These spooky looking Halloween treats are 100% inspired by my mom. I grew up on a small island where everyone knew each other, and it was perfectly acceptable to hand out homemade treats to trick-or-treaters on Halloween. It was my mom’s tradition to make rice crispy treats on sticks decorated with happy faces made out of Smarties. She would wrap them up in plastic wrap and give them out to all the trick-or-treaters who came to our door (luckily we never had more than 10 kids come knocking!) I always admired my mom for making the treats herself and looked forward to the tradition of making them with her every year.
Now that I’m all grown up I’ve created my own healthier version made with Halloween themed pumpkin seed butter (it has a slight greenish colour which is perfect for these ghoulish pops), brown rice crisp cereal and brown rice syrup. Because these treats are nut and gluten free, they are allergy-friendly, so ideal for sharing at children’s Halloween parties (just make sure that your sunflower butter is certified nut free). I like to use chocolate to draw scary looking monster faces on each pop, then wrap them up individually in clear cello bags tied with black ribbon. Kids are always excited to receive them, mine especially! Maybe one day Poppy or Cam will carry on the tradition and make treats like these with their kids.
Makes 10 pops.
What you’ll need:
160 grams brown rice crisp cereal. I like Nature’s Path brand.
¾ cup brown rice syrup
1/3 cup pumpkin seed butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of sea salt
50 grams semi-sweet chocolate chips
10 cm Popsicle sticks
Optional: Small clear cello bags and ribbon.
What to do:
Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Put rice crisp cereal into a large bowl.
With the burner on medium, heat the brown rice syrup and bring to a boil. Let it bubble away for one minute, then remove from the heat.
Stir in the pumpkin seed butter until fully combined, then stir in the vanilla and sea salt.
Pour over the rice crisps.
Using a large spoon, gently mix together until the syrup mixture fully covers the cereal. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes.
Dampen your hands to prevent sticking, then using your hands make a ball slightly smaller than a tennis ball.
Push the popsicle stick up into the centre of the ball, then lay the ball on the covered tray.
Using the heal of your hand, carefully flatten the ball into a disk shape, making sure that the stick stays inside the disk. Repeat with the rest of the mixture until you have 10 disks on sticks.
While they cool further, put the chocolate into a small microwave safe bowl. Melt the chocolate on high for 30 seconds then take it out and give it a stir to encourage it to melt. Repeat 2 or 3 times until the chocolate is fully melted.
If you have one, spoon the chocolate into a small pastry piping bag with a fine tip. If you don’t have a pastry bag, spoon the chocolate into the corner of a plastic sandwich bag. Carefully snip the corner of the bag to create a tiny hole for the chocolate to squeeze through.
Working carefully, squeeze the bag and draw a chocolate monster face on each rice pop. I like to do big round eyes and a jagged mouth.
Transfer the tray to the fridge to allow the treats to fully firm up.
If giving out as a Halloween gift, place each pop in a cello bag, and tie closed with the ribbon.
Tip- if you plan to hand these out to trick-or-treaters, make parents feel more comfortable with a homemade treat by sticking a label on the back of the cello bag that says that it was made by you, your house number and street, and a list of ingredients. Usually I hand out store bought treats to kids whose families I don’t know, and these to Poppy and Cam’s little friends. When their parents see from the label that they know who made it, and the list of ingredients, they’re more than happy to see a homemade treat in amongst all the candy.