Merry Rice Krispie Treats Christmas

My grandson Eli, holding his trove of Cranberry Rice Krispie Treats.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

This holiday missive is less about cooking but more about connecting with our loved ones through food, and in this case dessert.

Who doesn’t love desserts?

My six-year-old grandson Elijah loves a sweet treat. And more than that, he loves hanging out with me in the kitchen because he knows he will get a chance to pour ingredients into a mixing bowl or better yet, stir a pot on the stove top.

Simple ingredients make these treats easy to make. Not show vanilla and salt.

Mixing it up with Eli

Our time is the kitchen is magical. We talk, giggle, make messes and always end up with something amazing to eat. Like Rice Krispie Treats with cranberries.

Why cranberries? Because they are one of Eli’s favorite snacks when he visits me. So when I asked him what special ingredient he wanted to mix into his Rice Krispie Treats, the answer was so obvious – cranberries!

But you might ask, did I anticipate he’d say cranberries? Yup I did and had been working on the recipe before he pulled a step stool up to the kitchen counter.

Eli calls these Cranberry Rice Krispie Treats “happy bars.”

The happiest bars on earth

The cranberries are such a tasty and delightful addition to these gooey, chewy, marshmallow bars.   To make the bars a bit more festive, I dusted the top with rainbow sugar sprinkles.

“They look like happy bars,” said Eli.

“Why?” I asked.

“Because when you see them they make you smile and they taste really good!” said Eli.

I think the real happiness is in making them together and inviting his creativity into the mix, literally.

Happy holidays my foodie friends. May your Cranberry Rice Krispie Treats bring you as much joy when you make them with your children or grandchildren as they have brought Eli and I.

Cranberry Rice Krispie Treats

  • Servings: 16 bars
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Enjoy these happy bars.


6 tablespoons unsalted butter
16-ounce package of mini marshmallows
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 cups Rice Krispie cereal
½ cup dried cranberries
Rainbow sugar sprinkles


  1. Line a 9-inch square baking dish with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large, non-stick saucepan or non-stick Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat.
  3. Once the butter is melted, add the marshmallows.
  4. Reduce heat to low and stir mixture with a heat-resistant spatula until the marshmallows are completely melted.
  5. Remove pan from heat and stir in the vanilla and a pinch of salt.
  6. Add the cereal and mix well. Then mix in the cranberries.
  7. Pour mixture into a parchment lined baking dish.
  8. Wet your hand with water and with your fingertips press the mixture into the pan until completely spread out.
  9. Dust the top with rainbow sugar sprinkles. Be generous!
  10. Cover baking dish with plastic wrap. Allow to set about 2 hours. Cut into 16 squares.

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