I was a latecomer to the delicious world of Rice Krispie Treats. As a child, there were always plenty of homemade desserts to be found in our kitchen (my mom was a cookie genius), but Rice Krispie Treats never made it into the rotation. I actually don't remember encountering that childhood staple until I was almost a teenager. I remember the experience well because not only was I bowled over by the amazing treat I had missed out on for so many years, but also because I had actually made them myself. That first time was in my 6th grade Home Economics class, where we were partnered up for our first day of cooking lessons and given a detailed set of instructions, along with a stern lecture about stove safety. My partner just so happened to be my 6th grade crush... let's just say that Mike lost a little of his luster that day when he burned the butter (which was his only task!) and ruined our project. I ended up remaking the Rice Krispie Treats by myself because not only did I want to actually taste them, but I was also a Grade Nazi and refused to get anything less than an A on the assignment. :-)
While I still have a serious love for RKT, these days I tend to refrain from making them because otherwise, I will go crazy and gorge myself until I'm sick (they're so addictive!). Rather than heading down the shameful road of unhealthy RKT madness, I satisfy my cravings with a much healthier version that is sans butter and marshmallows, but just as delicious. O Crunch Bars are sweet, chewy, crunchy, and as a bonus, even easier to make than Rice Krispie Treats.
If only my Home Ec teacher had known about these, then maybe poor butter-burning Mike wouldn't have lost some of his cool that fateful day...
O Crunch Bars
Makes 12 servings
3 cups "O" cereal, such as Multigrain, Dulce de Leche, or Chocolate Cheerios
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
1/4 cup almond butter (or peanut butter if you prefer)
1/4 cup mini-chocolate chips
1. Pour cereal in a large bowl.
2. In a sauce pan over medium heat, stir brown rice syrup and almond butter until melted.
3. Pour mixture over cereal and stir.
4. Mist 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray and press cereal mixture into dish.
5. Top with chocolate chips and press them lightly into the cereal.
6. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours, until set. Cut into 12 bars.
*recipe via Dawn Jackson Blatner at The Chopping Block