Food-crafting expert Ashley Fox Whipple — in her new book Super Cute Crispy Treats: Nearly 100 Unbelievable No-Bake Desserts — takes rice crispy treats to a whole new level with flavors like caramel and sea salt, peanut butter and jelly, pretzel and chocolate and even Kool-Aid, such as the grape-flavored spider recipe you see here.
Her sculptures include 3D shapes such as apples, pumpkins, ice cream cones, donuts, pops and even wedding cakes. She offers gluten-free and low-sugar options in her book, too.
These grape-flavored spider treats can be creepy or cute, depending on how you decorate them. Rated at a difficulty level of intermediate, this recipe, adapted from Whipple’s book, makes about 10 spiders and involves 1 hour of prep time.
2 tablespoons margarine
2¾ cups mini marshmallows, about 5 ounces
½ teaspoon grape-flavored drink powder
3 cups crisp rice cereal
10 12-inch licorice strings
4 ounces almond bark
20 to 30 small candy eyes (available at craft stores)
Melt margarine in a three-quart saucepan over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir.
Let marshmallows melt completely, stirring occasionally.
Add grape drink mix and stir to combine. Remove from heat.
Stir in cereal until it’s fully coated with marshmallow. As soon as the mixture is cool enough to handle, form a handful into a spider body. Keeping it connected as one piece, form a smaller round head at one end of the body.
Repeat to make the rest of the spiders.
Cut the licorice strings into 2½-inch pieces. Using a lollipop stick, poke six holes (three on each side) into the body of each spider.
Insert licorice pieces into the holes and press the cereal mixture around them to secure them in place.
Heat the almond bark in the microwave in 30-second increments until completely melted, stirring between each heating.
Use the melted almond bark to attach the eyes to the spider heads.
Store in an airtight container and serve within 24 hours.
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Ashley Fox Whipple is the creator of the blog Cute As a Fox. Her recipe and craft creations have been featured by Parade, Michaels.com, Food Gawker, Craft Gawker, Tastespotting and Edible Crafts on Craft Gossip. Learn more at cuteasafox.com.