Christmas Rice Krispie Treats are a fun snack to make during the holiday season! Gooey marshmallows and crispy cereal, accented with vanilla flavor, for a treat that both kids and adults will love!
When I was a kid we had a tradition of making Rice Krispie Treats every year for Christmas! We made them as wreaths studded with red hots for the holly berries. I still remember the fun of having my hands coated in butter to shape the wreaths, and how excited I was to give these wreaths as gifts to our neighbors.
This recipe cuts down on some of the mess by using a cookie cutter instead of your hands for making the festive shapes. But the directions for the wreaths, along with more variations, are included as well!
Why You Will Love This Recipe
Easy - This is such an easy treat to make, it is quick to add to your holiday baking plans.
No-Bake - Save your oven for baking Peppermint Mocha Cookies, Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Cookies, Thumbprint Cookies, or Cardamon Cookies during the holidays. Because these classic treats don't require an oven.
Kid-Friendly - This is a great recipe to get the kids involved in cooking. From mixing the marshmallows to cutting the trees, your kids will love making this recipe with you! It's also a fun recipe to take to as class treats school Christmas parties!
Crowd Pleaser - Kids of all ages love Rice Krispie Treats! It's an easy holiday treat that is perfect for a dessert table or cookie exchange.
Rice Cereal - Kellogg's brand or generic Rice Krispies cereal can be used. Around the holidays, Kellogg's usually has a holiday version of Rice Krispies that has red and green cereal mixed in. This is a great option if you want squares instead of trees or wreaths.
Butter - I love to use real butter for these Christmas treats but if you prefer margarine or Vegan butter that will work too.
Miniature Marshmallows - Using mini marshmallows helps them to melt evenly without becoming crispy, though large marshmallows can also be used. These treats have a little higher ratio of marshmallow than a classic Rice Krispie Treat, making them extra gooey and tasty!
Vanilla Extract - The addition of vanilla boosts the flavor of all of the other ingredients, and makes this taste extra delicious!
Sprinkles: Use your favorite sprinkles to decorate your Christmas trees, or red hots to decorate wreaths.
Step One: Melt Butter & Marshmallows
- Place the butter in a microwave-safe bowl and melt it in the microwave for about 30 seconds. It doesn't need to be completely melted. Just enough to swirl the butter around the bowl. This will help keep the marshmallows from sticking.
- Add the marshmallows and continue to microwave for about 90 seconds, stirring once or twice in the middle.
Step Two: Stir in Food Coloring & Vanilla
- Start with about 10 drops of food coloring, then add more to achieve the color that you like.
Step Three: Mix in Cereal
- Spray your spatula or spoon with nonstick cooking spray to keep the marshmallows from sticking too much and work quickly to stir the cereal into the melted marshmallow mixture.
- Continue to stir until all of the cereal is well-coated.
Step Four: Press into Pan
- Add the marshmallow and cereal mixture to a pan that has been lined with parchment paper. For best results, spray the parchment with nonstick spray.
- Spray a large spoon with nonstick spray and use it to press the cereal into the pan. You don't want to compact it too firmly or your treats will be firm. Just press hard enough to smooth them out.
- Refrigerate the bars for about 30 minutes. This will help keep them from falling apart when you cut them.
Step Five: Cut into Shapes
- Spray your cookie cutter with nonstick spray and then press them into the cereal to cut them out.
- M&Ms: Use miniature M&Ms instead of sprinkles.
- White Chocolate Drizzles: Melt white chocolate in the microwave in 30-second increments, stirring each time. Once smooth, transfer to a ziptop bag. Snip the tip off of the bag and drizzle the melted white chocolate over the trees.
- Chocolate Dipped: Melt white or milk chocolate wafers in a medium bowl according to package directions. Dip each tree about ¼-inch into the melted chocolate. Allow the excess chocolate to drip off, then place it on a sheet of parchment paper until set.
- Candy Canes: Sprinkle with crushed candy canes or peppermint candies for a flavorful treat!
- Grinch: Use a heart-shaped cutter or cut Rice Krispie squares. Add a red heart-shaped candy to the center.
- Wreaths: Instead of Christmas trees make Christmas wreaths! Butter your hands so that the marshmallows don't stick to them, then shape portions of the treats into a donut shape, pressing any loose pieces firmly to shape the wreath. Press red hots firmly into each wreath to give the appearance of holly berries.
You should store Rice Krispie Treats in an airtight container for 3-5 days. If you are stacking the treats, separate the layers with wax paper or parchment paper so they do not stick together.
Yes, just use your favorite dairy-free butter substitute and these Christmas treats will be dairy-free.
After cutting the Christmas trees out of the Rice Krispie bars, you can press the remaining scraps together to cut additional trees.
Yes, to make Rice Krispie Treats on the stove, place the butter, marshmallows, and vanilla extract in a large pot. Heat over medium-low heat and stir until melted. Next mix in the food coloring, then stir the cereal into the melted marshmallows.
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Christmas Rice Krispie Treats (With Variations)Recipe by:
- 6 cups miniature marshmallows (10 ounces)
- ¼ cup salted butter (58 grams)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 6 cups Rice Krispies cereal (165 grams)
- 10-12 drops green food coloring
- red hots or holiday sprinkles
- Prepare a 9x13 pan by lining it with a sheet of parchment paper that overhangs on the sides. Spray the parchment with nonstick spray.
- Place butter in a large microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds to partially melt. Swirl the butter around the bowl to coat the sides, then add marshmallows. Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring each time until the marshmallows are melted and the mixture is smooth.
- Stir in the vanilla and the food coloring until the color is uniform with no streaks. If you want a darker green, add more food coloring. Add the cereal and continue to stir until it is completely coated, with no dry cereal remaining.
- Place the cereal into the 9x13 pan and use a large spoon that has been sprayed with nonstick spray to press the cereal and marshmallow mixture evenly into the pan. Top with sprinkles then refrigerate them for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the refrigerator and lift the overhanging edges of the parchment to remove from treats from the pan and place on a cutting board.
- Spray your cookie cutter with nonstick spray, then press firmly into the Rice Krispie bars. Remove the shape and transfer to a serving tray. Repeat until all of the bars are cut. Press the remaining scraps together to cut more trees, if desired.