Scare Up Some No-Bake Treats
Most parents brace themselves for sugar overload as Halloween nears. Super Cute Crispy Treats, Nearly 100 Unbelievable No-Bake Desserts by Ashley Fox Whipple might head off that too-many-sugary-treats crisis. The book offers 100 healthier alternatives to traditional desserts, and some really cute treats for Halloween and other holidays using crispy rice cereal.
These spider treats can be creepy or cute, depending on how you decorate them. The grape flavor guarantees that, no matter how they look, they will be tasty.
Yield: Approximately 10 spiders
Time: 1 hour
Difficulty level: Intermediate
2 tbsp margarine
2 ¾ cups (5 ounces [140 g]) mini marshmallows
½ tsp grape-flavored drink powder mix
Purple gel food coloring (optional)
3 cups (75 g) crisp rice cereal
10 12-inch (30.5 cm) purple licorice strings
4 ounces (115 g) almond bark
20 to 30 small candy eyes
Black candy writer (optional)
Equipment: 1 lollipop stick
Melt margarine in a 3-quart or larger saucepan over low heat. Add marshmallows, and stir. Let marshmallows melt completely, stirring occasionally. Add grape drink mix and stir to combine. Remove from heat. For a darker purple color, add purple gel food coloring and stir to combine. Continue adding gel coloring until desired shade is reached.
Stir in crisp rice cereal until completely covered with marshmallow. As soon as mixture is cool enough to handle, form a handful into a spider body. Keeping it connected as one piece, form a smaller round head at one end of the body. Repeat to make the rest of the spiders.
Cut the purple licorice string into pieces approximately 2 to 2 ½ inches (5–6 cm) long. Using a lollipop stick, poke 6 holes (3 on each side) into the body of each spider. Insert licorice string pieces into holes and press rice cereal mixture around them to secure.
Using a microwave-safe dish, heat almond bark in the microwave in 30-second increments until completely melted, stirring between each heating. (I recommend using High power level for first heating and switching to 50 percent power for subsequent heatings.) Use melted almond bark to attach the eyes to the spider heads. Change it up from spider to spider to give each its own personality. If desired, draw a mouth with a black candy writer.
Store in an airtight container and serve within 24 hours.
– from Super Cute Crispy Treats by Ashley Fox Whipple