I made these because the whole internet was freaking out about the solar eclipse, and I cheekily called them “Rice Eclipsie Treats” when I posted a picture on Facebook. But that’s not going to me get anywhere with search engine optimization. Plus they wouldn’t be relevant again until 2024, and, frankly, that’s silly ‘cause these are easy and yummy.
I think the key to success here is using Cocoa Pebbles. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a bowl of chocolate-flavored cereal, so I was working on both ancient memory and aesthetic inclinations. If you hold a box of Cocoa Pebbles next to a box of Cocoa Krispies, it’s pretty clear which is the more overtly chocolate of the two. And since this was eclipse-inspired, the darker chocolate (Pebbles) needed to win out.
Now, while aesthetics are important for event-themed treats, I also really wanted these to actually taste like chocolate rice crispy treats, not just brown marshmallow crunchy things. So while opting for the Cocoa Pebbles was a step in that direction, adding cocoa powder to the melty marshmallow goodness assured that the “glue” would help enhance the flavor rather than watering it down.
Other than that, the base is regular ol’ rice crispy treats, which I think helps highlight the chocolate and balance it out. Straight Cocoa Pebble treats are probably good, but I think the two flavors side by side emphasizes the chocolate without letting it overwhelm things. Plus the two-tone looks way cooler.
These are pretty quick and easy, and definitely a crowd-pleaser. Make the plain ones first, and then you can use the same pot for the cocoa batch. From start to stop they probably took me 23 minutes to put together. Maybe 25 with dishes.
Also of note: I use way more butter in my crispy treats than most recipes call for. It keeps things nice and gooey. I also used Hershey’s Special Dark for flavor and color, but any cocoa powder will ensure they taste chocolatey.
Black & White Rice Crispy Treats
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
- 1 (10 oz) bag of marshmallows
- 6 cups crispy rice cereal of some variety
- *flaky sea salt to sprinkle on top (optional)
for cocoa layer:
- 4 Tablespoons cocoa powder
- *1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
Spray a big ol’ pan liberally with cooking spray. I used a lasagna pan. You could likely use a 9×13 and have fairly thick treats. Or, you could split it across two pans. Or, if you have a giant tupperware, you could use that, too.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the marshmallows and stir vigorously until it’s all melted together and gooey and lovely. I vastly prefer to get it all mixed up before adding the cereal.
For the cocoa version, add the cocoa powder and optional espresso powder at this point. Get it all mixed up real good – this will take a minute or two to get the streaks out.
Add the cereal. Mix it all together quickly. Plop it into the pan, and working quickly use the back of a silicone spatula to press it into place – both for evening it out and making sure it’s compact enough to stay together once it’s cool.
For the base layer, sprinkle the sea salt on top while it’s still warm. Then make the cocoa layer and do the same thing.
That’s it. Super-easy.