A few key tips and tricks give these Rice Krispie treats an especially soft and buttery texture, while the wreath presentation makes a perfect addition to a holiday table!
Growing up in a Jewish household, Christmastime meant something different to me than it did to some of my friends.
Sure, we would spend time with family and had time off school, but on the 24th, we were enjoying Chinese food or going to the movies like a lot of other American Jews nationwide. There was no trimming trees or exchanging holiday cookies.
So when I met my husband, I was excited to hang ornaments, store eggnog outside (a story for another day), and learn his family’s food traditions.
My personal favorite is their “wreath cookies,” which are similar to Rice Krispie treats, but use cornflakes instead. They are dyed green, molded into a wreath shape, and topped with little red candies for holly berries.
I assumed someone developed the recipe during a cookie-baking experiment, but I recently learned it was a recipe given to my mother-in-law by a friend who had taken it from the White House in the 1970’s! They still have the original written on official White House stationery, and my mother-in-law uses it every year.
They graciously lent me the recipe so that Ann and I could run with it and conjure up with something unique for the Fountain Avenue Kitchen holidays. Shaping the little wreaths can be tedious (although my mother-in-law is an expert!), and it occurred to us that one enormous wreath would be easier and at least as much fun.
Rather than using corn flakes, we returned to the classic Rice Krispie treat recipe, albeit with a few upgrades for the freshest, most pillowy treats with just the right amount buttery goodness and a subtle hint of salty-sweet flavor.
These needed to be worthy of bake sales, after school snacks, and easy desserts all year long and work in a standard pan – they will taste just as delicious!
Though Rice Kripsie treats may seem straightforward, a few key tips, which are included below, will make them exceptional. This recipe is so fun and easy to make, and kids love helping with the decorations.
Ultimately, taste-testers of all ages were wowed by the soft texture and buttery flavor of our final product. The festive addition of mini M&Ms was an all-around hit – the hint of chocolate complemented the marshmallows beautifully and the occasional crunch added a little something special.
And while we didn’t ultimately decide to dye the whole wreath green (with two young kids at home, I was happy to forego the green fingerprints all over the house), it’s certainly an option. Add a few drops to the marshmallow mixture before adding the Krispies. A few drops will give a light green and a teaspoon will give a rich dark leafy color. Though the latter may be visually ideal, it will leave fingers green!
While this recipe may never be written on White House stationery, I think my in-laws will approve!
🤠Rice Krispie Treats Tips Roundup (for the best texture, flavor, and crowd appeal!):
- Use the freshest marshmallows that are not expired, and not from a bag that has been previously opened.
- Choose a large enough pot or bowl for all of the ingredients to minimize spillage (from a final product standpoint as well as ease with clean-up later on!)
- Melt over low heat to keep that gooey texture and avoid burning
- The addition of whole mini marshmallows after melting makes for a softer, more pillowy texture
- Do not overmix as this can make the treats too firm
- Line the pan in plastic wrap before adding the Krispie mixture to make it easier to peel of the pan
- Do not pack the mixture in too hard to the bundt pan as this will also lead to a firmer harder texture
- Using salted butter (or adding ¼ salt teaspoon) is the key for that hint of salty-sweet flavorLine the pan prior to filling it, and make sure not to pack in the mixture too firmly. You want it a bit soft and airy in the pan.
Rice Krispie WreathPrep Time: 5 minutesCook Time: 5 minutesTotal Time: 2 hours (including prep, cook, cool, and decorating time)Yield: 12-16 SlicesA few key tips and tricks give these Rice Krispie treats an especially soft and buttery texture, while the wreath decorations make them a perfect addition to the holiday table!Ingredients
- 16 ounces (454g or 10 cups) mini marshmallows*, divided use – place 1 cup (45g) aside
- 6 tablespoons (84g) salted butter**
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla
- 6 cups (164g) Rice Krispies
- Decorations: Green sanding sugar and mini red and green M&Ms
Helpful hint: Before starting, make sure to choose a large pot (or bowl if using microwave option) that’s big enough to later stir in the Rice Krispies and reserved marshmallows to reduce cleanup later.
Stovetop option: Melt butter (and added salt if using unsalted butter) over low heat. As soon as it is melted, add 5 cups of marshmallows and stir to coat them in the butter. Continue to melt over low heat (for best outcome, don’t be tempted to rush it by turning up the heat), stirring occasionally. Microwave option: The previous step can be done in the microwave by melting for 30 seconds at a time, and stirring between each time.
When you see just a few tiny bits of marshmallow remaining, remove from the heat and immediately stir in the vanilla, followed by the Rice Krispies and reserved marshmallows. For best texture, take care not to overmix.
Liberally spray a Bundt pan with nonstick spray (a 10-inch bundt will be large enough to hold all of the filling. An 8-inch Bundt pan works too, although in that case there will be leftover mixture – see below for leftover ideas…or snack on it as is!).
Line the pan with plastic wrap (this may take more than 1 piece of wrap to cover the unique shape). Using lightly damp fingers to prevent sticking, fill the pan evenly with the mixture. For the lightest, most pillowy texture, take care not to compact it too hard.
Let the pan sit at room temperature for 1 hour, then place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Take the Bundt pan out of the fridge and flip onto a flat surface for decorating. Remove the wrap and top with green sanding sugar and dot with red and green mini M&M’s. This is a great step for kids (or kids at heart!) to help out.
The wreath as a whole makes a pretty tablescape. When ready to eat, use a sharp knife (I like a serrated bread knife) to cut into 12-16 slices, as you would for a Bundt cake.Notes
*If using unsalted butter, add ¼ teaspoon salt when melting for optimal flavor.
**In a pinch, large marshmallows may be used. However, the added cup of whole mini marshmallows at the end does provide extra special texture. For measuring purposes, a standard 12-ounce bag of large marshmallows is 340 grams, so either a 16-ounce bag or two smaller bags will be needed.
Prefer traditional squares? For thick squares, use an 8-inch square pan. A 9-inch square pan may be used for thinner treats.
Prefer a half batch? The recipe scales down easily and makes nice, thick treats in a 9×5 loaf pan. There will be leftover marshmallows when making a half batch, which are perfect for hot chocolate – or use instead of sticky Fluff for peanut butter and marshmallow sandwiches!Tried this recipe?Post a picture on instagram and we will repost it! Mention @fountainavenuekitchen or tag #fountainavenuekitchen!The Fountain Avenue Kitchen https://fountainavenuekitchen.com/
📦I personally think the texture of the Rice Krispie Wreath is at its best within 24 hours of making it. But, if you have leftovers, here are some storage options:
- Wrap the leftover wreath or store it in large airtight container at room temperature. It will stay fresh for 2-3 days.
- Slice the Rice Krispie Wreath and wrap individually. Store at room temperature for 2-3 days.
- Store the individually wrapped slices in a bag in the freezer. These will last a few weeks, and then bring back to room temperature before serving.