Gluten-Free, Vegan Crispy Rice Treat Nests

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Still not sure what to bring to an Easter Sunday gathering? The answer—Crispy Rice Treat Nests!

I’ve never met someone who didn’t like these crunchy, gooey-marshmallowy bars. They’re tasty AND one of the easiest sweet treats to make. Seriously round up your kids and give them a fun (be it somewhat-messy) activity to do. Make sure to grease their fingers with vegan butter substitute to help reduce the stickiness. :)

For a fun Easter-twist we’re taking the classic, gooey childhood favorite + turning them into a mini nests with candy “eggs.”

This recipe uses some of my favorite alternatives, but can easily be swapped for their traditional gluten- and gelatin-full counterparts (see n2 below)

When we started brainstorming Easter goodies earlier this month, we knew we wanted to include our faves—The Best Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Carrot Cake + Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Classic Deviled Eggs, but also were thinking about Spring/Easter symbols. We talked about everything from bunnies to tulips and crosses to baby chicks.

One symbol that kept coming up was eggs. Easter eggs are a staple at any Easter gathering, especially when children are present. Eggs and nests are the perfect symbol of Springtime and Easter as they represent new life. Thus Crispy Rice Treat Nests are sure to be a hit this Sunday!

If you make them, send us a note of your creation! Or tag us on Instagram with #heystudioist.

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GLUTEN-FREE, VEGAN CRISPY RICE TREAT NESTS

yields: 18-ish, depending on the size of each nest

Ingredients

For Crispy Rice Treats:

  • 3 tbsp vegan butter substitute
  • 1 (10oz) bag of vegan marshmallows
  • 6 cups gluten-free crispy rice cereal

For Grass Garnish (Choose one, optional):

  • Shredded coconut
  • Edible Grass
  • Tinted Coconut (Mix 1/2 cup shredded coconut with 1/4 tsp water and 2-3 drops of green food coloring, spread of parchment-lined baking sheet and allow to dry before handling)
  • Big League Chew, chopped

For Candy Garnish (optional):

  • Candy filling of choice - I like to use Little Secrets Dark Chocolate Pieces (n1). Other widely-available vegan options include American Smarties, Skittles, Sweet Tarts, Sour Patch Kids, Squish Candies Gummies, Lemonheads, Bottlecaps, Root Beer Barrels, Jujubes, and Dots, among others.

Directions

  1. Lightly grease or butter two large muffin tin sheet.
  2. In a large pot, melt vegan butter substitute over low heat.
  3. Add the marshmallows, stirring continuously until the marshmallows are completely melted. Overcooking the marshmallows will cause them to become hard and brittle.
  4. Remove from heat and fold in the cereal until well combined.
  5. With lightly greased fingers, divide the mixture between muffin tins, then press and shape into the individual molds creating “nests.”
  6. Allow to cool and set.
  7. If applicable, garnish with a layer of the grass garnish and candy filling.

Notes:

  • n1. None of Little Secrets’ products contain gluten, and while the classic dark, sea salt peanut and seasonal peppermint candies are vegan, all products are manufactured in a facility that also processes products containing gluten and dairy.
  • n2. For the original version, use Rice Krispy Cereal, Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallows and light salted butter. Same ratios.