Is the holiday season really the most wonderful time of the year? That depends. If you’re a kid, then December can truly be magical. However, if you’re a senior in high school, like me, December is actually pretty dreadful. Midterm exams go right up until winter break, essentially ruining the time that should be spent getting ready for Christmas. Deadlines for college applications make the season even more stressful. It seems like December is just work, work, and more work, leaving no time for holiday festivities.
In the past, I’ve always loved experimenting with new recipes around Christmas. There’s no better time for baking than the holidays! However, considering how busy I’ve been this year, I don’t really have time to be making homemade gingerbread cookies or eggnog donuts. However, there are still holiday parties that require me to bring a dessert. Do I take the easy way out and settle for something store-bought? Absolutely not. I just make something super quick and easy, like these Christmas tree rice cereal treats!
These treats are just like the Rice Krispie treats from your childhood, with a holiday twist. As a bonus, they’re easily made vegan and gluten free by using vegan marshmallows and gluten-free pretzel sticks. Perfect for any kiddos with allergies! You can make these rice cereal treats for a classroom party, holiday party, or just as a fun family activity. Feel free to get creative with different sprinkles and decorations!
Christmas Tree Rice Cereal Treats (Gluten Free/Vegan)
Celebrate Christmas with this festive version of a childhood favorite! Rice cereal "tree-ts" can be customized with sprinkles and decorations, making them perfect for a family activity.
- 1/4 cup vegan butter
- 4 heaping cups vegan mini marshmallows
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- Green gel food coloring
- 5 cups puffed rice cereal
- Vegan sprinkles optional
- Gluten-free pretzel sticks broken in half
Lightly grease a 9″ by 13″ pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
Add butter, marshmallows, and vanilla to a large saucepan and melt over medium-low heat, stirring continuously.
Slowly add green food coloring until desired color is achieved.
Add the puffed rice cereal and stir to coat.
Transfer mixture to prepared pan and use a piece of parchment paper as a barrier between your hand and the mixture as you press it evenly into the bottom and sides of the pan.
Immediately top with desired amount of sprinkles, then set aside to cool for 30 minutes.
Cut the bars in half lengthwise down the pan, then each half into 8 triangles (with one scrap piece left on each side of each row).
Carefully use the tip of a knife to make a hole in the bottom of each tree, then push half a pretzel stick into the hole to make the trunk.
- Nutrition information calculated for 1 of 18 servings (without sprinkles/pretzel sticks)