OK, so you’re gonna have to picture these without a photo – my camera went cooky on me last week, and my husband, in trying to fix it, deleted my photos.
Since Nathan wasn’t too crazy about the crispy squares that I made with peanut butter in them, I decided to try these, fresh out of Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. They claim to be “satisfying, yet still light, crunchy and just sweet enough.”
1/3 C maple syrup
2/3 C brown rice syrup
1/4 C non-hydrogenated margarine, cut into chunks
2 1/2 t pure vanilla extract
1/4 t almond, maple, or coconut extract
a pinch of salt
9 C crispy brown rice cereal (one 10 oz box of cereal)
- Line an 8 x 8 x 3 inch square metal brownie pan with enough aluminum foil so that it fold over the side of the pan by about and inch. Spray the bottom and sides of the covered pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a large saucepan, combine the maple syrup and brown rice syrup; make sure to use a large pan with the sides at least 4 inches tall, as the mixture will foam quite a bit when it boils. Stir over medium heat and cook until the mixture comes to a full, rapid, foaming boil. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, remove from heat. add the margarine, and stir until it’s melted and mostly incorporated into syrup. Stir in the vanilla and almond extracts and salt.
- Pour the cereal into a very large mixing bowl. Pour the cooked syrup mixture over the cereal, then use a large rubber spatula to stir and coat the cereal with the syrup mixture. Stir and fold for about 2 minutes, taking care to completely coat all of the cereal with syrup; the mixture should be very sticky. Use the spatula to scoop the coated cereal into the foil-lined pan, pushing the mixture around so that it’s evenly distributed throughout the pan. It should heap somewhat over the top of the pan.
- Tear a piece of waxed paper or parchment paper slightly larger than the size of the pan. Place the paper on top of the cereal mixture, then with your hands, firmly press down and mash the cereal so that it’s now level with the edges of the pan. Evenly press all of the cereal down; this step is very important as it will help the crispy rice stick together, so make sure to keep pressing down firmly and evenly on the rice, even crushing a little if necessary. When cereal seems are level and as firm as its going to get, place pan in the freezer and freeze for at least 2 hours or until very solid.
- To slice, remover pan from freezer and slice immediately. The easiest way to do so it grab the edges of the foil, lift the entire contents our of pan, and flip it, wax paper side down, onto a cutting board. Peel off the foil from the top. Use a very sharp knife to slice the mixture into nine large sqaures or twelve smaller ones. For studier treats, loosely cover the squares and place in a cool place for 8 hours before serving. Frozen crispy rice squares can also be served right after slicing but may become slightly cumbly as they warm to room temperature.
I put these in my kids lunches – all nice and square after making them the night before, and they told me that by lunchtime they and crumbled completely and were very difficult to eat. Kate said, “Mom, these don’t really taste that good.” I thought they tasted OK – they were definitely light, but too light- they crumbled, even after freezing them and slicing them.
So, we won’t be making these treats again. Live and learn!