Archive for February, 2013

Maple Brown Butter Crispy Treats

Rice Krispie treats are for summer. I mean, sure, you can make them any time, but some desserts are just designed for summer. They’re light (so you don’t feel quite as wrong putting on a bathing suit after having one). They’re quick and simple (the sun sets late in summer, leaving less time to make dessert). They leave the oven off and only use the stove for a moment (so you don’t boil alive just from making dessert if you’re living in the South in mid-August).

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So you may be wondering why I’m writing about them on a rather chilly evening in February. Maple syrup, folks. Any dessert can be made to suit cooler months with ┬ámaple syrup and a little nutmeg.

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I’ve seen people try to tweak Rice Krispie treats before. I’ve seen red velvet ones and Nutella ones and a lovely Dulce de Leche version brought to parties. Inevitably, people try them. The comments tend to include phrases like “how unique!” or “I never would have thought of that!” but no one goes back for seconds, and eventually someone will just admit what they’re all thinking: “It’s not quite the same as I remember. ”

So knowing that, why would I try yet another version? First of all, it’s winter. Regular Rice Krispie treats aren’t right for winter. Secondly, it’s Deb’s fault. (Can I just start saying that about everything from now on? Okay, thanks.)

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This recipe is adapted from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook. Go buy it already. Yes, it’s that good. Her version isn’t maple flavored and contains no nutmeg, but there’s browned butter in hers and the combination of all three is what really makes these treats perfect.

Ingredients (makes an 8×8 pan, about 16 servings)

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1 stick (8 T) butter

1/4 cup maple syrup (grade B if you can find it)

1/2 t nutmeg

pinch salt

1 10-oz bag marshmallows

6 cups Rice Krispies

Directions

Place the butter in a large pot over medium heat.

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Melt it.

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Keep it on the burner. It will froth and begin to brown. Once it starts to smell a bit nutty and reaches a rich amber color, remove the pot from heat.

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Add the maple syrup. It will bubble like mad.

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Add marshmallows. Stir them in until they melt. This is faster with the mini mallows, but use any kind you like.

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Add salt and nutmeg and fold them into the marshmallow mixture as well.

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Pour on the cereal and fold it into the marshmallow mixture until it’s all thoroughly coated.

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Press the treats into a buttered 8×8 pan.

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Let them cool and set for at least an hour or so. Cut into squares and serve.

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I don’t mean to brag*, but these treats? People went back for seconds. And thirds. And demanded the recipe. there may have been gushing. Not a bad result for a 5-ingredient dessert made in 10 minutes.

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*Okay, that’s a lie. Totally bragging. ┬áSeriously though, look at this nutmeggy close-up. You can’t stay mad.

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5 Comments

Mustard Milanese

The Smitten Kitchen cookbook arrived in the mail a few weeks ago. Really good cookbooks present a problem for me, because once I get them I get so excited about everything that I can’t just choose a recipe and make it. Instead I declare that I want a four-course meal of everything in the book and then realize that even I can’t juggle that many burners at once. So I waffle about which recipe to make until 10PM and then it’s too late for proper dinner so we have plain pasta.

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The SK cookbook is a really good cookbook. I try not to make too much fried food, but any recipe with mustard in it is completely irresistible to me, so out came the frying pan and oil. Then a week later, we made it again. It’s that good.

Ingredients (serves 2, adapted from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook)

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1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 3/4 lb)

1/3 cup flour

3/4 cup bread crumbs

1 egg white

2 T mustard

salt and white pepper to taste

vegetable oil for frying

Directions

Place the chicken breast between two layers of saran wrap.

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Fold a kitchen towel over the chicken.

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Hulk out. No, really, just lay into it with a rolling pin or other blunt object that isn’t likely to break. You want smashed chicken breast no more than 1/4 inch thick.

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Pour some oil into a frying pan and set it over medium-high heat. Mix the mustard, egg white, salt, and pepper in a dish and ready dishes for the flour and bread crumbs as well.

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Dredge in flour, then mustard mixture, then bread crumbs. Fry about 3 minutes on the first side.

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Fry another 2-3 minutes on the second side.

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Serve with a salad with an extra-tart vinaigrette.

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A bit of lemon juice at the end does improve this, but isn’t necessary if you always seem to be out of lemons. It also goes well with roasted artichokes and couscous.

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