I wanted to make something cute and whimsical and fun for my little girls for the first day of school this year. (Our schools start after Labor Day).
I didn’t want a lot of fuss because things were already pretty crazy getting back from vacation and the laundry alone was enough to make a grown man cry. So most cute treats were out but one thing I can always count on are Rice Krispies treats. They are quick and easy and the kiddos love them.
I have seen little Rice Krispy treats shaped like Pumpkins and I thought how cute would those be as apples for school? I think the apples are also fun for fall in general.
I didn’t want a lot of bother and I didn’t have a lot of time to invest and I can tell you these were so fast and easy! Plus you can really make any size batch you like- I only made (4) of these for after school treats.
They do make gluten free Rice Krispies so you can always make these gluten free!
Here is the recipe for a standard size batch– this will make about 10 or so. I made these on the smaller size- mine are closer to a clementine in size or a small apple.
There are a few tricks to making these that I figured out on my batch so here is what I did:
- 6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 4 cups (or so) of mini marshmallows
- Red Food Coloring
- Green Icing or Homemade Frosting
- Start by melting the butter at the bottom of a large pan.
- Add the marshmallows and melt on low heat.
- Once they are almost melted - add a few drops of red food coloring*.
- Stir well until you get the desired shade of red without steaks.
- Next add in the cereal and stir well.
- Remove from heat - I transfer mine from the pot to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Section the treats into about 10 portions.
- Once they have cooled enough to touch, roll the portions into a ball using the palms of your hands. If they are too hard to roll you can pop them in the microwave for 5 second intervals.
- Once the balls are formed simply cut stick pretzels into a stem and push them inside the ball.
- I mixed up a small batch of buttercream frosting (recipe below) and used a few drops of green food coloring to create the green for the leaves.
- I put the frosting into a Ziploc and cut off the very tip of one corner to draw the leaf shape right onto the top. You can also use store bought green cake icing.
A few notes– for the first batch I added the food color after I mixed in the cereal and that batch I tossed out because it was a weird streaky pink color. For sure add it in to the marshmallow and butter mixture.
I used Wilton Icing Gel instead of standard food coloring. I always get brighter colors that way– you can find it at craft stores or on Amazon here. (It DOES have Red #40 in it.)
If you are considered about standard food coloring in foods, you can always use the all natural food coloring choices. Find them on Amazon here or at stores like Whole Foods. These are pricey but you can use them over and over. I have heard you can also add colored juices from strawberry or beet to get all natural food coloring but I am not sure how great the color and flavor would be with those methods.
Also don’t pack the apples too tightly together as they can get dense and hard to bit into.
I can tell you my children loved these treats! They were giggling and I thought they looked really cute in person.
And here is the recipe I used for the buttercream frosting- you can reduce the recipe substantially to get just enough to add the leaves to your treats.
Here is another fun fall variation of Rice Krispies: