We are two individuals, sister-in-laws, and friends who are striving to thrive and be our personal best as well as making our surroundings a better place to live! Connected by faith, family, friendship, photos, and writing, we just want to share our journey with you!

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Childhood Favorite: Presenting...the Rice Crispy Square - Veganized!

So now that I'm feeling much better, I decided to have some fun in the kitchen with Noah today! We had been planning to make these delicious-looking, vegan rice crispy squares last week but then I fell ill with this knock-you-on-your-you-know-what TERRIBLE virus! So me touching food that would be shared with beautiful people would have been a cruel and awful (spreading my germs)...I seriously would never wish ANYONE to have the virus that I had because it was pretty awful. Thankfully though, I am all better and most importantly, my supportive husband and beautiful son have not been affected and the baby inside me is healthy and kicking happily away at my stomach so that deserves a big YAY!

Noah and I can not take any credit for these amazingly delicious rice crispy squares because we made them from following step-by-step, the recipe out of Vegan Cookies - Invade Your Cookie Jar cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. I give these ladies a huge applause because these squares taste no different from the memory I have of the rice crispy squares I ate as a child. I had a lot of fun making these and I hope you will too!

Big Fat Crispy Rice Squares
*makes 12 large squares

1/3 cup maple syrup
2/3 cup brown rice syrup
1/4 cup vegan margarine (I used Earth Balance)
2 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond, maple, or coconut extract (I used almond)
A pinch of salt (I forgot)!
9 cups crispy brown rice cereal (I used Nature's Path-brand of Crispy Rice cereal)

1. Line an 8x8 3-inch square metal cake pan with enough aluminum foil so that it folds over the sides of the pan by about an inch. You can spray the bottom and sides of the covered pan with nonstick cooking spray but since I didn't have that, I just spread a very small amount of coconut oil over the foil.

2. In a large saucepan (I used a wok), combine the maple syrup and brown rice syrup; make sure to use a large pan with 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 if you don't forget the salt like I did, then add that too)!

3. 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 the 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.

4. 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 it a little if necessary (I didn't have to do this). When the cereal seems as level and firm as it's going to get, place the pan in the freezer and freeze for at least 2 hours or until very solid.

5. To slice, remove the pan from the freezer and slice immediately. The easiest way to do so is grab the edges of the foil, lift the entire contents out of the pan, and flip it, wax paper side down, onto a cutting board. Peel off the foil from the top. Use a very sharp and heavy knife to slice the mixture into your desired-piece sizes. For sturdier treats, loosely cover the squares and store in a cool place for 8 hours before serving. Frozen crispy rice squares can also be served right after slicing but may become slightly crumbly as they warm to room temperature.


I hope you enjoy these as much as we are! It was so fun getting all sticky with Noah and he loved helping me to 'press' down to flatten mixture out in the pan before freezing! We ended up storing half of our finished product in the fridge for snacks for the next few days, and the other half we placed in the freezer!

It feels so great to be blogging and I really hope to find a happy, healthy balance where I can juggle family time, studying, cleaning, fitness, pregnancy stuff and blogging in a more stable way! Stay tuned for an upcoming blog on a butternut squash and leek soup!!!