Very Berry Marshmallow Crispy Treats are a triple flavor treat. There are three delicious layers, all naturally flavored and naturally colored using freeze dried fruit powders. You’ll love these strawberry, blueberry and white chocolate, pillowy soft crispy treats. Great for the fourth of July!
Made any marshmallow crispy treats lately? Well, today I’m going patriotic and making a red, white and blue version for you, aka Very Berry Marshmallow Crispy Treats.
They’re a triple threat of flavorful marshmallow treats and they’re amped up in more ways than one.
Let’s start with some basics of marshmallow treat making. Me? I haven’t made marshmallow crispy treats in forever.
I think the last time I made them was for an elementary school fall event. We needed some treats for the event and I was asked to make marshmallow treats.
I remember thinking, “Wait! What? Really? Marshmallow treats? But, I’m the mom who likes to bake. I could bake something really fun…like Peanut Butter Cut Out Cookies.” Just kidding. We all know that school is basically a peanut free zone.
(Don’t get me wrong, I had plenty of years to make all kinds of fun fall festival treats and decorations and Halloween costumes and all of the games to go with them. Yes. I’m “that” mom. To know me is to love me.)
Ok. Sure. I can make marshmallow treats. Plain old crispy treats weren’t going to cut it for me though.
So, I made orange colored treats, shaped them into ball shaped pumpkins and put a stick in the top of them like a stem. Then, I melted chocolate and piped on some fun jack o’lantern faces.
I wrapped them up in cellophane bags and tied them with some curly green ribbon. They were really cute.
And, that’s how you turn a very simple job of making a quick treat, (that really would have taken about 15 minutes) into a much longer project.
Maybe I should’ve taken the easy road, but my creative side always takes me down a the longer, more complicated road. And my husband? He’s no help. He happily skips down that road with me.
So that was the last time I made crispy treats. And, whenever I have made them, I simply used the recipe on the box with a few slight variations here and there.
You know the drill. Melt butter and marshmallows, add the rice cereal. Let a little panic set in while you try to get the sticky mass into a buttered dish before it gets too stiff to work with.
This time, however? I wanted to get serious with the marshmallow crispy treats. The whole ratio used in the original recipe got thrown out the window.
I was looking for a more pillowy, buttery, marshmallowy treat. In other words, more butter and more marshmallows. (There’s an extra bonus to this ratio that I’ll cover later in the post.) Ooh, and I wanted them nice and tall for a good hearty bite.
I also needed them to be tall because I was going to make flavor layers. That’s what started this whole treat odyssey, the flavors.
Actually, they started as one flavor, strawberry. I thought, wouldn’t it be fun to see how freeze dried fruit would work in a crispy treat?
By now, you know my love for the flavor bomb that freeze dried fruit brings. I won’t go into all the details again, but man, just grind that stuff up and put it in everything.
In any case, I had planned to make strawberry and drizzle it with white chocolate. I had that plan for weeks, but then I kept changing my mind. One flavor? Two flavors? Three flavors?
Three flavors that could be red, white and blue?!? Yeah…that sounds good…
But, I thought to myself…would anyone (besides me) actually want to make three layers of crispy treats? After all, crispy treats are supposed to be the quick and easy treat. Three flavors would make it a little more time consuming.
Aaaand, there would be more dishes to wash. Ugh! What to do? What to do?
I decided to make them. What the heck. The fourth of July is coming and this could be a really fun treat. I mean, it’s still just a marshmallow crispy treat. There’s no baking involved.
And if you’re not taking photos of every. single. step. like I did…I imagine it will go pretty quickly for you :)
I named them Very Berry for a few reasons. First, that’s the flavor you’re getting with these babies. It’s very berry, two berries to be exact, strawberry and blueberry.
In fact, the very first words that came from two separate people who tried them were, “Oooh! Fruity!”
And, yes, we did consider the whole rooty tooty fresh and fruity angle, but, outside of the fact that it’s a registered trademark, very berry is simply more specific.
Second, red, white and blue don’t necessarily conjour up flavors, just colors. I think that’s why people were surprised when they bit into them. They probably weren’t expecting the burst of berry-licious flavor.
Finally, the blue layer isn’t a true blue now, is it? It is made with blueberries, but they tend toward the purple side once they’re all mixed in. Hopefully, that purple color gives the hint that these bars do not rely on food dye for their color.
