Guess what? It’s February! Every January we dedicate our posts to healthy recipes and everyone is gung-ho about it until about the last week or so and then people stop commenting and the angry emails start rolling in demanding we bring back sugar. We get it. We feel the same way without our treats so we’re happy to be bringing them back from hiding!
I’ve had an obsession with berries and chocolate ever since I was a kid and my Mom introduced me to her favorite DQ Bizzard flavor: chocolate covered cherry. Even though now, when it comes to desserts I’m usually a chocolate mint or chocolate peanut butter, or chocolate chocolate kinda girl, when I hit up DQ I almost always go for chocolate cherry. There’s something about berries and chocolate that’s nostalgically comforting to me, and strawberries and chocolate are such a perfectly Valentine-y combination. I also have a little obsession with rice krispie treats. I’m thinking one day I could write a book with 101 variations, because that’s about how many I have up my sleeve. When I saw these last year:
I knew exactly what I’d do with them:
If you can’t find these cute heart-shaped, strawberry flavored marshmallows, just use regular ol’ marshmallows and add a little strawberry flavoring (either oil or extract, raspberry would be good, too) to taste and a few drops of food coloring if you want the pale pink color.
Melt the marshmallows with a little butter in the microwave.
When it’s melted and smooth, add a little almond extract. If that seems funny, almond is a flavor that really enhances berry flavors. I use it in most things I make that are strawberry or cherry flavored.
I’m also adding some dried berries. I love dried strawberries here, but they can sometimes be hard to find. Surprisingly, Walmart seems to always have them. I like dried berries better than freeze-dried berries here, and while you can certainly dry your own strawberries that’s way too much work for me for a quick treat like this. So if you can’t find dried strawberries, you should be able to find dried mixed-berries:
They usually have strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and sometimes cranberries in there. I’m not a huge fan of cranberries here because I feel like the tartness overpowers the mild strawberry flavor (I actually went so far as to pick the cranberries out of my bag!) But cherries work well if you have those. Give them a rough chop and then toss them in with some rice krispie cereal.
You know the drill; mix ’em up and pat ’em down. I like to line my pan with buttered waxed paper, and if you butter your hands, they’re way easier to pat down. I pressed in a few extra berries on top, too.
Because berries and chocolate are better than berries and berries, we’re going to give them a little drizzle. I’m using some extra dark baking chips from Santa Barbara Chocolate Company because I have 6 pounds of them (yes SIX) in my pantry right now and since I can’t stop eating them straight from the bag, I figure the logical thing to do is bake more treats. They have a really great flavor, and when I’m using chocolate to top a sweet dessert, I really like to use a darker chocolate for balance.
I just use a little so the berry flavors still come through; drizzle it right on top. I also prefer a darker chocolate (like, at least semi-sweet) since you have so much sweetness from the marshmallows, but that’s me. I like my chocolate as dark as I can get it.
You get sweet gooey marshmallows, with little bits of chewy berries, an undertone of almond, and a decadent bite of creamy chocolate.
Keep in mind that with rice krispie treats, if you want to cut them with cookie cutters, it helps to make them thinner than normal. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made big, thick ones and then I go to stick a cookie cutter in there and it only reaches half way through them and gets stuck. Please tell me I’m not the only one.
I made this batch in an in-between pan that is larger than an 8×8, but just a bit smaller than a 9×13. If you’re just cutting squares, I’d do an 8×8.
Give hearts a little dip and sprinkle and they’re all dressed up for Valentine’s Day.
Berry-Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats
Recipe by Our Best Bites
1 8-ounce bag Strawberry flavored marshmallows (or 5 cups regular mini marshmallows plus strawberry or raspberry flavoring to taste)
2 1/2 tablespoons butter, chopped in small pieces
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3 cups Rice Krispie cereal
1/2 cup dried strawberries or mixed berries, roughly chopped
1/3-1/4 chocolate chips (I prefer semi-sweet or dark)
Lightly butter an 8×8 or slightly larger pan with butter (or line with lightly buttered waxed paper). Place marshmallows and butter in a large microwave-safe bowl. Heat in 30 second intervals, stirring in-between until melted and smooth. Stir in almond extract and immediately add cereal and dried fruit. Press mixture into prepared pan.
