Marshmallow rice treats are the Rugrats or Tom and Jerry of the baking world. For many people, these are the first treats that they make with their parents because of their simplicity and delicious flavor. I wanted to make my treats “All Grown Up” (pardon the Rugrats pun), so I boosted the flavor with a lot of chocolate.
Marshmallows are one of the primary components of Rice Treats. Not only do they add flavor, but they also bind the bars in place. The binding ability of marshmallows is due to the use of gelatin as a gelling agent.
Gelatin is the protein extracted via hydrolysis from animal collagen. It functions similarly to amylose in starches, which when heated leave the starch granules to enter the mixture then cool down to form a gel. Gelatin proteins denature when heated. Then as they cool down they begin to form intramolecular and intermolecular bonds around the liquid/mixture it is added to. This is a mechanism reminiscent of egg proteins in custards.
The animal that gelatin is derived from varies, but for religious and diet reasons there are gelatin products that clearly label their animal sources. Non-animal substitutes for gelatin include pectin, agar, and carrageenan.
4 cups Miniature Marshmallows
6 cups Rice Cereal
1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips
1 tbs of cocoa powder
6 oz of chopped in half malted milk balls
- In a large saucepan, melt chocolate chips. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Then stir in cocoa powder. Remove from heat.
- Add Rice cereal to a large bowl. Pour the melted marshmallows over cereal and stir until well coated.
- Stir in the malted milk balls
- Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cool. Cut into 2-inch squares. Best if served the same day.