Posts Tagged nutmeg

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  maple 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.  Seriously though, look at this nutmeggy close-up. You can’t stay mad.

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Kale and Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Anyone who prefers to eat seasonally should probably look away until autumn. July is no time for casseroles, surely. No time for pumpkin and kale, or the heady scent of nutmeg.

Sometimes I’m ready for fall before it’s ready for me. Sometimes you need a deep dish of savory bread pudding, and who cares if it’s 90 degrees outside after dark? Greens are good all year round, and this recipe prefers silky canned pumpkin to the fresh little ones we won’t be able to find at the shops until September, so it can be made anytime.  If you can bear to turn on your oven in this heat, this is the dish to do it for.

Ingredients (serves 4-6)

1/2 of a baguette, sliced

1 lb kale

4 eggs

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 1/2 cups milk

4 oz cheese (I used half Gruyère and half Drunken Goat)

white pepper, nutmeg, and salt to taste

1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan

Directions

Trim away the kale stems, tear the leaves into manageable chunks, and boil for 2-3 minutes. Drain well.

Arrange the baguette slices in an oval pan or an 8×8 inch brownie pan.

Stuff kale between the slices.

Sprinkle the grated cheese over the top.

Combine the eggs, pumpkin, milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in a bowl.

Mix them together thoroughly.

Pour the mixture over the bread and kale and sprinkle the Parmesan over the top.

Wait 5-10 minutes to let the liquid soak completely into the bread. Turn the oven to 375°F while you wait. When ready, bake the bread pudding for 40-45 minutes.

Serve immediately. This would be good with a light salad, but I had no difficulty eating this on its own and justifying seconds by telling myself it had kale in it, so it’s practically health food.

How could anyone say no to that?

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