Developed in 1940, the Rice Krispies treat traditionally consisted of three ingredients: butter, marshmallows and Rice Krispies cereal. Marshmallow Fluff, a commercial brand of marshmallow crème, is often substituted for the marshmallows in the typical Rice Krispies treats recipe. Prepared from sugar, corn syrup, dried egg whites and vanillin, a vanilla bean extract, Marshmallow Fluff -- and Rice Krispies treats made with the marshmallow substitute -- are high in sugar and low in nutrients. Enjoy them only occasionally and in moderation.
Use Butter or Margarine
Although the original Rice Krispies treat recipe called for about 3 tablespoons of butter -- approximately 1/4 cup -- to make enough treats for 12 servings, you can substitute margarine, says the Kellogg's Rice Krispies website. Choose margarine that is free of trans fats, but avoid reduced-calorie or diet margarine, as well as spreadable tub margarine. If you prefer butter, choose whipped or light butter over regular butter for fewer calories and less fat per serving.
Stir in the Fluff
In a typical Rice Krispies treat recipe, you can substitute an entire 7.5-ounce jar of Marshmallow Fluff for a 10-ounce package of regular marshmallows -- approximately 40 marshmallows -- or 4 cups of miniature marshmallows. To make the sticky mixture that holds the Rice Krispies cereal together in the treats, you'll need to heat the Marshmallow Fluff with the melted butter or margarine on the stove top or in the microwave. Stir the mixture and check it frequently to make sure that it doesn't burn.
Add the Rice Krispies
Plan on using approximately 5 to 6 cups of Rice Krispies cereal for every jar of Marshmallow Fluff to make 24 square treats that are about 2 inches wide. If you can't find Rice Krispies cereal or if you want to increase the nutritional value of the treats, use the same amount of another type of puffed cereal, such as puffed brown rice cereal that contains more fiber per serving. The mixture can be sticky: Use a spatula or spoon that's lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray to combine the ingredients thoroughly.
Shape, Cool and Cut
Use wax paper, a wide, cold spoon or a spatula coated with nonstick cooking spray to shape the Rice Krispies mixture into a baking dish lined with parchment or wax paper or sprayed with cooking spray. When the mixture has hardened, cut it with a knife, pizza cutter or cookie cutter. Rice Krispies treats stay fresh at room temperature in an airtight container for two days. If you have extra, freeze them for up to six weeks, with layers of treats separated by sheets of wax paper. After removing the treats from the freezer, let them come to room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.