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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Leaves and Acorns (Soy, Wheat, Fish and Nut-Free, Can Be Milk and Egg-Free)

Close-Up of the Different Leaf and Acorn Shapes


My oldest son just had a birthday, and I'm one of those moms who likes to make treats for my kiddos to take to school for their class.  This can prove an interesting challenge because there are children with food allergies/sensitivities in his class, and I'm not one to make a treat that only a few can enjoy.  I just don't think that's fair!  At any rate, I did some searching for a treat that would be fun for fall and safe for all his classmates.  The result?  Leaves and Acorns!
These fun little festive goodies are just your standard Rice Crispie Treats made allergy-friendly with the aid of Cocoa Pebbles, Fruity Pebbles and Marshmallow Fluff (recipe adapted from here).  They are soy (if you use all soy-free ingredients), wheat, fish and nut-free and can be milk and egg-free (see variations).  That, my friends, is one wonderfully allergy-free and delicious way to enjoy autumn!
Note:
Before you begin, you need to know that you will be making 2 batches, one for the Leaves, one for the Acorns. The instructions are the same, so I'll only be listing them once. :)
Also, you'll be using your hands to help mold the shapes, so make sure they are extra clean. I don't recommend using gloves as this is a very sticky project, but if you have some that work for you, feel free, just don't use latex unless you know there will be no one consuming them that has a latex allergy.  
 
Edible Leaves and Acorns

Leaves and Acorns
For the Leaves:
1/4 Cup full-fat, salted butter
1 jar Marshmallow Fluff (7 1/2 oz. size, this brand ONLY if you need it to be soy-free)
5 to 6 Cups Fruity Pebbles
For the Acorns:
1/4 Cup full-fat, salted butter
1 jar Marshmallow Fluff (7 1/2 oz. size, this brand ONLY if you need it to be soy-free)

5 to 6 Cups Cocoa Pebbles

1. In a large stock pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat until melted.
2. Add in the jar of Fluff and stir and cook for about 5 minutes until the butter and Fluff are well blended together. (Note: It should look like what butter and marshmallows look like when you melt them together for Rice Crispie Treats.)
3. Remove from heat and add the 5 to 6 Cups Fruity Pebbles if you're making Leaves, 5 to 6 Cups Cocoa Pebbles if you're making Acorns, and stir until well coated. (I recommend starting with the 5 Cups of cereal and, if you think it needs more, then adding the other Cup.)
Now for the fun part...
 
Festive Oak Leaf, Maple Leaf and Acorn Cookie Cutters

4. Grease the top of a small plate, inside of the cookie cutters using (leaf shapes for the leaves, acorn shape for the acorns) and your hands very well with butter. (Note: You should only have to grease the plate and your cutters once per batch, but you'll probably have to grease your hands multiple times.)
5. Place one of the greased cookie cutters onto the greased plate and scoop a small amount of the cereal mixture in it.  (Note: If the mixture is too hot to handle, give it a minute to cool, but only until it is just cool enough to handle, or it will harden a bit too much to work with.)
6. Press the mixture into all the little crevices inside the cookie cutter until every space is filled.
7. Lift up the cookie cutter and remove the leaf/acorn shaped treat and transfer it to waxed paper to cool/harden completely. (Note: The finished treat should be relatively easy to remove from the cutter, but you may have to manipulate it gently with your fingers to get it out.  Just be careful not to ruin the shape of the treat.)
8. Continue this process until all the cereal mixture is gone and then repeat all the steps using the other cereal.
9. Once the treats are completely cooled/set up you can transfer them to a plate and stack them if you desire.
Each batch makes around 18 treats, so you should have about 36 treats total.
Variations:
  • Milk-free: Use a dairy-free butter such as Earth Balance.  Just make sure that the "butter" you use is also soy-free or the recipe will lose it's soy-free status.
  • Egg-Free: You can try your hand at making your own egg-free marshmallows by using a recipe such as this one or this one (They are basically the same recipe, just minor differences here and there.).  You'll need about 6 Cups mini-sized marshmallows or 2 1/4 Cups fluff.
  • Bar Style:  If you don't have the leaf and acorn cookie cutters, you can most certainly press one batch of the cereal mixture into a 9 x 13 pan and cut it into squares.  It will make 24 treats per batch this way.
  • You can also make just  one flavor if you like, or you can substitute the cereal of your choice for the Pebbles or even popped popcorn.  Just remember that changing cereals or using popcorn can negate some of the allergen-free status of this recipe depending what type/brand you use.
  • Peanut Butter Chocolate Treats: If you wish, and you don't have peanut allergies, you can add 1/4 to 1/2 Cup natural peanut butter in step 1 along with the butter when making the Cocoa Version.  You could also use a nut or seed butter.  I suppose you could make it this way with the Fruity Pebbles, too, but I'm not sure how that would taste together, so do that at your own risk. :)  Just be careful which type of peanut butter or nut/seed butter you use, because a lot are not very allergy-friendly.
  • Stir-in Ideas: You can stir in up to 1 Cup total of any combination of the following when you add the cereal (and only use 5 Cups of cereal): chocolate chips, various seeds, peanuts/nuts, dried fruit, coconut flakes, etc.  Keep in mind the flavor profile you want and taste the ingredients together before doing this, though.  Also, keep in mind that if your add-ins aren't allergy-friendly, your treats won't be either.  (Note: Coconut is considered a tree nut for a lot of people, though I do not personally consider it or mark it as one.  If you are allergic to it or making these treats for someone who is, please do not add it in!)
Have fun experimenting, and have a wonderful fall!  Feel free to comment below or email me at any time if you have questions, concerns or just want to say hi.  I love hearing from you, and I'm here to help! :)



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8 comments:

  1. Unless there is gluten hiding in marshmallow fluff (marshmallows are gluten free), this can easily be gluten-free, too. All you have to do is use gluten-free Rice Krispies and add something else to give them color. What a great project!

    Thanks for visiting me at OneCreativeMommy.com.

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    1. This is gluten-free. The Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles are gluten-free and so is the Marshmallow Fluff. You could certainly use gluten-free Rice Krispies if you wanted to, though. :)

      Thanks for stopping by! Always a pleasure to hear from you, Heidi. I'm enjoying your site very much. :)

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  2. These are SUPER cute!! Love them! Got it tweeted and pinned!

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  3. These are so adorable and delicious looking! I was just saying to a friend whose daughter has a peanut allergy, thank goodness for cocoa and fruity pebbles :) Love the festive cookie cutters, too. Thanks for sharing!
    -Dans

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    1. Thank you for the compliments and for stopping by. :)

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  4. wow! That is so creative and thoughtful of you to consider kids who may have allergies! Visiting via SITS! Have a wonderful weekend!

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    1. Thank you! Having gone through the "I'm sorry, but I can't eat that" and still having to do that to a point due to my Fibromyalgia and knowing people with kids that have life-threatening food allergies, it's kinda hardwired into my brain. It's just how I roll. :)

      Thanks for stopping by, and have a great weekend yourself!:)

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