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Very Berry Marshmallow Crispy Treats. Naturally flavored strawberry, blueberry and white chocolate layers of pillowy, soft crispy treats that stay soft for days. These red, white and blue bars are great for the fourth of July!

Very Berry Marshmallow Crispy Treats

Servings 16 bars

Ingredients

For the fruit powders:

  • 1 1.2 ounce bag of freeze dried strawberries
  • 1 1.2 ounce bag of freeze dried blueberries

For the strawberry layer:

  • 2 Tablespoons salted butter
  • 3 cups mini marshmallows
  • 3 Tablespoons strawberry fruit powder
  • 2 1/2 cups crisp rice cereal
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows

For the white chocolate layer:

  • 2 Tablespoons salted butter
  • 3 cups mini marshmallows
  • 2 1/2 cups crisp rice cereal
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate chips

For the blueberry layer:

  • 2 Tablespoons salted butter
  • 3 cups mini marshmallows
  • 4 Tablespoons blueberry fruit powder
  • 2 1/2 cups crisp rice cereal
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows

Instructions

  1. Line a 9" square pan with parchment paper allowing excess to hang over edges. I used binder clips to hold the paper in place. Spray the paper with cooking spray. (I use parchment so that I can lift the whole batch out for cutting.) Alternatively, you can just spray or butter the pan without the parchment paper and cut the bars in the pan. Set aside. 

To make the fruit powders:

  1. In a mini food processor, grind up the freeze dried strawberries to a fine powder. Transfer to a fine mesh strainer to remove any larger seed pieces and discard them. Some seed bits will be too small to strain. Don't worry about them. Set strawberry powder aside. 

  2. Clean the food processor, making sure it's thoroughly dry before proceeding. Grind up the freeze dried blueberries to a fine powder. There's no need to strain any seeds for the blueberries. Set aside.

For the strawberry layer:

  1. In a medium pan, melt butter and the 3 cups of marshmallows. Add 3 Tablespoons of the fruit powder and stir until thoroughly combined. Remove pan from heat. Add the rice cereal, then the remaining 1 cup of marshmallows and stir until combined. Pour into prepared pan and, using buttered hands, press gently into an even layer. Set aside.

For the white chocolate layer:

  1. In a medium pan, melt butter and the 3 cups of marshmallows. Remove pan from heat. Add the rice cereal, then the remaining 1 cup of marshmallows and white chocolate chips. Stir until combined. Pour into prepared pan and, using buttered hands, press gently into an even layer. Set aside.

For the blueberry layer:

  1. In a medium pan, melt butter and the 3 cups of marshmallows. Add 4 Tablespoons of the blueberry fruit powder (or to taste, see notes) and stir until thoroughly combined. Remove pan from heat. Add the rice cereal, then the remaining 1 cup of marshmallows and stir until combined. Pour into prepared pan and, using buttered hands, press gently into an even layer. 

Cutting and storing:

  1. Allow mixture to completely cool in pan. If you used parchment, use the edges to pull the mixture out of the pan. Spray a sharp knife with cooking spray and cut into squares. Or, if you didn't use parchment, cut the bars while they're in the pan.

  2. To store, I wrapped any leftover bars individually with plastic wrap and let them sit at room temperature. Even on day 3, they were still as soft and "biteable" as they were on day 1.

Recipe Notes

*You can also make this in the microwave. Just put the marshmallows and butter into a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high, stirring at one minute intervals until melted. Remove from the microwave and continue following recipe directions. This might be a good option if you don't have enough pans. Or, you could microwave some flavors and use the stove top for others. The microwave will give you options.

*You're going to need three pans or three bowls to make this recipe or you'll have to wash the pan/bowl in between each flavor. Use pans/bowls big enough to give you room to stir the mixture. I used a smaller sauce pan for the white chocolate batch and it was a little tricky to get it mixed up properly.

*You can taste test the marshmallow mixture after you stir the fruit powder into it. If you want even more flavor, feel free to add more powder. The strawberry flavor was stronger than the blueberry which is why you see a larger measurement for the blueberry. I might try adding the whole amount of blueberry fruit powder next time.

*There's a little preservative packet in the bag along with the fruit. Make sure you remove it before grinding up your fruit.

*If you use my measurements for the fruit powder, you will have leftover powder. Store it in an airtight container. Stir it into yogurt. Sprinkle on cold cereal or hot oatmeal. 

*If you're using unsalted butter, add a pinch of salt to each flavor batch while you're melting the butter. 

*I divided up the measurements for the mini marshmallows so that you don't accidentally add the whole amount during the melting phase. For the entire recipe, you'll need 12 cups of mini marshmallows. I bought 3 (10 ounce) bags to make sure I had enough. 

*You'll also need a total of 7 1/2 cups of rice cereal. A 12 ounce box has over 10 cups in it, so you should be fine with that size.

*Definitely use mini marshmallows for this recipe. You want bits and pieces of marshmallow throughout and that's more difficult to achieve with the larger marshmallows.

*When you're transferring the marshmallow mixture to the pan, try to distribute it around the pan instead of just making one big pile in the middle. It will be easier to press into a layer if you're also not trying to move it all around the pan.

*Use gently pressure when pressing the mixture into the pan. You don't want to compress it into a solid mass. It's better to keep it a little "airier" for better texture when you bite into a bar.

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