Spring is here and all the lovely flowers are in bloom (at least that's what I hear from other parts of the country)! Emily and I have decided to celebrate, despite the fact that it has been cold and rainy here 8 out of the past 9 days, by making our own flowers. Our inspiration was not only spring but also the fact that I have a very fancy bottle of natural cherry flavor in my fridge just wasting away. I plan to post "rainbow butterflies crispy rice treats" as soon as I have the ingredients to make them and take a picture, but at the risk of ruining the surprise, this needs to be said now instead of later... Rice crisp cereals DO CONTAIN a very small amount of gluten due to the "malt flavoring", if you want to make a gluten free version use Post Fruity Pebbles as they are completely gluten free (although I don't know about shared equipment). As for Emily's lovely pink cherry blossoms, they are dairy free, egg free, and nut free.
3 T Dairy free margarine
6 C Mini marshmallows (make sure they are safe for your allergies)
5 Drops of red food color
1/2 t Natural cherry flavor from The Spicery Shoppe (optional)
6 C Crispy rice cereal
In a large pot melt the margarine over medium-low heat. Add the marshmallows and stir until completely melted and no lumps are left. Remove from heat and stir in food coloring and flavor. Pour in the crispy rice cereal and stir hard until thoroughly mixed. Pour into a greased 9"x11" pan. Coat your hands with margarine and flatten mixture into pan. Cool treats in pan and then turn them out onto a cutting board. Using a flower cookie cutter (plastic is best, metal tends to bend out of shape) cut out as many shapes as you can, eating the scraps as you go (ok, that part is optional). At this point we took colored mini marshmallows and pushed one into the center of each flower. Skittles, or any candy safe for your allergies, would be cute too. There you have it....spring flowers Oregon style!