These Salted Nut Butter Rice Crispy Treats Are Low-Sugar & Delicious
Retooling the classic chewy rice cereal treats took a lot of trial and error. We tried to make them with a homemade marshmallow fluff, but ultimately this honey and nut butter combination yielded the best result with the least amount of sugar. Browned butter adds an extra layer of depth and deliciousness.
Although not exactly like the original, these salty and sweet treats from our cookbook, Half the Sugar, All the Love, are addictive with their crunchy-gooey combination. This recipe works equally well with almond butter or peanut butter, so feel free to use your favorite spread. Because this recipe doesn't have much sugar, the bars will crumble at room temperature—they are best served cold.
Salted Nut Butter Crispy Rice Treats
Makes 16 bars
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 4 cups brown rice cereal
- 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter
- ¼ cup honey
- ¾ cup unsweetened peanut or almond butter
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Dash of flaky sea salt, for topping
- Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving about 2 inches of overhang on each side. Lightly coat the parchment paper with cooking spray.
- Place the rice cereal in a large bowl; set aside.
- Brown the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until darkened in color and fragrant, about 4 minutes. Add the honey and whisk to combine. Bring to a vigorous simmer and cook until frothy, about 1 minute. Add the nut butter and vanilla and stir until the nut butter is fully melted and incorporated into the honey butter. Remove the mixture from the heat and let cool slightly.
- Pour the warm butter mixture over the rice cereal and stir to combine. Press the mixture into the prepared pan, using the bottom edge of an offset spatula or the bottom of a glass to firmly compress it in the pan. Sprinkle with the sea salt.
- Freeze until firm, 25 minutes. Cut into 16 squares and serve cold.
Excerpted from Half the Sugar, All the Love by Jennifer Tyler Lee and Anisha Patel, M.D., MSPH. Photographs by Erin Scott. Workman Publishing © 2019.
Jennifer Tyler Lee is an award-winning author who earned her certificate in Nutrition and Healthy Living from Cornell University. Jennifer's first book, The 52 New Foods Challenge, was nominated for an IACP Cookbook Award. Her nutrition game, Crunch a Color: The Healthy Eating Game, was named one of Dr. Toy's "10 Best" Children's Products and received the Parent-Tested Parent-Approved seal of approval. Jennifer has been featured in Parents Magazine, Us Weekly, and Red Tricycle.
Anisha Patel, M.D., MSPH, is an Associate Professor in the Division of General Pediatrics at Stanford University and an affiliate faculty member at the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies at the University of California, San Francisco. She practices general pediatrics at the Gardner Packard Children's Health Center and cares for newborns at Stanford's Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. She has presented her research on interventions and policies to help children and their families reduce their daily sugar intake to local, national, and international audiences. She has been recognized for her work to inform policies with awards from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill School of Public Health.