Fall puts me in the mood for pumpkin desserts and an extra bag of Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows in my kitchen put me in the mood to make some pumpkin spice cereal bars. Homemade rice krispy treats were always a favorite of mine growing up, but it wasn’t until recently that I started to put some new flavor spins on them, such as Black and White Rice Krispy Treats and Peanut Butter Cup Rice Krispy Bars. This time around, I opted to turn that bag of fall spice marshmallows into a batch of Pumpkin Pie Rice Krispie Treats.
To create these bars, I made a graham cracker crust and then put a batch of Rice Krispy treats made with the Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows on top. I like pumpkin pies with a crisp graham cracker crust, so adding that element to this cereal treat version was a logical step. The graham crackers added a whole new layer of flavor (literally!) and also captured the full flavor of a slice of pumpkin pie. The crust needs to be completely cool before you add the cereal treat mixture to allow the marshmallow to stick to it. To avoid breaking up the crust as you add the cereal layer, try to distribute the warm cereal treat mixture evenly and press it into place, rather than trying to spread it over the crust.
Adding the graham cracker crust is what gives these an actual pumpkin pie flavor, as opposed to just a spicy one.
In addition to the batch of these that I made using the Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows, I also made a batch using regular spices. The spice-only version does not require any special edition marshmallows (you’ll still need regular marshmallows) and uses cinnamon, ginger and cloves to add a spicy flavor. It doesn’t have quite the same color as the store bought spice marshmallow bars do, but it has a great flavor and still turns regular cereal bars into a fall treat. These bars keep very well for several days when stored in an airtight container.
Pumpkin Pie Rice Krispie Treats
Graham Cracker Crust
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
6 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispie Layer
4 tbsp butter, room temperature
10-oz Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows (1 large bag)
or 10-oz plain marshmallows + 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice mix
6 cups rice krispies/puffed rice cereal
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a medium bowl, stir together all graham cracker crust ingredients. Pour into a 9×13-inch pan and press into an even layer.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool completely before using.
To make the cereal bars, combine butter and marshmallows in a large, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 60-90 seconds, until marshmallows have melted. Stir the marshmallow mixture (adding spices, if using), then add in the cereal. Stir with a large spatula until everything is evenly combined.
Spoon the cereal mixture evenly over the graham cracker crust. Using a large spatula or lightly greased hands, press down into an even layer. Allow bars to cool to room temperature before slicing.
Makes 24 bars