Nope, all the color here is au natural, straight from the fruit. Of course, if you must have true blue, I suppose you could add a drop or so into the batch. I didn’t feel any need to.
Bottom line? Don’t knock me on the purple. If you serve them on the fourth of July, I’m pretty sure everyone will get the idea.
(Oh and if crispy treats aren’t your thing, here’s an easy and delicious fresh fruit dessert idea for the fourth…try my Red, White and Blue Cheesecake Dip. The blueberries make a really great “blue” statement in that dish :)
Ready to get into this? First, buy thee some freeze dried fruit. I get mine at Trader Joe’s, but a lot of grocery stores carry it now. I’ve seen them merchandised with fresh produce, in the cereal aisle and with the dried fruit and nuts.
Grind up the fruit in a food processor. (Don’t forget to remove the little preservative packet. You definitely don’t want to grind that up with the fruit.)
Once you have your fruit powders, you are ready to begin. If you don’t want to wash dishes in between, you’re going to need either 3 pans or 3 bowls. If you’re making this on the stove top, you’ll need the pans.
If you’re making this in the microwave, you’ll need bowls. If you don’t have enough of either, make some flavors on the stove and others in the microwave.
You only need heat to melt marshmallows and butter. That can happen in either place, so do whatever works best for you.
The process is basically the same as the traditional recipe with a few tweaks. Melt the butter with the marshmallows.
Your marshmallows for each flavor batch will be divided into two groups. The first group of marshmallows gets melted with the butter.
Once everything is all melty, stir in your strawberry fruit powder until well combined. (This is where I taste tested for flavor. I just dragged a toothpick through the mixture for a tiny taste. If you want to add more powder, now’s the time.)
Then, remove it from the heat, pour in the cereal and the second group of marshmallows. I like to do it in exactly that order.
Putting the cereal in first acts as a little heat buffer to the second group of marshmallows. We don’t want them to melt in with the rest of the already melted marshmallows. Their purpose is to create pockets of marshmallow throughout the mixture.
Stir it all up and pat it gently into a prepared pan. Please don’t compress the lofty mixture into a solid mass. Just press it in until it’s basically even. Buttered hands work best for this.
Then, we’ve got the white chocolate layer. Yeah, that’s right. You thought it was a plain layer, didn’t you? I thought a little white chocolate would add a feeling of berries and cream.
Again, melt your butter and first group of marshmallows. Remove from the heat. Pour in the cereal to create that little heat buffer. Then add the second group of marshmallows and the white chocolate chips. Stir. Pour on top of the strawberry layer and gently pat into an even layer.
Finally, we’ve got the blueberry layer. Same drill as the strawberry layer. Melt. Mix. Pat. I used more blueberry powder because it wasn’t as strong in flavor as the strawberry. Next time, I’ll probably use even more.
Once you’ve got it all layered up, it needs to cool before you cut it into bars. (I sprayed a sharp knife with cooking spray to help keep it from sticking while cutting.)
After I cut them, we taste tested them. First, wow! Real flavor blast. There’s no denying those very berry flavors! Yep, definitely worth making three layers of flavor. And they were so pillowy!
I dropped a bunch off for a friend. She’s got kids. I figured they’d enjoy them. She sent me a text later. “Those Very Berry Marshmallow Treats were AMAZING! So fruity!” I texted back that I thought the kids would like them.
Her next text? The kids didn’t get any. She gave one to her husband and ate the rest! Lol! I don’t think that was her plan. Apparently, “It just happened.” :)
Needless to say, I was shocked. I never see her eat many sugary treats and seriously, she’s about the size of my pinky. I took her enthusiastic text as a big win.
And really, what’s not to like? They were crispy and pillowy and soft and yummy and full of fruity flavor.
Oh, and I promised you a bonus with the new marshmallow/butter ratio. You know how marshmallow crispy treats can get hard pretty quickly?
It’s one of the reasons I don’t make them very often. I mean, who can eat a whole pan of those treats in one day? Or, er, let me re-phrase that…Who should eat a whole pan of those in a day?
Well, these pillowy, buttery Very Berry Marshmallow Crispy Treats last much longer. Once I had them cut into squares and everyone got to taste one, I wrapped the rest up individually in plastic wrap.
Even on day three, they still had a soft, pillowy bite! I think that’s good to note. You know…
just in case you decide not to share them :)