You have to try these if you like Rice Krispie treats and peppermint! The base recipe for this is from Buns In My Oven. I saw it last summer and thought it looked so pretty, but thought it could really use some peppermint! Because I added candy canes, I changed the name to Candy Cane Crunch. I also added vanilla extract to the marshmallow mixture (something I always do with Rice Krispie treats) and a slightly larger pan so they wouldn't be so incredibly thick.
They turned out really nicely. My husband is not a huge peppermint fan, but he liked them anyway. These are a great little break from all the cookies at Christmastime. I made them for the first time last year, but I'm sure we will have them again many times in the future.
If you want them super pepperminty, buy mint M&Ms. That's what I used this time and they were really good, but I think next time I will try plain Christmas colored ones. You could even add 1/2 tsp or so of peppermint extract to the marshmallow mixture and use mint M&Ms if you really want a peppermint blast, but I thought my beloved would complain about eating toothpaste if I did that. As is, it was really nice having the mintyness offset by the vanilla and cereal flavors.
Quick Note: Chop the candy canes roughly. They don't need to be obliterated into candy cane dust, but you don't want giant chunks that will be unpleasant to bite into.
Candy Cane Crunch
10 oz mini marshmallows
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 C Rice Chex
3/4 C Christmas colored M&Ms, divided
8 crushed mini candy canes, divided
2 Tbsp Christmas colored round sprinkles, divided
Line a 7 by 11 pan with parchment paper. Get your cereal, candies, and sprinkles measured out.
Place butter in a large pot and heat over medium-low until melted. Add marshmallows and stir constantly until they're completely melted. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract, then stir in the cereal until it's well coated. Add 1/2 C of the M&Ms, 3/4 of the crushed candy cane, and 1 Tbsp of the sprinkles. Stir until the candy and sprinkles is evenly distributed. Immediately press the cereal mixture into the parchment paper lined pan. Sprinkle with the reserved candy and sprinkles, then press the toppings down firmly with your hands, keeping a layer of parchment paper between the bars and your hands so it doesn't stick.
Let the bars sit for 2 hours before cutting them into bars.
Yield: About 20 bars