The Rice Crispy Treat For ONE (maybe 2)

Last weekend, in the midst of a friend’s wedding festivities, I had a thought. “Rice Crispy… yes… I need one.”

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The problem with purchasing Rice Crispy (or Krispy, whatever) is that you inevitably get one of those gargantuan slabs of over-sweet goop with soggy rice cereal… or even worse? It’s hard as a brick. I abhor crappy treats.

So, on my way home, I perused some recipes, and again the problem? You get an entirely obscene amount of treats. I mean… really… 6 cups of cereal? One ENTIRE bag of marshmallows? 6 tablespoons of butter? And for those of us who do live alone and have VERY little self restraint, this turns into making an entire sheet of treats, followed by stuffing it into one’s open mouth. Trust me… I know. And if you DO manage not to wolf the entire sheet of treats down in one sitting, or one day – the second day you are left with these sad, dry, and hard treats that are no longer palatable.

So… the only solution? To make your treats in exactly the serving size you want. I used a not-too-dainty amount of cereal, with a dab of butter and just a few marshmallows for a perfectly reasonable sized treat. You could share if you wanted to, but I recommend against it. I pressed mine, every so gently, into a resealable container before devouring mine.

Another note – I also love a caramelized treat, but one that is still chewy – which is difficult since sugar hardens as it caramelizes into that delicious brown color. To accomplish this feat in rice crispy treats? Add the marshmallows in two batches – allowing the first to take on that delicious brown hue and then adding the poufy white marshmallows at the end to just puddle into the chewy, perfectly caramelized treat you want.

Now… go forth and make multiple single serving sized treats, to inevitably end up eating an entire pan anyway! (haha!)

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The Rice Crispy Treat for One (Kaprise Kitchen’s way of eating ONE treat at a time)

  • 1 cup of rice cereal – I used the classic Kellogg’s
  • 1 teaspoon of butter – I used salted Kerrygold here
  • 6 standard sized marshmallows – Jet Puffed for me. Use the normal sized ones – not those humongous roasting ones they have these days, or those mini-me’s.
  1. Heat butter in a small saucepan until melted, medium/low heat
  2. Add 3 marshmallows, stir until melted and caramelized
  3. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and stir in the remaining marshmallows (I tear these into smaller pieces so that they melt quickly). Your mixture should look something like this: a mix of just melted, and caramelized. SONY DSC
  4. Add cereal, stir until coated
  5. Gently press the cereal into a small container, lined with parchment paper.
  6. Once cooled, removed the treat from the container, and slice with a sharp knife into perfect bite sized pieces like I did! Or… dig in! **Remember, heated sugar is very hot, so please be sure to let your perfect rice crispy cool enough**

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Perfectly gooey and caramelized at the same time! 🙂SONY DSC

Crunchy Snack Time! (Reviews)

I’m a huge snack person. Until recently, I was really into chewy and sweet snacks – the kind that put your dentist’s kids through school. All through undergrad I ate jelly beans while I studied, and then through law school I ate gummy bears in the library. However, as I continue to slog through studying, I’ve been more and more attracted to crunchy and savory snacks. So. In light of that change, I’ve been sampling many different kinds of snacks. I really like potato chips. Like… REALLY like them, but since eating mounds of chips is really not too good for your waistline, I’ve been trying to find other delicious and more healthful things to snack on as a study.

Yesterday, I hit on two that I am completely infatuated with!

