So, we are still not totally unpacked, and likely won’t be for some time. Why is it so much faster to throw things into boxes than it is to pull things back out again? Yes, organizing is one of my most favorite things to do in this world, but at the same time, our dining room and bathroom are taking FOREVER to get to everything! Not to mention I’m still jet lagged out the whazoo, so it’s all I can do to just make something yummy to eat before my body starts to feel like a million pounds. Safe to say, I am definitely struggling just a little bit (a lot). BUT that being said, everything is coming along, and our neighborhood couldn’t be more perfect for us right now! Oh, and did we mention that Tuggs loves his new doggie pool in the backyard? Because this little guy is in heaven!
But with it being summer, and most days warm as get all, the last thing we ever want to do is click the oven on to make anything, even the sweet stuff like pies or cupcakes. I mean, don’t get me wrong, what’s a July 4th without a little Cherry Pie? (Not a typical July 4th, that’s what!) But sometimes, it’s just too hot to even contemplate turning on that dastardly cooking device, so when that happens, what do you do? You stick to making something that requires almost no heat, that’s what! And again, turning to my ever delicious Smitten Kitchen, have I got the dessert for you: Rice Krispie Treats! Universally loved by most, if not all, for being soft and chewy, and not too sweet around the teeth, this is a really great go to treat for those really warm days where the thought of an oven alone makes your skin sweat (gross). And naturally, being the kitchen whiz that she is, Ms. Perelman has turned this on its head in the best way ever! BROWN BUTTER! I’m going to say it again for you, and you let me know if your mouth hasn’t begun to water yet. Brown. Butter. MM!
Now, the way to get your brown butter is to go low and slow, and to keep your eyes on it at all times! And I do mean at all times, stirring often enough that it doesn’t brown too quickly, which equals burnt butter instead of nutty deliciousness! And this is precisely why I have zero photos of the browning process (Frankie was not at home otherwise I would have put him to work on snapping the color transformation). BUT, you should be able to smell it as it browns, getting that almost toffee-like sweetness as it cooks and darkens. And this will absolutely take your rice krispies to the next level! See the darkness mixed with the marshmallows (pictured below)? THAT’S what you’re looking for! Not too dark that it then becomes bitter, but not too light that it doesn’t impart that nice new layer of flavor to the rest of the mallows & cereal!
I plan to try making a caramel to drizzle on top next time around (but perhaps more in fall weather so that I don’t have to stand over my stove any longer than I absolutely have to), and try my hand at Salted Caramel Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats. (What a delicious mouthful!) Oh! And now to quickly address the controversy between large marshmallows vs. mini marshmallows. Now, large marshmallows, I think, have a higher gooey content to them that a mini just can’t compare to, BUT they take longer to melt completely, so if you’re not careful, you risk taking them too far over in the cooking process. As for tiny marshmallows, I do have to admit that these are my preferred way to go, mostly because they don’t take as long to completely melt, so there’s no risk of over cooking. And in addition to that, I never let them melt completely anyway, ensuring that there will be some marshmallow chunks within the treat for added gooey factor! A good idea might be to do a 75% mini and 25% large to enhance the gooey mallow chunk factor, but for now, my mini mallow way has been working for me and you know what they say, don’t fix what’s not broke.
JUST LOOK AT THAT! Mm mm good! OH! And throwing a little sea salt in there REALLY adds a delightful little pop on the tongue to be sure! So smart! And then the rest is heat free easiness! Just form your rice krispies into a pan, let it sit for an hour until completely cool (overnight is best, but you know, when they look that good, how can you not help yourself, right!?), then enjoy! Though, I will give another tip for ease of forming. Vegetable Oil. Lightly spray your spatula or wooden spoon (or hands if you’re not afraid of getting a little bit dirty) and that’ll help prevent sticking! I’ve even gone so far as to make little Pumpkin Rice Krispie treats for a Buzzed Broadway Halloween Themed show, and boy were they super tricky to mold without the help of a little oil on the hands! I’ll be making them again this year, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for some decorative holiday treat ideas! But these treats are SUCH a great idea and will definitely get your guests talking about these delicious bites of joy! — Cooking Maggie