Vegan Gluten-Free Ris Buffs
Out of all the recipes I am going to put on my food blog, this one brings back the fondest memories of my Icelandic travels. If you could only travel to one place in the world, and you love silence and beautiful geography, I would recommend Iceland. It’s GORGEOUS. I mean, like jaw-dropping makes you cry gorgeous. There are volcanoes, glaciers, lava fields, hills, mountains, clean water, black sand beaches, the greenest grass, and sheep! Lots and lots of sheep.
Iceland also has really good junk food. My mother and I LOVED going around to the different grocery stores and buying all of the cookies and candy (definitely a clear sign that we were tourists haha). They actually made up a large part of our diet while we were there. One of the candies we kept coming back to, was ris buffs. It’s a very simple candy and reminds me of the Little Debbie star cunch cookies, minus the caramel. I loved them so much, that I practically filled half my suit case with them for when I returned home (along with half a display of chocolate bars).
Vegan and gluten-free ris buffs has been something I’ve wanted to make for a while, and I finally set aside the time to create a simple recipe for them. They are very easy to make and consist of only three ingredients: chocolate, marshmallows, and crispy rice cereal. That’s it! I do like to add a touch of Himalayan pink salt to the top of mine, but that is completely optional. If you aren’t vegan, for a more authentic flavor, you can substitute the dark chocolate in this recipe for milk chocolate. For milk chocolate, I would highly recommend a Belgian or German chocolate like Schogetten, which can be purchased from Aldi’s (to the best of my knowledge, this product *is not* gluten-free). You would need 3 bars to have roughly 10 oz of chocolate.
And just a little warning…these candies are hard to put down. I find myself continuously sneaking some from the fridge, when I need to be reserving them for use in another recipe. I gave some to my family members to try, and they also loved them. So without further ado, let’s make some vegan gluten-free ris buffs!
How to Make Vegan Gluten-Free Ris Buffs: Step-by-Step
Step 1. First, clear out a shelf in your refrigerator that will accommodate your baking sheet. After dipping the ris buffs, they will need to be briefly refrigerated to harden the chocolate. Then, line a baking sheet with wax paper and set aside. Measure out the crispy rice cereal. Using a chef’s knife, roughly chop the crispy rice cereal. Set aside in a small bowl. Next, halve the marshmallows and arrange them on the lined baking sheet. I like to halve a few extra to scoop out the remaining melted chocolate. Finally, pour all of the mini chocolate chips into a microwaveable bowl. To dip the marshmallows in the chocolate, I used a fork. Make sure you have your work space set up before microwaving the chocolate because once that step is completed, you are going to have to work fast. 🙂
Step 2. Next we are going to melt the chocolate chips. When melting chocolate, you want to make sure that the temperature does not exceed 120F, otherwise it will scorch or seize. You also want to make sure that the bowl you are microwaving in is dry, because any leftover water can also cause the chocolate to seize. For this step, I have found it helpful to use a candy thermometer. For those without one, be sure to follow these instructions carefully.
- First, set the power level of your microwave down to 50%. Put the chocolate chips in the microwave and set the cook time for 3 minutes. Microwave the mini chocolate chips for a minute. Then open the microwave, and give the chips a stir. At this point, the chips directly in contact with the microwaveable dish should start to melt.
- Continue microwaving the chips for another minute. Then open the microwave, and give the chips another stir. A lot of the chips should have started to melt by now, and the chocolate will be clumpy.
- Continue microwaving the chips for the final minute. Remove from the microwave oven (be careful, the bowl will be hot!), and stir. After several stirs, the chocolate chips should all be melted and you should have a glossy melted chocolate.
Step 3. Dump the chopped crispy rice cereal into the melted chocolate and stir until combined. Then one at a time, coat each marshmallow. To do this, I tossed a marshmallow in with my hand and then swirled it around with the fork to coat the marshmallow on all sides. Then I removed the marshmallow and placed it on the lined baking sheet. Don’t worry if they’re not perfect, they can be corrected at the end. Repeat this process until all marshmallows are coated. If there are some bare spots leftover at the end, use the fork to grab some chunky chocolate and put some on the bare spots. If desired, top each ris buff with some ground Himalayan pink salt. If you have some leftover melted chocolate, now would be a good time to use your extra halved marshmallows to scoop it up. You will want to refrigerate these as well. The other option is to lick the bowl clean.
Step 4. Place baking sheet in the refrigerator for 20 minutes, or until chocolate is hardened.
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Vegan Gluten-Free Ris Buffs
These vegan gluten-free ris buffs are a little slice of Iceland! Easily one of my favorite candies.
- 12 + a few extras vegan and gluten-free marshmallows, halved
- 3/4 cup vegan and gluten-free crispy rice cereal, roughly chopped
- 10 oz vegan and gluten-free mini dark chocolate chips
- Himalayan pink salt to garnish (optional)
First, clear out a shelf in your refrigerator that will accommodate your baking sheet. After dipping the ris buffs, they will need to be briefly refrigerated to harden the chocolate. Then, line a baking sheet with wax paper and arrange the halved marshmallows. Finally, set up your workspace. Have the marshmallows, a fork to dip the cookies, and the chopped crispy rice cereal all in one place. Once the chocolate is melted, you are going to have to work fast :).
Pour the chocolate chips into a completely dry (water makes chocolate seize), microwave safe bowl. To melt the chocolate chips, first set the microwave power level to 50%. Then put the chocolate chips in the microwave and set the cook time for 3 minutes. After each one-minute interval mark, you are going to open the microwave and give the chocolate chips a good stir. At the 3 minute mark, you should have a smooth and glossy melted chocolate.
NOTE: I find it helpful to use a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature. You don't want the temperature going above 120F, otherwise the chocolate could seize or scorch. If you don't have one, just be sure to follow the instructions as written, and especially make sure the power level is at 50%. If for any reason you turn your microwave off, you will have to reset the power level back to 50%.
Dump the chopped crispy rice cereal into the melted chocolate and stir until combined.
Coat each marshmallow. To do this, use a fork to move the marshmallow around to coat it on all sides. Once coated, place it on the lined baking sheet. Don't worry if they're not perfect, they can be corrected at the end. Repeat this process until all marshmallows are coated. If there are some bare spots left over at the end, use the fork to grab some chunky chocolate and put some on the bare spots. If desired, top each ris buff with some ground Himalayan pink salt. If you have some leftover melted chocolate, now would be a good time to use your extra halved marshmallows to scoop it up.
Place baking sheet in the refrigerator for 20 minutes, or until chocolate is hardened. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, or in a labeled freezer bag for up to a month.
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