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Rice Krispies Treats Day

Rice Krispies Treats, known by other names like Rice Krispie Treats and Rice Krispies Squares, are celebrated and enjoyed today on Rice Krispies Treats Day. They are made with Rice Krispies (or another crisp and puffed rice cereal), with butter or margarine, and melted marshmallows or marshmallow creme. Two Kellogg's employees, Mildred Day and Malitta Jensen, are usually credited with inventing Rice Krispies Treats. They came up with the recipe in 1939, if not earlier in the decade while working in Kellogg's home economics department, as part of an effort to promote Rice Krispies cereal, which had been on shelves since 1928. The recipe may have been inspired by an earlier recipe that had puffed wheat and molasses. These first Rice Krispies Treats were known as "marshmallow squares."

Shortly after the recipe was developed, the Camp Fire Girls organization near Kansas City asked Kellogg's about ideas for a fundraiser. Kellogg's sent Day to Kansas City so that the new recipe could be tried out. Day brought baking trays and a giant mixer, and made many batches, cooking all day over a two-week period. Camp Fire Girls sold the treats door to door. The popularity of Rice Krispies Treats accelerated at this time. The recipe was published in newspapers soon afterward, and it was put on Rice Krispies boxes by 1940 or 1941. The recipe is still printed on the boxes today.

Another version of the story says that Day worked on a variation of the treat made not with marshmallows, but with molasses and corn syrup and that this recipe was on boxes of Rice Krispies by 1932. The story says that Day left Kellogg's in 1936, that the Rice Krispies Treats recipe was put on Rice Krispies boxes in 1940, and that credit for the treats goes not just to Day, but to the whole Kellogg's home economics department.

Rice Krispies Treats have traditionally been homemade. But in 1995, Kellogg's began selling them in plain and chocolate varieties. Since then, other flavors have been marketed, such as Birthday Cake and Cookies 'N' Creme. Kellogg's also started making a Rice Krispies Treats breakfast cereal in 1993. There are treats—that are made at home or store-bought—that use cereal similar to Rice Krispies, like Cocoa Krispies and Fruity Pebbles, as well as cereal not made of crisp rice, like Chex, Cap'n Crunch, and Lucky Charms. Another version, scotcheroos, contains Rice Krispies with butterscotch, chocolate, and peanut butter instead of marshmallows.

How to Observe Rice Krispies Treats Day

Celebrate by making some Rice Krispies Treats! Enjoy them yourself or hand them out to family and friends. There are a number of variations of the classic recipe that you could try, such as treats with peanut butter or chocolate. If you really want to get adventurous, pick up a copy of Treat Yourself: How to Make 93 Ridiculously Fun No-Bake Crispy Rice Treats. You also could enjoy some store-bought Rice Krispies Treats or Rice Krispies Treats breakfast cereal.

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