2 New Twists On An Old Standby: Peanut Butter & Salted Brown Butter Crispy Treats

DSC_0905When you need a speedy treat- for a dessert to take to an event, something that is simple, quick and delicious, Rice Krispie Treats are a go-to.  They don’t require a bunch of ingredients or time.  In the past year I have been introduced to a couple of new twists on them and I am a convert! They are so delicious!

If you have kids and you are reluctant to let your kids in the kitchen to cook, Crispy Treats are a good dish to make with them.  These only have 4 ingredients and are so easy.

I love that my kids like to cook.  With one complication.  The clean up.

Lucy, my 10 year old, has jumped full-on into the kitchen lately.  It’s so fun and amazing to watch her create and become independent in the kitchen. The challenge has been the Clean-up,  which of course is not fun!

She has been watching The Great British Baking Show and Zumbo’s Just Desserts and is so inspired.  One day, when she walked away from the messy kitchen,  I said, “Wait a minute! Come back here and finish the job!” It dawned on me that the men and women, boys and girls on these shows are not, in fact, ever shown cleaning up the enormous messes made with all of the tools and bowls and pans and utensils! Who does this task? A paid clean up staff? (Paid being the operative word.) So we are working on the clean up part of the process, and having to remind and require that clean up is an essential part of the process.

This recipe is one Lucy whipped up the other day. They are yummy!

The Peanut Butter Crispy Rice Cereal Treats are even somewhat healthy (for a sweet treat). I found the recipe on the side of the Trader Joe’s Crisp Rice Cereal box.  We tweaked the proportions a little bit. They have a good protein punch for an afternoon snack!

DSC_0892Peanut Butter Crispy Rice Cereal Treats

1 cup agave nectar (or you can use clear Karo syrup if you’d rather)

½ cup brown sugar

1 cup smooth peanut butter (I used salted natural)

6 cups Rice Krispie Cereal

(you can add mini chocolate chips, if desired)

Mix agave nectar and brown sugar in small sauce pan on low heat until almost boiling. Stir until the sugar completely dissolves. Remove from heat.

(You can, instead of cooking it on the stovetop in a saucepan, make this in a large glass bowl in the microwave- heating for 30 seconds or more to heat the agave and dissolve the sugar– to reduce the number of pans to clean.)

Stir in peanut butter.

Scoop cereal into a large bowl and pour liquid over.  Stir with wooden spoon or rubber spatula until fully incorporated.

 

 

 

Place in a greased 8 X 8 pan for thick bars. Pat down mixture to make it even. (If it sticks to your hands either spray cooking spray on your hands or dip your hands in cold water before pressing down the cereal mixture.)

Cover and place in refrigerator for a couple of hours to firm up. Slice in squares or strips or any way you choose.

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And these are the Salted Brown Butter Crispy Treats from the Smitten Kitchen.  They are Re.di.cu.lous. They are NOT healthy, but something about that salty sweet and nutty butter is irresistible.  Our friend Laura made them all the time for small group last year, since they are gluten free and we had a friend in our group that was trying to avoid gluten.  We became pretty addicted to them.

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Salted Brown Butter Crispy Treats

from Smitten Kitchen

Makes an 8 inch square pan or a deep dish pie plate

4 ounces unsalted butter, plus extra for the pan
1 10-ounce bag marshmallows
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt (unless you use salted butter and use scant 1/4 tsp.)
6 cups crispy rice cereal

Butter (or coat with non-stick spray) an 8-inch square cake pan with 2-inch sides.

In a large pot, melt butter over medium-low heat. It will melt, then foam, then turn clear golden and finally start to turn brown and smell nutty. Stir frequently, scraping up any bits from the bottom as you do. Don’t take your eyes off the pot as while you may be impatient for it to start browning, the period between the time the butter begins to take on color and the point where it burns is often less than a minute.

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As soon as the butter takes on a nutty color, turn the heat off and stir in the marshmallows. The residual heat from the melted butter might be enough to melt them, but if it is not, turn it back on low until the marshmallows are smooth. (I usually need to put it back on for a couple of minutes.)

Remove the pot from the stove and stir in the salt and cereal together. Quickly spread into prepared pan.

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Quick. Easy. Delicious. Crowd Pleasing. And not much clean up!

Enjoy!

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