December 02, 2015 02:20 PM

Courtesy Mister Krisp

Holiday baking can seem daunting, but making Rice Krispies Treats? Fairly straightforward.

Jessica Siskin, known to her 35,000 Instagram followers as Misterkrisp, crafts intricate art out of everyone’s favorite childhood bake sale buy. From entire Thanksgiving dinners to Santa to reindeers, these treats are a sure-thing holiday conversation piece.

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“I prefer Rice Krispies Treats to other holiday sweets because they’re so simple to make. Since you can mold them by hand, you’re not limited to cookie-cutter shapes,” Siskin tells PEOPLE. “They’re cute and delicious no matter how they’re served, whether plain or decorated with toppings.”

Using the traditional, back-of-the-box Rice Krispies Treats recipes, Siskin uses food coloring and careful molding to create her works of art, then adds sweet decorations.

“I decorate my treats with colored icing, but for a more flavorful twist you can step it up with any mix-ins that you would traditionally add to a cookie recipe – I like peanut butter, chocolate chips and cake mixes,” she says.

Another perk of not dealing with a 400 degree oven, raw eggs or complex recipes? Kids can get involved.

“Once the mixture is cool, kids can help mold treats into their favorite holiday shapes (just like they would with Play-Doh.) Kids also love to decorate their treats with toppings like icing, chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, sprinkles, and other candy. It’s edible arts and crafts!”

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Here are some of her top tips for success:

1. Don’t let the marshmallows melt down to liquid, instead allow them to melt about 75% before adding food coloring and Rice Krispies.

2. Coat your hands with cooking spray before molding and reapply as needed.

3. Get creative with molds, using household items like buckets and bowls to shape your treats.

4. Flavor your treats using extracts, powdered cake mixes, muffin mixes, and cookie mixes by adding a few drops or scoops along with the Rice Krispies.

5. Try mix-ins like peanut butter, chocolate chips, or cake mixes to experiment with flavors.

6. A little icing goes a long way, try something simple like a smiley face and see your treats really come to life.

7. Don’t be afraid to get a little messy!

 

Siskin has been putting seasonal twists on treats, like decking classic emojis in holiday garb, and encouraging people to share photos of their own creations. For every photo posted with #Treats4Toys, Kellogg’s Rice Krispies will make a donation to Toys for Tots.

—Maria Yagoda, @mariayagoda

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