Tahini Brown Rice Crispy Treats
Growing up, Rice Crispy treats were quite the well… a treat. My mom used to make them all the time with a chocolate drizzle on top. I remember not being able to wait until they were fully cooled and I’d be sneaking chunks of warm the cereal marshmallow mixture before anyone noticed (more like before they could stop me).
They were ooey gooey and perfectly sweet. It should come as no surprise that I preferred them without the chocolate drizzle since chocolate was never my thing. My how things have changed! But my mom, being the chocolate lover that she is with her favorite saying “It’d taste better if it was chocolate” there was always a chocolate drizzle.
Fast forward many years and here I am, yearning for a childhood favorite. It was no problem when I wanted to make them gluten-free, there are plenty of gluten free brown rice crisp cereals that are gluten-free and Kellogg’s themselves have a gluten-free variety.
No, the issue was the whole sugar, butter and marshmallow thing. How do I make a rice crispy treat that is refined sugar free and dairy-free? Coconut oil? Brown rice syrup? Refined sugar free marshmallows? What would work? Many, many trials later I think I found a great option!
My first successful batch ended up being a combination of peanut butter and honey. I adored the flavor and the chewiness was just right! I brought them to work for my coworkers to try and quickly realized the problem. People are accustomed to rice crispy treats to be nut free.
Now this wasn’t a problem since none of them are allergic to nuts but I didn’t want to take any chances. I found myself saying “These contain nuts!” every 2 minutes to anyone who wanted to take one. So, I decided then and there that peanut butter was off the table.
While also testing peanut butter I wanted to test brown rice syrup too for a vegan option. The chewiness was there but the flavor was just a bit milder. If I wanted these to be vegan, I’d definitely use it. I just preferred the honey taste overall.
Next batch was a lower honey batch. I reduced the amount of honey to 1/4 cup to make it lower in sugar. Did it work? Kind of. It held together but was very crunchy and didn’t have that classic chew I love so much. So back to the full amount of honey (that’s ok, we’ll make this a once in awhile treat!).
A few batches later and I spotted the tahini in my refrigerator. Nut-free, as it’s made from sesame seeds; Creamy just like natural nut butters; Mild flavor so it wouldn’t overtake the treats… Did I find a winner? You bet I did!
These treats are sweet and have an interesting flavor from the tahini. You won’t be able to quite place the flavor but I think that’s what makes these treats so delicious! While mixing these together, at the last minute I decided to throw in some sesame seeds and I’m so glad I did! They added a little bit of crunch and made the dessert look so pretty!
More Gluten-Free Treat Recipes
- Pistachio Rose Marshmallow Treats
- Lemon Poppy Seed Cookie Bars
- Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Stuffed Dates
- Gluten-free Rice Krispies Trees
- No Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars
Tahini Brown Rice Crispy Treats
- 3 cups gluten-free brown rice crispy cereal (not rice puffs)
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 1/2 cup honey (or brown rice syrup if vegan)
- 1 tsp pure vanilla
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- In a small pot over medium heat, combine tahini, honey, vanilla and sea salt. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is warm and thinned.
- Pour mixture over brown rice crispy cereal and sesame seeds. With a spatula, carefully stir until the cereal is completely covered. Spoon into an 8x8 inch baking dish. Place in the refrigerator to set for at least 30 minutes.
- Slice into 9 pieces to serve.
These look great. Would really like to try. Thanks for sharing such an amazing recipe.
Fatima | http://www.blogsbyfa.com
Great recipe! I love these kind of treats, they look healthy! Thanks for sharing!
I am drooling over your pics..loved it..awesome recipe
Megan, this sounds like such a treat. Best 10 minutes. Brown rice syrup? I have never even heard of it. 😛
Great idea with the tahini as I always thought it tasted like peanut butter anyway. I must give this recipe a try for my son’s school one day as it’s a healthier version than the original.
Thank you for the recipe! Thank you. 🙂
Oh I LOVE these!! What a great idea – I’m always looking for new ways to use my homemade tahini and I think I found one my husband will adore!
I just love finding gluten-free treats! Interesting that you used Tahini instead. Never even thought of it. Look forward to giving this recipe a go.
They look good! Thanks for sharing the recipe!
Yum, I love rice crispy squares and will have to give this recipe a try. Thanks for sharing!
These bars are totally my kinda snack! I love how few ingredients they call for and the fun addition of tahini!
I love making healthier treats like these and I have used nut butter but never thought to use tahini (which is one of my favorites). Great idea!
It’s been awhile since I’ve made rice crispy treats and after seeing your recipe, I might just have to make them this weekend!
I love that these are a healthier version of a childhood favorite! I’ve never seen someone make them this way, but they look great!!
I love healthy recipes. Definitely want to try this. 🙂 Thanks for sharing! 🙂
This is a must try as my better half is gluten free, thanks for sharing!
I had no idea she ate gluten free! Tell her I have lots of gluten free recipes for her 🙂
These look and sound amazing. I will have to try these.
These look so so so good. My fiancee is dairy-free so I’m always looking for vegan versions of things so she can enjoy treats. Had yet to find a good rice krispy treat and now I have. Thanks for the recipe!
Wow I need to try these ASAP! Yum!
Wow! I need to try this recipe as I’m also looking for gluten free treats that actually taste good! I love that they are naturally sweetened too and no white refined sugar!
Those look so good!
Katie | katielikeme.com
Those look great!
Love these marshmallow free rice crispies. Pinned to try soon.
These look amazing! Looks like all of your experimentation paid off 😉
That is a fun recipe for non-marshmallow eaters like us 🙂 Pinned!
Oh this absolutely makes my day! I used to love Rice Krispie Treats but I’ve been a vegetarian for 6 years and avoid gelatin! I’m definitely pinning these right now and make them very soon! Thanks!
What do you think of using maple syrup?
Maple syrup isn’t as sticky as honey or brown rice syrup, but I still think it should work in a pinch.
These are AMAZING! Thank you so much for the recipe. I was looking for a vegan Rice Krispie treat that was a little healthier and these looked perfect, and are: the tahini and sesame seeds make them extra special, and they end up having a good amount of iron due to the fortified amounts in the cereal and the iron in sesames/tahini. And they are terrific with non-dairy ice cream!
So glad you enjoyed these, Susan!!
Hello, I was wondering.. If I wanted to use less of the brown rice syrup could I increase the tahini to 3/4 C. & do 1/4 C. of the syrup? Do you think they’d still come out ok? Thank you
Hi Sarah, I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure but my concern is that the brown rice syrup is needed to make the bars really hold together and to give them that chewy texture, similar to rice crispy treats with marshmallow.