Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Re-Inventing the Classics


Not long ago I got an email from Nicole containing a recipe for Rice-Krispie treats. This recipe, however, was not the standard that appears on the back of the box (http://tinyurl.com/krispie) but rather for Salted Brown Butter Krispy treats from the Smitten Kitchen blog (http://tinyurl.com/y9slvbv).


To say I wanted to go to there would have been an understatement, so with a few days off from work I decided to have a go at them.


The recipe (which follows) isn't too far off from the original, just adjusted slightly.


Ingredients:

- 4 ounces (1/4 pound or 1 stick) unsalted butter, plus extra for the pan

- 1 10-ounce bag marshmallows

- Heaping 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt

- 6 cups Rice Krispies cereal (about half a 12-ounce box)


Directions:

- Butter (or coat with non-stick spray) an 8-inch square cake pan with 2-inch sides.
- In a large pot, melt butter over medium-low heat. It will melt, then foam, then turn clear golden and finally start to turn brown and smell nutty.

- Stir frequently, scraping up any bits from the bottom as you do. Don’t take your eyes off the pot as while you may be impatient for it to start browning, the period between the time the butter begins to take on color and the point where it burns is often less than a minute.
- As soon as the butter takes on a nutty color, turn the heat off and stir in the marshmallows. The residual heat from the melted butter should be enough to melt them, but if it is not, turn it back on low until the marshmallows are smooth. (Author's note: you will need to add marshmallows until they've absorbed all the butter, other wise you'll have greasy puddles. Certainly start with the suggested 10 oz. but keep the rest of the bag handy, I used about 14 oz.)
- Remove the pot from the stove and stir in the salt and cereal together.

- Quickly spread into prepared pan. I liked to use a piece of waxed or parchment paper that I’ve sprayed with oil to press it firmly and evenly into the edges and corners, though a silicon spatula works almost as well.


Rice-Krispie treats in general are one of the easiest desserts to make already and now they've gone and made them better.


Here are a few of the things I learned along the way:

- Make sure you have a sturdy, silicon spatula for all the stirring and mixing, anything wooden or metal and you'll end up with a giant treat club.

- Browning the butter takes time and patience. I think killed the heat a little prematurely.

- This recipe requires the better portion of a 16oz bag of marshmallows (I think the minis melt easier).

- Because your are just about doubling the amount of butter in the recipe and adding in an extra dose of marshmallow these will turn out amazing almost regardless of your mistakes (just don't burn anything)

- Give your (clean) had a liberal spray with non-stick cooking spray and use this to spread the treats into your pan. This is your best kitchen tool.

- Reserve a pinch or so of salt and sprinkle it over the top.


So yeah, these are possibly the best Rice-Krispie treats I've ever had (save maybe for the ones served at the Sundial where they glued a Coco-Krispie treat to a brownie with sweetened peanut butter cream... shazam!). The extra marshmallow and butter make these richer, sweeter and stickier than normal and the salt is exactly what Rice-Krispie treats have always been missing, a few pinches of salt are the perfect foil to the treats' super sweetness.


As this takes little baking skill and about half-an-hour of time, max, I suggest knocking off a few batches for the holidays!

2 comments:

Roula said...

Im this sounds amazing and I'm grateful you tested & added helpful hints. Since I fancy myself a grownup sometimes, I haven't had rice krispies or marshmallows in the house for some time, but I do have tons of butter so I'm bookmarking this until I've accumulated the needed items (i.e. as soon as my boy can be convinced to go to the store, because it's icy outside and I'm carless)!

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