Sweets encountered a co-worker buying an afternoon treat from a vending machine. This co-worker was under the impression that Rice Krispee Treats came from coin eating machines… from a machine I tell you!
Sweets took this as an opportunity to show off our mad cooking skillz and brought home marshmallows and a box of cereal. “You mean I can’t make the marshmallows?” I asked looking at the four bags of large marshmallows sitting on our kitchen table. He sighed and rolled his eyes at me. “Ok, ok, I get it- that’s not the point…” I answer as we get to work making up a batch of traditional rice crispy treats. We added extra vanilla and a good pinch of salt to just push them even closer to nirvana.
For our second batch of treats, I was interested in jazzing up the flavors a bit. My memory of eating rice crispy treats for the first time in England, also introduced me to the possible flavor mutations that tend to erupt in these sugar bombs. As a kid, going next door to Catherine and Amelia’s house ushered in my first crispy sweet square. I seem to recall the chocolate and peanut butter permutation showing up at their house for Halloween as well. Its odd in that it was my British neighbors who introduced the States me to the very American treats of marshmallowed rice crispies and creating elaborate environments for our Star Wars figures.
Sleuthing around the web brought forth a nutty recipe from About.com’s website that surprisingly doesn’t call for marshmallows. Instead, you create your own sugar, corn syrup concoction for these salty chewy dense squares, that are sure to be just as addictive as the traditional marshmallow based ones.
Chocolate Cashew Rice Crispy Treats
Lightly butter an 8″ x 8″ baking pan and set aside.
Combine in a sauce pan:
- light corn syrup, 1/2 cup
- light brown sugar, 1/4 cup packed
- salt, 1/4 tsp
Bring to a full boil and remove from the heat.
- cashew butter (or any favorite nut butter), 1 cup
- vanilla, 1 teaspoon
- crisp puffed rice cereal, 3 cups
With buttered hands, press the mixture firmly into the buttered 8″ x 8″ pan.
Sprinkle the top with enough grated or finely chopped semi-sweet chocolate to cover the entire pan, making sure to get the chocolate in the corners, as well as thick enough to form a layer. As I was working with a large block of chocolate, I don’t quite remember the quantity required. A four ounce chocolate bar is a good place to start.
Using a blow torch (or a brief visit to the broiler), melt out the chocolate layer and spread smooth with a spatula. While the chocolate is still soft, drag a toothpick through it to score out the future lines for your knife cuts: 4 x 4 rows and columns.
Pop in the refrigerator and allow to harden. Cut when firm and enjoy showing off to your co-workers.