Guest Feature: A Very Sweet Day With Friends
It was our last year of college, Spring Break of ‘99. My friends and I stepped off the plane in Panama City, FL to find sunshine, beaches, and assorted Rice Krispie Treats as far as the eye could see. Rice Krispies cereal was a sponsor of Spring Break that year, promoting its’ new line of assorted “Treats.” So, that week we soaked up the sun by day and danced our hearts out to N’Sync by night. And with the refined palates of college students, we ate Rice Krispie Treats for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, sometimes a midnight snack. After all, they were free, and…we were in college.
Eighteen years later, Rice Krispie Treats are as popular as ever, and my daughter and her schoolmates love them. So, when I saw a recipe for gourmet Brown Butter Crispy-Rice Treats in Joanne Chang’s Flour cookbook, the Moms and I organized a “no-bake” date with our kids. The ingredients are few, and the process is simple, which makes it a low-stress recipe to facilitate with a group. Each child was assigned a task: Hudson on greasing the pan, Nora on measuring marshmallows, Lulu on rationing Rice Krispies, and Abby on adding butter and vanilla beans to the pot. And once the Treats were set, everyone added their own flair, by dipping and sprinkling them in chocolate and other colorful toppings of their choice.
The kids have known each other most of their young lives, and this marks their final year in preschool together. Watching them laugh and enjoy each other’s company felt just like Spring Break, 18 years ago. Not only did they demonstrate how much they’ve grown, showing off their individual academic strengths: measuring, rationing, and buttering. But they also celebrated their friendship and experiences as classmates. It’s funny how history repeats itself. With homemade “Treats” in hand and Justin Timberlake on the radio, these preschoolers “[Couldn’t] stop the feeling!” And on a rainy Saturday in October 2017, they partied… like it was 1999.
Transform Your Krispy Treats!
- 1 Stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
- The seeds of ½ of a vanilla bean
- 1 - 10-ounce bag of marshmallows
- ¼ Teaspoon salt
- 4.5 Cups krispy rice cereal
- White chocolate, melted
- Semisweet chocolate, melted
- Extra Marshmallows
- Rainbow Sprinkles
- Mini White Chocolate Chips
- Semisweet Chocolate Chips
- Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish
- In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat.
- Split the vanilla bean and scrape out half of the seeds, then add to the melting butter, along with the salt
- Once the butter turns brown (about 5 minutes), add marshmallows. You’ll know the butter is ready when it starts to smell a little bit like toffee.
- Stir marshmallows into the butter mixture over low heat until melted
- Remove the pot from heat, then add in cereal. Mix well, then scoop mixture into the buttered dish to cool. Pat down to create an even layer.
- Let cool at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour until set. Then cut into 3x3 squares.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
- Measure a cup or two of your favorite white, dark , or milk chocolate, then add to a microwave safe bowl. Heat in 30-second increments, until smooth and melted.
- Once Krispy Treats are firm enough to handle, dip the tops of them in the melted chocolate, then decorate with your favorite candy. Sprinkle with marshmallows, chocolate chips, and rainbow sprinkles.
- Set treats on cookie sheet and allow to set at room temperature for 2 hours or in the fridge for 15 minutes
- Serve at room temperature.
Leigh is a Middle School Teacher of French and a Mom to a busy three year old. She loves to entertain family and friends, and prepare daily dishes for her husband and daughter. Leigh’s meals are often influenced by her mom’s love of cooking. Leigh also creates recipes based on her experiences of living and working in the south of France. She often uses food to provide authentic experiences for her students as well. On Fridays, it’s not uncommon to see her students making crèpes and sampling French “fromage,” as part of their lesson. Always inspired by fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients, Leigh’s dishes are simple, tasty, and always made with her family in mind. Her daughter, now three, is an enthusiastic helper in the kitchen. A lover of mealtime with family and warm summer nights, Leigh is excited to share some of her favorite recipes.