Sunday, August 21, 2011

vegan chocolate rice crispies recipe and birthday party hangovers...

After today I am undecided which leaves you feeling more shattered… a night out on the town or two 5 year-old birthday parties in one weekend?

Both leave you tired, dehydrated and sporting a rather sore head. While I can’t really remember what it feels like after a big night out, it’s been way too many months, years even; I have to say that after attending two 5 year-old birthday parties back to back, I’m leaning towards the later for leaving you feeling more shattered! Phew!

I can’t imagine how full-on it must be if you have anymore than two kids. Not only are there your own kids parties to organise, but there’s all their friends parties to attend as well! One of the mums from kindy that I got talking to the other day said her friend has 5 kids; they had 7 parties to attend this weekend just gone. Seven. Can you imagine that?
Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, I think it’s awesome that Ada has such a close kindy class and virtually everyone gets invited to everyone else’s parties. The kids always have a great time, that’s a given. Let’s just say that next year I’m thinking we might just make do with a special dinner or something small for our kids on their birthdays and we may even have to politely decline the odd party invitation too? We’ll see.

I remember when Ada was turning one it was like this HUGE thing (understandably). More so for us as parents I think as she will never remember it! Making it through those first 12 months was and is a big deal and we wanted to celebrate it with everyone. I invited around 50 people. What? Her birthday is in the middle of winter; our house back home is small and being winter in NZ there is about a 99.9% chance of rain. Not quite sure what I was thinking but we went ahead with the madness anyway; it rained and we had 50 people crammed into our teeny house. It was full-on but looking back I’m so glad that we did it, although it’s funny, we promised ourselves right there and then that we would not do it again until at least her 5th birthday and then probably not again until her 21st!. And poor Kye being the second kid has only ever had a little afternoon tea with family for his three birthdays so far, not that he's ever noticed. Yet.

Since Ada’s belated birthday party I've been meaning to write up this recipe I came up with for her party. Loosely based on the traditional chocolate rice crispies from back in the 80’s, I wanted to make them ever so slightly healthier while making them gluten and dairy-free too. I opted to use a little brown rice syrup and a handful of natural raisins to sweeten, as opposed to the usual addition of golden syrup. The coconut oil in place of butter adds lovely flavour as well as multiple health benefits. I spooned them into little cases, but I’m sure you could press the mixture into a lined tin and cut it into squares once set also.

They are super simple to prepare and one the kids can help you with too. Prepare them ahead of time; keep them in an airtight container in the fridge and its one less thing for you to think about on the day.

vegan chocolate rice crispies
To toast the coconut spread onto a tray and place in a preheated oven at 180 C/350 F for 5-6 minutes, stirring a few times until lightly golden. I used brown rice syrup because I like it's mellow sweetness, but feel free to use agave syrup, golden syrup or even honey if you are not vegan. Same goes for the coconut oil if you are not vegan; ghee would be another great lactose-free option, or butter if you tolerate. You will need to find natural puffed or crisp rice if strictly gluten-free, regular "rice bubble" type breakfast cereals all contain gluten in the form of malt. Check the labels. * I use Whittaker's 50% dark chocolate.
Makes a gazillion. Approx. 50 small paper cases.

  • 1/3 cup (60g) cold-pressed virgin coconut oil 
  • 3 tablespoons brown rice syrup (or use honey)
  • 150g dark chocolate (dairy-free)*
  • 1/4 cup (15g) shredded coconut, lightly toasted, optional
  • 1/2 cup (70g) natural raisins
  • 6 cups (90g) natural puffed rice

Place coconut oil, brown rice syrup and chocolate into a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring until melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the coconut (reserve a little to sprinkle on top later if desired), raisins and puffed rice. Mix well to coat the rice evenly.
Spoon into mini paper cases and set in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, until firm. These are best left chilled until ready to serve and will keep happily refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.


  1. these rice crispie treats are adorable! i love, the cupcake liners, too ;)

  2. having no family here we tend to favour the event birthday celebrations, like a visit to the zoo, a nice day out and a birthday cake do the trick and you don't end up with the headache x

  3. I'm pretty sure the cake I had on my first birthday (judging by photos, not my supersonic memory) was the best one and it was all downhill from there. Oh well!

    I love the sound of these - much nicer than the usual kremelta ones! That said I'm not the biggest raisin fan - I'd probably use chopped dates instead for that sweetness.

  4. ooh yes, chopped dates would be lovely. Funny that, I've never really been a huge fan of raisins either. But since having kids and them both being raisin munchers, I find myself eating them more and more!

  5. What a great way to add some sweetness with the raisons.

  6. hey emma, do they stick together well, or are they a bit crumblier? i have tried honey ricebubble treats without sugar, and just can;t seem to get them to harden up.... and stick so well.... any ideas??

  7. Hey Vicki, I kept them in the fridge until we ate them. They held together okay because basically they are just melted chocolate/coconut oil with puffed rice which sets up again in the fridge.

  8. I love your addition of coconut - a nice variation!

  9. Emm, it's been awhile since I've had time to look at other blogs (actually, my own too!), but it's so nice to finally be here for a catch up. I'm a bit of an introvert, so I've gotta say, birthday parties for the kids every weekend sounds like a nightmare! Is it very bad form to send them without supervision?! yikes, saying it like that I realise it is. dammit. love the crispies! xx

  10. Haha your comment made me laugh Angela! Re: sending your kids along by themselves, it's totally fine I reckon once they are over about 5 years old... but I'd only do that if I knew the party was just going to be held at a friends house, not at a park or somewhere else.

  11. Hi Emma, I want to make these but can't find any rice bubbles or puffs without traces of wheat or nuts. Do you know of any brands in NZ? Thanks!

  12. Hmm, sorry I'm just checking in via the library computers so I don't have the packet here to tell you right now. I buy the same brand in NZ & aussie. It does say that it may contain gluten as a warning on the back, but unless you are ultra senstive I'd say your chances are pretty low of reacting. They mostly just have to write that to cover themselves. I used to buy them at pac 'n' save. That same brand makes puffed millet and corn too... I'll get back to you soon with the name.

  13. Rebecca~The brand name is abundant earth. Here's a link so you can see the packets
    I buy them from coles here in Australia and pac 'n' save back home in NZ. I'd say woolworths would sell them too. Hope that helps.

  14. Awesome! Thank you :-) Will check them out.

  15. These look delicious. I am currently planning a 5th birthday party so these will be perfect. Our weekends have been overtaken with children's birthday parties too!


Thanks so much for stopping by, arohanui xx Emm

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