Traditional crispy rice treats are made with cereal containing barley malt, which contains gluten. Look for gluten-free versions of this cereal. Depending on the marshmallows you choose (traditional, fish gelatin or vegan), you may need to add more or less cereal, as package sizes vary and some marshmallows reduce to a smaller amount when melted. Because marshmallows set up quickly once melted, work rapidly or have a friend or a child-helper divide and mix the colors of the treats. Be sure to have popsicle sticks on hand before you start.
MAKES ABOUT 16 GLUTEN-FREE POPS.
Red and blue food coloring
3 tablespoons butter or dairy-free alternative
1 (6.25 to 10-ounce) bag marshmallows, preferably mini-marshmallow size
3.25-4 cups gluten-free crispy rice cereal
1. Lightly oil an 8×8-inch baking pan.
2. Place a few drops of red food coloring in a medium bowl and a few drops of blue food coloring in another medium bowl.
3. Place butter in a large, deep pot over low heat. Stir with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula until melted. Add marshmallows and stir constantly until melted. Mixture will begin to harden as it cools, so work quickly and, if possible, have someone ready to help.
4. Remove from heat and divide evenly between bowls, adding a third of the mixture to the red food coloring bowl, a third to the blue food coloring bowl and leaving a third in the pot. Add 1 cup cereal to each bowl, stirring with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Continue to slowly add more cereal to each bowl until the proper consistency is achieved. Add more food coloring, if necessary.
5. Transfer red mixture to prepared pan, pressing with a rubber spatula to smooth evenly. Next, press white mixture evenly onto the red layer. Finally, place blue mixture on top of the white and press evenly to smooth.
6. Before bars are set, insert popsicle sticks every 2 to 3 inches. Let bars cool. Then cut with a pizza cutter.
Each pop contains 74 calories, 2g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 6mg cholesterol, 52mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate, 0g fiber, 7g sugars, 1g protein, 9 Est GL.
Associate editor Jules Shepard is author of Free For All Cooking (DaCapo Perseus), The First Year: Celiac Disease and Living Gluten-Free (DaCapo Perseus) and Nearly Normal Cooking for Gluten-Free Eating (CreateSpace).