I’ve never been much of a peppermint person. With a couple of exceptions (here and here), it’s not a flavor that I generally gravitate towards in my baking or candy-eating. However, those two recipes have opened my mind a bit more to the possibilities, especially when combined with chocolate. Not to mention that when planning out my holiday cookie boxes each year, I always want to have a variety of textures, colors, and some traditional holiday flavors, along with a couple of twists. I will never, ever make a cookie box without a rice crispy treat – you can quote me on that. Any time I’m putting together a cookie box, there will always be a few marshmallowy squares tucked inside; the question is, what kind this time? Last year I had a few random candy canes laying around, and I thought it would be fun to incorporate them into some kind of holiday dessert. For whatever reason, I thought they would be a fun addition to rice crispy treats, but probably not enough peppermint to make a difference as a flavor unto itself, so hey!, I decided to also add some peppermint extract. I surprised no one more than myself when I absolutely loved these! In fact, I even bumped up the peppermint extract a bit more the second time I made them because… I apparently wanted more peppermint? (*scratches head*) They… might even be one of my favorite rice crispy treat flavors that I’ve created. I am utterly baffled, truly. At any rate, I am rather fond of them, and I hope you will be too.
Into a mess of gooey Cocoa Krispies I folded semisweet chocolate chips and chopped white chocolate, which partly blend in, but I purposely left some streaks and chunks. I knew on top is where the pizzazz would happen – in addition to a shower of crushed candy cane bits, I drizzled white chocolate and added festive holiday sprinkles. This seemed like the only dignified choice. The treats are very chocolatey, just the right amount of chewy, and I love the pleasant bite of peppermint. If you are a peppermint lover, feel free to bump it up even more; I think 1 teaspoon gives it a nice balance of chocolate and peppermint, but really, it’s customizable to your taste.
I hope these make it into your cookie boxes, or onto your holiday dessert table, and I think they would also be great for New Year’s Eve nibbles! Wherever you enjoy them, I wish you a warm, delicious, and light-filled holiday!
Double-Chocolate Peppermint Rice Crispy Treats
Yields 24 servings
- 16 tablespoons (2 sticks/227g) unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 20 ounces mini marshmallows
- 12 cups (325g) puffed rice cereal
- 1 cup (170g) semisweet chocolate chips
- Scant ½ cup (75g) good-quality white chocolate discs (or roughly chopped from a bar)
- 2-3 small candy canes, or to taste, smashed into different sized pieces
- Holiday sprinkles, optional
- ½ cup (85g) chopped white chocolate (not white chips)
- A few drops canola oil if needed
Make the rice crispy treat mixture:
Line a 9″ x 12″ rectangular cake/baking pan with parchment paper so that it extends over the pan edges.
In a large pot with tall sides, melt the butter and let it cook over medium heat until the butter solids start turning golden brown– it will give off a wonderful nutty aroma. Add the vanilla and peppermint extracts and swirl the pot to blend it with the butter, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pot if they’re sticking. Let the butter continue to brown a bit more to about a deep amber shade– keep a close eye on it at this stage so it doesn’t burn.
Turn the heat down to medium-low and stir in the marshmallows and salt. Stir constantly until the marshmallows are completely melted and the mixture is smooth and sticky, coating the sides of the pot (no sloshing around in butter).
Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the rice cereal, making sure it is fully and evenly coated in the marshmallow mixture. Add the chocolate chips and white chocolate, stirring until the chocolate pieces are mostly melted and blended in, but leave a few visible patches and streaks.
Quickly scrape the hot mixture into the prepared pan and press it down evenly into the corners and sides. (I use a piece of wadded up parchment to do this step since it’s both very hot and too sticky to smush it with my fingers.) Don’t compress them too firmly– just enough to even out the slab, since you want them to stay chewy. Let the rice crispy treats cool completely in the pan.
Make the white chocolate topping & decorate:
While the treats are cooling, place the chopped white chocolate in a small heatproof bowl. Set it over a saucepan of gently simmering water filled about ⅓ of the way; the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water. Make sure the heat is not too high, which will scorch the delicate white chocolate. Once it starts to melt, stir it occasionally with a rubber spatula and remove the bowl from the heat immediately as soon as it’s all melted. (Do not let any steam from the pot come in contact with the melted white chocolate.)
If the white chocolate is too thick to pour in a thin stream, stir in a few drops of canola oil for a runnier consistency. Use a small whisk or spoon to drizzle ribbons of white chocolate in any pattern you like over the treats. Scatter the candy cane bits and holiday sprinkles evenly on top.
The rice crispy treats can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
© Dafna Adler & Stellina Sweets, 2022.