just by looking at them. So what’s the solution? Buying honey from local keepers or buying brands that are transparent in their process is a great way to ensure you’re getting the purest and best quality honey is the best way in my view.
My personal favorite brand of honey comes from Keez Beez. They’re not a sponsor and have no clue who I am, but I honestly can’t say enough good things about the company and the quality of the honey itself. One of the coolest things about them is the variety of honey flavors they have. You’d genuinely (and pleasantly!) be fascinated at the nuances in flavor depending on what flowers the bees “dine” on. For example, their Black mangrove honey has a deeper earthier flavor than citrus, which is lighter and more floral. Or their wild tamarind has a delectable tangy undertone compared to the fragrant and fruity notes of the mango honey!
Let’s Make Some Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats!
1 & 2: To a small saucepan add your honey on medium/med-high heat and allow it to come to a bubbling boil for about a minute. This step is important in allowing our treats to set right once cooled so don’t skip it. Microwaving your honey is NOT recommended.
3 & 4: Remove your saucepan from the heat and add in your peanut butter and vanilla bean paste and fully incorporate it into the honey.
5 & 6: Working quickly, pour your peanut butter/honey mixture over your rice cereal and using a silicone spatula mix and fold everything together until every grain of cereal is coated in the mixture.
7 & 8: Scrape your mixture into a parchment-lined pan or dish and, using your spatula, press it down into a flat and even layer, once evenly spread, gently press down on the surface to compact your treats. Let your bars cool and set at room temp or you can pop the tray into the fridge to help it set faster.
I’m using an 8×8 square pan which gives me 9 treats that measure about 2.6″ x 2.6″ with a height of just over an inch once compacted. If you’d like your bars to be thicker using a loaf pan is a great option, or you can double the recipe!
To cut your bars, I recommend you use the largest, sharpest knife you have and once your position your knife where you’d like to cut, make a quick and confident cut by pressing the knife down and through to ensure clean edges on your squares. Do not use a sawing motion or your treats may fall apart!
Why Are My Treats Falling Apart??
Honestly, there could be two main reasons for why this is happening:
- The brand of honey you’re using isn’t pure/raw but has been adulterated with another type of syrup such as corn syrup.
- You didn’t heat the honey/bring it to a bubble. While it’s convenient to chuck the honey into the microwave to warm up, it’s going to be difficult to get it to the “boil” that you need to alter the sugars in the honey which encourages them to set once it cools.
Now, Let’s Talk About That Chocolate Drizzle…🤤
I’ll start by saying that the drizzle isn’t technically necessary, but since chocolate and peanut butter are such an iconic pairing, the drizzle really takes your treats to the next level, (think Reese’s peanut butter cup meets Rice Krispy treats!) So here’s how easy it is to temper your chocolate for this topping:
We’re going to need a 2oz of dark chocolate. Place 1.5oz of your chocolate into a microwave-safe bowl and heat it on 30-second blasts, stirring between each 30 seconds. For my microwave it takes 60 seconds to fully melt.
Then, to the melted chocolate, add in the reserved 0.5oz of chocolate and mix it in until everything is fully incorporated. Your chocolate should be smooth, glossy, and tempered. If it is too runny, you can add a bit more chocolate and mix it together until melted and your chocolate is thicker.
Pour your chocolate into a piping bag or a sandwich bag with the end snipped off. The chocolate shouldn’t be loose enough that it’s dripping out the end of the bag. If it’s that runny, it needs to cool down a bit more or have a few more chocolate chips added in to temper it.
Drizzle your chocolate over your set and cooled treats and let rest for 5 minutes at room temp so that it can cool and set.
What Do I Do If My Chocolate Doesn’t Set??
If your chocolate doesn’t set, you can try three things:
- Let it sit an additional 10 minutes to see if it cools and sets up.
- Pop the tray into the fridge to allow it to harden.
- Try to scrape the chocolate off and re-temper it or just spread the chocolate over the surface of the treats in an even layer.
And there you have it, clean and simple, these delectable sweet treats come together in no time using minimal ingredients. Iconically pairing peanut butter and chocolate together, these little squares are gluten-free, vegetarian friendly and so much fun to make!
If you give this recipe a try, be sure to let us know your thoughts by rating the recipe, and if you have any thoughts, questions, or comments, feel free to drop a line below in the comment section! From our kitchen to yours, happy eats! 🥰
Easy Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats - GF, Clean Eat, Vegetarian
- Add the honey to a small saucepan and heat on med heat until hot and bubbling for about a minute.6 tbsp honey
- Remove from the heat and add in the peanut butter and vanilla, and mix together thoroughly.6 tbsp natural peanut butter, 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- Working quickly, pour the mixture over the rice cereal and using a spatula, mix everything together until all the rice crisps are all fully coated4-5 cups cocoa rice crisps
- Place the mixture into a parchment-lined 8x8 container and press down until compact. Set it in the fridge or freezer to chill until set. Cut into 9 bars using a clean sharp knife.
- To make the optional chocolate drizzle: Add 1.5oz of your chocolate into a microwave safe bowl and melt it on 30 second intervals until fully melted, stirring between each interval (it takes me one minute to do this, so two intervals).2 oz dark chocolate chips
- Once melted, add in the reserved 0.5oz of chocolate and mix it in until fully melted and smooth - this step tempers the chocolate making it stable at room temp so don't skip it!
- Pour your chocolate into a piping bag or a sandwich bag with a small corner snipped off and drizzle it over the peanut butter treats. Let the chocolate sit for a few minutes to set or pop it into the fridge to help it set faster.