Apple and Tahini Crispy Rice Squares

Growing up, crispy rice treats was a constant in my family’s household. They were always what I brought to the bake sale and I was very passionate about the marshmallow-to-cereal ratio. One day I was eating apple cinnamon oatmeal and put a treat inside for some extra texture. I was so pleased with the combination of the two flavors that I instantly knew I had to channel it into crispy rice treats. This updated version adds tahini for some nuttiness and even more creamy texture -- it pairs beautifully with the apples and crispy cereal. Everyone in your family is going to love these!
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr (includes chilling time)
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 12 large or 24 small squares
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Ingredients

Directions

  1. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang, then spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large pot over a medium heat until bubbling. Add the sesame seeds and cook, stirring frequently, until toasted and golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside in a small heatproof bowl to cool.
  3. Melt 1 more tablespoon butter in the same pot over medium heat. Add the apples, maple syrup and cinnamon; season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally with a silicone spatula, until the apples soften and break down, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the remaining 6 tablespoons butter and cook until the butter is bubbling. Add the marshmallows and cook, stirring occasionally, until melted, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat; add the tahini, vanilla extract and 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir to combine, leaving a swirl of tahini in the marshmallow mixture. Add the cereal and 1/2 of the toasted sesame seeds and stir until the marshmallows are evenly distributed throughout the cereal.
  4. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan and spread evenly with a silicone spatula. Spray another sheet of parchment paper with cooking spray and put the sprayed side directly on top of the crispy treats; press down firmly to evenly distribute the mixture throughout the pan. Remove the top sheet and discard. Sprinkle the remaining sesame seeds over the top and refrigerate until firm, about 40 minutes.
  5. Remove from the refrigerator. Lift the treats out of the pan using the overhanging parchment as handles; slice into 12 large or 24 small squares with a sharp knife. Enjoy right away or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.