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Peanut Butter & Honey Bunnies

These fun little Easter treats have been a huge hit with everyone in our little circle of people.  I've made 3 or 4 batches in the last couple of weeks trying to perfect the recipe and have been taking them to neighbours and friends that have needed a pick me up.  My kids are raving about them and wanting me to make them again and again, and honestly, they're so easy, fun, and totally delicious, that I kind of don't mind complying!  These little guys are so simple, with only 3 ingredients (well, 4 if you count the mini chocolate chip eyes), and a way healthier alternative to the typical marshmallow packed Rice Krispie squares everyone is so used to.


So the name implies that these little guys are bunny shaped, and most of mine have been, because they turn out so darn cute, but I wanted to include another shape too, to show you that they don't have to be.  Honestly, the egg shape was easier to pop out as well, as it isn't as intricate as the bunny...and if you're not feeling up to fiddling with little bunny or egg moulds, just press your finished product into an 8" x 8" pan to set instead.

So here's how it's done...


First off, you can use regular Rice Krispie brand cereal if you want, but Rice Krispy cereal does contain cane sugar.  I personally don't eat cane sugar, so that wasn't really an option for me.  In the past I have found no name brand versions that were sugar free, but I haven't been able to find any around lately.  My new favourite thing to use though has been these Rice Puffs.  Love them!  My favourite thing about these little puffs are that they have one ingredient: brown rice.  I tried both the Rice Puffs and regular Rice Krispies while testing the recipe, as the pictures will reflect, because I wanted to see the difference.  Here's what I found...

Both worked well.  The texture of the Rice Puffs turn out more chewy like a puffed wheat square, just with smaller little grains (which I found perfect for the little moulds I was filling), whereas the Rice Krispies ended up with a crunchy, Rice Krispie square texture.  I prefered the Rice Puffs overall because I found they were actually easier to work with than the Rice Krispies for this recipe, plus for me the fact that they are more of a whole food and sugar free had me sold.  The Rice Krispies were stickier and messier during the filling portion of the recipe, and harder to turn out of the moulds, because they'd fall apart a bit more and needed longer to set before I could do so.  They weren't terrible, just a bit more finicky, and I found myself repairing lots of little bunny ears that would fall off because they weren't fully set.  The one thing I did prefer with the Rice Krispies though, was that the little chocolate chip eyes were easier to put on because there were more little gaps to stick them in.

So, enough with my Rice Cereal review, here's the rest of the recipe.  Start by measuring out your rice cereal of choice.


Place the honey in a small pot over medium high heat, and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat.


Add Natural Peanut Butter and stir to combine.


Pour the peanut butter and honey mixture over your rice cereal, and stir to combine. 


Firmly pack your finished mixture into plastic moulds, using a small spoon and pressing firmly as you go.  Once each mould is filled, press with your fingers to make sure each one is tightly packed.  If you're using Rice Krispie type cereal, you'll notice the cereal breaking and crunching a bit as you compress it.  That's what you want.  Once all your moulds are filled, they should look something like the pictures above (Rice Puffs on the left, Rice Krispies on the right).  

Let the mixture cool in the moulds for a while.  As the mixture cools and returns to room temperature, the honey will thicken back up and make it easier to turn out the moulds.


Here's a better picture of the bunny moulds I used.  I just bought them in the Easter isle at the dollar store and washed them well before I used them.  They are about 2.5" tall by 1.5" wide at the widest part, and the recipe makes 10 of them, or 4 bunnies and 4 large eggs.  The eggs I used were quite large, about 2" wide by 3" long.



Once the mixture has cooled and set, turn out your bunnies onto a parchment lined surface (Rice Puff treats are pictured above, Rice Krispy bunnies are pictured below).  You may have to squeeze the plastic moulds gently in different directions to help loosen each one.  If they're set enough, this gentle squeezing should be enough to coax the bunnies out of the moulds.  If desired, add eyes to your bunnies using mini dairy-free chocolate chips.


Your bunnies are ready to serve!

Enjoy!

xoxo ~ Lise-Anne {Plum Planted}

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Peanut Butter & Honey Bunnies
By Lise-Anne Michel {Plum Planted}
Makes 10 small bunnies, or an 8"x 8" pan
WFPB, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-free, Oil-free

Ingredients:
4 c. puffed rice cereal*
1/2 c. raw unpasteurized honey
1/2 c. natural peanut butter
16 mini dairy-free chocolate chips (optional)**

Method:
1. In a medium mixing bowl, measure out your puffed rice cereal.
2. In a small pot over medium high heat, bring honey to a boil.  
3. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter until melted and well combined.
4. Pour peanut butter and honey mixture over puffed rice cereal and stir well to combine.
5. Press mixture firmly into plastic moulds of choice, or an 8" x 8" pan, until well compressed.
6. Let mixture cool back to room temperature.
7. Once set, turn out moulds onto a parchment lined surface, by gently squeezing the moulds in several directions to help release their contents.
8. Add mini chocolate chip eyes if desired.

Recipe Tips:
* Crispy rice cereals can also be substituted if desired, but may not be sugar-free.
** If you don't have sugar-free chocolate chips available, consider substituting dried fruit or seeds.

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