Sunday, September 9, 2012

Rice Krispy Treats - Spoil your Inner Child

Sometimes, no matter how you try and repress childhood memories, well the bad ones at least, they still come back to haunt and intimidate you.  The good memories I have which are few and far between seem to mostly center around food.  One of these was the first time my mother made rice krispy treats for me.  They were so gooey, but crunchy and deliciously sweet; but she only made them once as she felt the "mess in the pan" wasn't worth the effort.   As I grew older, I was able to obtain these treats in stores, and eventually learned to make them myself once I adopted my son.  I don't understand why the big fuss over the "mess in the pan" as it easily cleans out with hot soapy water and a sponge.

Anyway, a little history about this childhood treat; it was invented in 1939 by Malitta Jensen and Mildred Day, and the Kelloggs Company of course, to help raise money for the Campfire Girls Foundation.  It was a simple recipe of melted butter and mini-marshmallows mixed into rice krispies, allowed to cool, cut up into squares and enjoyed.   Nowadays, this simple recipe can include any manner of mixture from different types of cereal, toasted oatmeal, crushed granola, nuts, dried fruit and mini-candy pieces.

Making treats nowadays might take a little more calculation too, depending on the density of the cereal used plus any other added ingredients, and the size of the pan used as well.  Normally it is 1 stick of butter (8 tablespoons), 1 (10 ounce) package of mini-marshmallows (they melt quicker) and 6 cups of rice krispy cereal.  It is all pressed into a greased (with butter) 2 quart rectangular baking dish; cooled for an hour and then cut into squares.  While the butter and marshmallows can be melted in a stovetop pan, nowadays a microwave is more convenient and makes it easier to control the melting process to avoid burning. 

I made peanut butter treats just yesterday and while you might think I made them too thin; as far as I'm concerned, that means I have a lot more to enjoy.

Peanut Butter Rice Krispy Treats


7 cups rice krispy cereal
1 stick (8 Tbsp) salted butter plus 1/2 Tbsp for greasing dish
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 (10 oz) bag mini-marshmallows (make sure they are fresh!)


Into a large mixing bowl, measure out 7 cups of rice krispy cereal; lightly grease a 13" x 9" baking dish with butter.

Into a medium mixing bowl, melt the butter and peanut butter in the microwave for 45 seconds; add in the marshmallows and toss to coat. Microwave for 60 seconds, mix thoroughly; microwave another 30 seconds, mix and pour over cereal. Using a sturdy spoon, mix together so the cereal is thoroughly incorporated. Put the mixture into the baking dish and press out to the sides as evenly as possible; cover with plastic wrap and let cool on counter for one hour. Cut into squares and enjoy.

Do yourself a favor and spoil your inner child once in awhile; you deserve it.

Mary Cokenour

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