Thursday, June 16, 2016

Candy Critic Dessert Club – A Classic Square - Rice Krispie Treats

When I was a kid Rice Krispie Treats were a complete mystery to me.  At the very least I completely misunderstood how they were made.  I don't think my mother, or the media helped in my misunderstanding either.  Until I was a teenager, I always assumed that Rice Krispie Treats were really complicated to make.  Maybe they were easy to burn, or at the very least there must have been some kind of added ingredient that I was completely unaware of.  The fact that Kellogg's started selling Rice Krispie Treats pre-made didn't help either. After all if they were easy to make, why sell them pre-made?

There is a little truth to this, there is a trick, however it's not a skill as much as an ingredient.  The trick to making Rice Krispie Treats is butter, and best not to cut back on it.  Butter is what keeps your marshmallows from sticking to everything, as well as adding just a slightly salty flavour, and this is a good thing.  As any great dessert aficionado will tell you, to make sweeter better, add salt.

The ingredients:

About 20 large marshmallows
3 cups of Rice Krispies cereal
1.5 tablespoons of butter

This might prove to be a very short recipe, as I mentioned before, it's super easy.  First coat a baking pan or pie plate with butter.  Set this pan aside, you'll need it  later.  Now take the 1.5 table spoons of butter and melt it in a non-stick pot.  Make sure to move the butter around, and try to coat the sides of  the pot as well. Once the butter is melted, turn your stove to a medium to low heat.  Add the  marshmallows to the butter.  This is probably the trickiest part of the whole recipe, stir the marshmallows.  Keep stirring until your marshmallows go from 20 individual marshmallows into one giant glob.  You want to be sure that there are no lumps left.

Once the marshmallows are melted, add the Rice Krispies.  If for some reason you don't have, or don't like Rice Krispies, you can pretty much use any cereal you want.  Even granola would work.  Add the cereal to the marshmallow glob and turn off the heat.  Stir the cereal into the marshmallow until it's evenly distributed.  Now take the marshmallow/cereal mix and dump it into the buttered pan from earlier.  With a wet spoon (or wet fingers) push the marshmallow cereal mixture into the pan.  Once it's fairly level, let  the Rice Krispie Treats cool, and voila, you're done.

To say that this recipe is  fool proof is a bit of a lie.  I've seen these fail twice, and once was by my hands.  Keeping your heat low is the first important step.  Marshmallows love to melt, but once they go past melting, they burn.  So keep the heat low so you don't get to the burning stage.  My failure with these happened with stale marshmallows.  If you have marshmallows that have been sitting in your cupboard since the first Ghostbusters movie came out, they won't work.  They'll just turn into a hot sticky brown, lumpy mess.

If you really hate marshmallows, some people use other sticky treats to make these.  Caramel cubes would work well, so might some syrups.  In fact a maple syrup  square with granola might be pretty tasty.  The trick in all cases is keep the temperature low, and make sure nothing burns.  If you're using a liquid syrup (maple or otherwise) you may have to use a candy thermometer to make sure you don't overheat the syrup into a rock hard lump.


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