I’ve been on a bit of a rice krispy treat kick lately, making batch after batch of the marshmallow cereal treats. They were always a favorite of mine when I was a kid. The original recipe is a great one, however I didn’t realize how much I was missing out by sticking only to that one basic recipe because it is very easy to add flavor to rice krispy treats and bring these treats up to a whole new level of flavor! These Toasted Coconut Rice Krispy Treats are a new personal favorite of mine because I happen to love coconut, and they are a great example of how one simple change can make a batch of cereal bars a lot more exciting.
The bars start out with shredded coconut. You can use sweetened coconut or unsweetened coconut, though I typically use sweetened because it is more widely available. The coconut should be toasted slowly in a skillet, turning it golden brown and intensifying the sweet, nutty flavors of the coconut. This process should be done carefully so that all of your coconut is evenly toasted and none of it burns. Once the coconut is toasted, it can be folded in to the rest of the cereal bar ingredients.
The finished bars are loaded with a deep coconut flavor and have a bit of extra texture to them from the crisp-chewy strands of coconut. The coconut also gives the bars a slightly speckled look that hints at the extra flavor in each bite. These bars are seriously addictive and just might have you thinking about putting simple cereal bars back into your regular snack rotation.
Toasted Coconut Rice Krispy Treats
1 cup shredded coconut
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 cups rice krispy cereal
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add in shredded coconut and cook, stirring regularly, until the coconut starts to turn golden brown. As it browns, lower the heat slightly to ensure that the coconut doesn’t burn. When all of the coconut is golden, transfer to another container to cool.
Lightly grease an 8×8-inch baking pan.
In a large, microwave-safe bowl, combine marshmallows, salt and butter. Microwave on high for 60-90 seconds, until marshmallows and butter have melted. Add the vanilla and stir the marshmallow mixture until smooth, then fold in the cereal and 3/4 cup toasted coconut until everything is evenly combined.
Transfer mixture to prepared pan and press down into an even layer with a lightly greased spatula. Sprinkle evenly with remaining coconut and press gently to to make sure the coconut sticks to the bars. Allow bars to cool to room temperature before slicing.
Makes 16 bars