  1. Turbana Plantain Chips, Lightly Salted – These plantain chips are super, duper thin and crunchy. They are GMO and gluten free. There are a variety of flavors, but this “lightly” salted package is really hitting the spot. Unlike other brands, these are in fact just lightly salted so you don’t walk away with puckered lips from the salt. I found these at a local health food store, but you can also order them online here: http://platanicious.elsstore.com/  SONY DSC
  2. Bakery On Main, Extreme Fruit and Nut Gluten Free Granola – I send a packet of this granola in a care package a week or so ago… and I couldn’t get it out of my head so I went back and purchased a bag for myself. I am SO SO thrilled that I did. It is delicious! My mother and I demolished the entire bag in one sitting… all 11 servings of it. It is crunchy and just lightly sweetened. There are a couple things to note: the granola smells mildly of faux maple syrup, contains canola oil, and contains “natural flavors, caramel color.” These aren’t a huge deterrent for me and I will continue to purchase this granola, but they may be of concern for others. The granola, while it does contain corn, is certified GMO free and Gluten and Wheat free. Since I’m not quite over my “sweet and chewy” phase, I added a handful of dried cherries to the mix and it was just perfect! This can be purchased online on Amazon.com and the official website is here: http://www.bakeryonmain.com/

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I would definitely recommend both of these snacks for people who are trying to get away from potato chips and other unhealthy snacks. I am really enjoying both of these, so I hope you get a chance to try them also!  What are the snacks you are into these days? What else should I try?

Cheese Straws and Circles

When I was a kid, my summers were filled with books and lots of time running in the sun dappled yard. My mother would us strap us into our trusty red Volvo, and drive us to the library with the windows down. We’d sneakily stick our hands out the window to feel the wind push our hands back. My sisters and I would quiet the minute we go to the library, solemnly picking out our books and propping ourselves on the stacks to read the interesting ones right away. And after the air-conditioning had sufficiently seeped into our bones, we would pile back into the car with our stacks of books. We would spend the rest of the afternoons with our piles of books in the yard reading. I remember sitting on blankets on the deck reading books until the sun set. The soft breeze rippling through the grass and the shade on the deck lulling me into the books.

Well, other than wishing that these huge tomes of law books were nearly so fun to read and that I was still in my backyard plastered to my books like I was as a kid… I remember reading a story that talked about cheese straws. It sounded so glamorous and delicious. The main character was in London, and her friends were visiting and she scraped together these cheese straws with “just a bit of butter, cheese, flour, and water.” I wanted to feel as glamorous in my chic apartment munching on cheese straws… so I obviously tried my hand at it. My mother’s the forgiving sort that let us experiment with all of the kitchen supplies, and would patiently watch while we insisted we knew what we were doing. After mushing together an extraordinarily expensive chunk of cheese with some flour, water, and butter… I baked my little straws. They were actually just awful. I was just a kid, but the cheese straws I imagine in my head were light and crunchy and melted on your tongue. The ones that I had made were heavy blocks of floury cheese.

Needless to say, I never looked at another recipe for cheese straws again. I just wasn’t interested in baking blocks of disappointment. But, then two years ago when I started law school, I was actually living alone in my chic little apartment with my equally chic little puppy. I felt that it was time to try my hand at cheese straws again. I followed the recipe on smittenkitchen, which was delicious, but the dough was just a bit too substantial for me. I wanted little straws that were meltingly lovely and that were equally pretty. So, I tweaked. Just a bit. And discovered that a combination of cheddar and the best Parmesan (that my teensy grocery carries) made all of the difference. A generous sprinkle of crushed red pepper made them just spicy enough, and of course, all food must be pretty… so I used the teensiest fluted cutter I have.

Cheese Circles (Adapted from smittenkitchen, who references Lee Bros. Southern Cooking)

  • 1 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese, grated finely
  • 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, grated finely
  • 4 tablespoons of good butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup of flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of flaky sea salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes, I whizzed mine through a food processor to get smaller flakes
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of heavy cream
  1. In a large bowl, mix together the cheeses, butter,  flour, salt, and pepper. Work the mixture together until the dough is crumbly and well incorporated.
  2. Slowly drip the cream into the bowl, stirring until the dough comes together into a cohesive ball.
  3. On a lightly floured table (or counter) roll the dough out to about 1/4 inch. Cut with a 1/2 inch cookie cutter. Or whatever size you desire.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees Farhenheit for 10-15 minutes. The circles should be golden and have poufed up a bit.
  5. Note: In one of my runs, I sprinkled a little Parm over the tops of the circles and that was delicious also… but I prefer mine without.