Place chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and heat until melted and smooth. Drizzle over treats and refrigerate until set. Cut into squares.
Alternately, cut bars with cookie cutters into shapes and dip in chocolate.
My husband’s favorite Christmas cookie is rice crispie treats with little green and red sprinkles on top. He’s going to have a new favorite after he tries this little Valentine goodie I’m making tonight!
Sara, I just love you! When I read your posts, I feel like I am reading my own thoughts… except I haven’t had them yet (does that make sense!?!?). I love this idea for Valentine’s day and I am excited to do this for my kids. Happy Valentine’s Day ladies! You two are the best!
Loved your January posts … I’ve put most of the recipes on a permanent meal rotation. Thank you SO much for taking the time to do those postings. The minestrone and waffles were some all time favorites!! And looking forward to a cute February 🙂
The fruit makes it healthy right?
These are so cute and look so yummy! Thanks for sharing:)
love these – they are so cute! And I’ve never seen those heart shaped marshmallows – I’ll have to keep an eye out 🙂
Yum! I love rice krispie treats. Maybe I will make these for Valentne’s Day instead of using your regular, heart shaped ones dipped in chocolate with sprinkles like I did last year. However, those were a huge hit with the kiddos. Thanks for all of the wonderful ideas!
So cute! And yummy! Just saw those strawberry marshmallows at Walmart the other day & was thinking of what I could do with them & ta da-you posted this recipe! Question answered! 🙂
Wow! Those look great! I love Rice Krispie treats. I had never thought of adding fruit.
Also, a little hint that I do, instead of buttering your hands to pat down the treats into the pan, just get your hands wet (not dripping obviously), but if they are wet you can pat them in the pan easily and you don’t have to get butter all over them!
You really jazzed them up with the sides dipped in chocolate and then sprinkled. I need more recipes that use sprinkles…because you know how close I live to Gygi’s and I can never get out of there without buying more sprinkles!
May I ask how you do side-by-side photos? I have been trying to do it using iPhoto and Picasa three. I can’t wait to read more of your blog. Just found it today.
My mom always says that Rice Krispy treats are healthy because they’re mostly air. And since these have fruit in them they’re practically a health food staple. With the antioxidants of the chocolate…Yeah, totally healthy. Making them today!
Hi 🙂 Those look wonderful! I would never have thought of putting in dried fruit as well- what a great variety of textures! I did want to say… with the thicker Rice Krispy Treats, if you grease the cookie cutter they don’t get stuck 🙂 At least I have never had them get stuck 😉 Thanks so much for the recipe!!
I’m so excited to try this recipe! I LOVE rice krispie treats. People think I’m nuts, but the best ones that I’ve ever had were from Disney World. I at a whole giant Mickey head in a week….by myself. It’s sad, but I don’t regret this; I just wish that I had another one.
January’s over. Bring on the treats, baby!
To be clear, I did love the month of healthy posts, and I hope there will be more of them mixed in, but there are times and seasons for everything and Valentine’s Day is a good season for adorable berry rice krispie hearts.
You have the coolest things in the states when it comes to flavors and extracts and shapes. Up here in Canada, we only have regular and the multicoloured marshmallows, no fun shapes or flavors. With marshmallows or anything! No cherry flavored m&m’s (or any other than the original flavors), no variations of much of anything really! I had to get rootbeer extract from the states! And if I want any other fun flavors, I’ll have to get them there too. Including strawberry. Always so jealous of the variety and the prices! My only consolation is that I’m sure I’m saving a TON of money not having the temptation to buy ALl those fun and funky things that I would love to use in th kitchen.
If you have a Bulk Barn near you, a lot of stuff can be found there (extracts etc) otherwise Hobby Lobby or Michaels 🙂
But you have the best chocolate! We drove to PEI last summer and loved seeing all the varieties of Cadbury chocolate.
Super cute variation on rice-krispie treats. We make them all the time for school lunches. Ours aren’t as cool as yours though!