Arroz con Leche Marshmallow Treats

Growing up in a Puerto Rican family, Latin desserts were a BIG part of my childhood. Buttery pastries filled with guava paste, coconut tembleque (a delicious creamy, jiggly, jello-like treat), red sesame lollipops, and arroz con leche.

Arroz con leche is basically a Latin American version of rice pudding, scented with vanilla, citrus zest, and plenty of canela--also known as Ceylon cinnamon--which is warmer and less spicy than typical grocery store cinnamon. Depending on who makes it, the recipe will also include additions like rum-soaked raisins or toasted coconut, and is sometimes served topped with swirls of dulce de leche.

The scent of this creamy pudding, never fails to bring up nostalgic memories, so when I was asked by Target's A Bullseye View magazine to create a Latin-inspired dessert recipe that parents could send via mail to their kids who are away at college, I knew exactly what I wanted to do!

Clearly, rice pudding is not something anyone should be shipping through the mail, but rice cereal marshmallow treats? Totally care package-friendly!

Hence these easy Arroz con Leche Marshmallow Treats, which have all the same nostalgic flavors in a portable (and shareable!) bite.

Made with nutty brown butter, cinnamon, orange zest, raisins, and toasted coconuts, these marshmallow treats are out of this world!

To ship them, wait until cool, then cut and pack them tightly in a double-layer of plastic wrap.

Be sure to also include a note that suggests the recipient warm them up a bit before eating. A quick 15 seconds in the dorm room microwave is all you need to make them soft and gooey--just like they came right off the stove!

This recipe was sponsored by Target and can also be viewed on Target's A Bullseye View magazine. All opinions are my own. Thank you for sponsoring seriously awesome companies like Target who make it possible for me to create great content for you!

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Arroz con Leche Marshmallow Treats
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup raisins
1/3 cup toasted coconut flakes
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon + more for garnish
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh orange zest
1 10oz bag mini marshmallows (about 4 cups)
6 cups crisped rice cereal (such as Rice Krispies)

Generously grease a 9-inch baking pan with baking spray or butter and set aside.

In a large pot over low heat, melt butter completely, then continue to cook for 3-4 minutes, allowing the butter to brown slightly until golden, nutty, and fragrant.

Add the raisins, coconut, cinnamon, vanilla, and orange, and toss to coat well in the warm butter.

Add the marshmallows and stir gently until completely melted, and everything is combined.

Remove from heat, and stir in the cereal, stirring until completely coated. Spread mixture in prepared pan, and use a spatula or lightly oiled finger tips to flatten it out evenly. Sprinkle top with additional cinnamon.

Let cool 5 minutes, then turn over onto board and let cool completely before cutting into 12 pieces.

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