Our family has developed a nice routine where we all do our work or schoolwork in the morning and then reconvene for lunch together. Without fail, the afternoon passes by quickly, perhaps because it is my favorite time of day, when we are all at home with nowhere else we need to be. The four of us don’t spend the whole afternoon together, but we are all here, moving in our own orbits, sometimes alone, sometimes together, often intersecting, and always with our house at the center.
At the center of the house of course, is the kitchen, and these days the kitchen has lots of sweets. Never in my kids’ lifetimes have they seen so many cakes, cookies, and treats. I don’t think we have had one day yet where we have not had something sweet to eat, even if it meant raiding the depths of the pantry to find substitutions that could maybe, possibly, perhaps work because we weren’t yet ready for our next grocery run.
Since we are quickly approaching a point where our time in quarantine will be measured in months and not weeks, it has thus become apparent in our house that a never-ending supply of sweets is as much of a lifeline as internet bandwidth sufficient to sustain everyone’s personal devices. Ray and I are both the unfortunate combination of emotional eater and chronic worrier, so basically we have been living our entire lives preparing for the time when our sugar-stress response is considered moderately acceptable for the state of affairs in which we are living. That moment is clearly now.
Rice crispy treats have a comforting familiarity to them, but these are made a little extra special with toasted coconut, a drizzle of chocolate, and a sprinkling of sea salt on top. And rum. Rum, because we’re 7 weeks into the quarantine and if ever a time called for putting rum in your rice crispy treats, this Friends, is it. Bourbon also works very well, if your system tolerates it. If not, many rums are considered gluten free. It is worth noting that in the case of rum, the type of rum matters. Flavored rums may contain additives and coloring that contain gluten, so use what works for you or the person you are preparing for.
Another note, regular Rice Krispies that come in the blue box we all know so well, are not gluten free as you would expect. I like using crispy brown rice cereal like this one that I often find in a big bag at WalMart, but traditional Rice Krispies also work and can be found in a gluten free version on Amazon, or perhaps at your local grocery store. Definitely get CRISPY rice cereal of some variety, not PUFFED rice cereal.
At some point, life will return to kind-of normal and we’ll have to become reasonable eaters again. Until then, be safe, be well, and enjoy the sweets.Print
Spiked Toasted Coconut Crispy Bars
Crispy brown rice bars with toasted coconut and rum, topped with a drizzle of dark chocolate and a sprinkle of salt.
- Yield: 18 bars 1x
3 T. coconut oil*
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
10 oz. mini marshmallows
4 cups brown rice cereal
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 T. Bourbon or rum
1/2 cup dairy free mini dark chocolate chips
1 tsp. kosher salt or Fleur del sel
1. Toast coconut in a dry non-stick skillet, stirring often. Once the pan begins to heat up, the coconut will brown quickly, so don’t get distracted by something else – stay focused on the coconut! When the coconut is nicely browned, remove from heat and set aside.
2. Melt coconut oil in a large non-stick pot (mine is 6 quarts). Add 4 cups of marshmallows and heat over low, stirring often.
3. Meanwhile, preheat the broiler and spread remaining marshmallows (about 1 1/2 cups) on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Broil marshmallows until they are puffy and browned. Much like the coconut, this happens quickly, so watch them closely! Once they are toasted, remove marshmallows from the oven and add them to the pot with the coconut oil and melting marshmallows. A wide spatula works well to scrape them off of the parchment into the pot.
4. When all of the marshmallows are melted, remove from heat. Mix in the rum and vanilla. Then add in the toasted coconut and rice cereal, stirring well.
5. Spoon the rice mixture into an 8-inch square pan, lined with parchment paper. Spread it out evenly to cool.
6. Once the bars are cool, heat chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second increments until melted. Drizzle chocolate over top of the bars. Immediately sprinkle the melted chocolate with salt. Chill in the refrigerator to help firm up the chocolate.
7. Cut into 9 squares and then cut each square in half to make 18 triangles.
* Any kind of coconut oil will work, but extra virgin coconut oil will have a more pronounced coconut taste
Keywords: rice krispie treats, toasted coconut, rum & coconut dessert, chocolate covered rice crispy treats
We ate these bars for an entire week straight while I tinkered with the recipe, trying to find the very best ratio of melted to toasted marshmallows. It’s a tough job, I know, but someone has to do it! Don’t feel too bad for me; when it comes to taste-testing desserts, I will volunteer every time! After several tries I got it just right. Imagine then, my distress when I went to log on last Friday night so I could post these just in time for the holiday weekend and I found out that I was locked out of the blog for the next 84 HOURS! Apparently someone was trying to hack in. I guess in some crazy way, I should feel flattered that something I have posted struck enough of a chord with someone that they felt it was worth their time to try to be a nuisance to my little blog. Pat on the back for me!
But back to more important things, like my s’mores bars. This is what you need to know:
Toasted. Marshmallows. Toasted marshmallows. Toasted marshmallow deliciousness.