I’ll never understand the food enthusiast (professional or otherwise) who holds the opinion that the best meals are the most refined. Equally, I’ll never understand the chef that shies away from or turns their nose up at creating simple, rustic (what some might call “basic” or “low brow”) dishes. Simple is good, people. In the world of pastry, it doesn’t get much simpler than rice krispie treats.
Rice Krispie treats are an undeniably American creation. They were invented in 1939 at the Kellogg Company by Mildred Day and Malitta Jensen. The pair were developing treats for a Camp Fire Girls fund raiser, and their idea was so good that it wasn’t long before the company started selling and producing them commercially. I’m not ashamed to admit that my favorite Rice Krispie treat is the blissfully artificial version the company sells, but what makes the treat so popular is its simplicity to make at home. What bake sale, summer bbq, or kid’s birthday is complete without them?
I want to make Rice Krispie treats today, and since its summer, I want mash them up with another simple, iconic, and very summery treat – s’mores. The s’more – named because once you have one you want some more – has been around since at least the 1920s. Similar to the origins of the Rice Krispie treat, s’mores seem to have been born around the camp fires of both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. For those tuning in from around the world, a s’more is a fire-roasted marshmallow and milk chocolate sandwiched between graham crackers.
To make our treat today, we’re going to take the basic Rice Krispie treat recipe but substitute the rice cereal with Golden Grahams and Cocoa puffs. For good measure we’re going to dip the whole damn thing in milk chocolate, because why not.
There aren’t many notes here, because this really is a dead simple recipe. Don’t allow your butter to simmer or come to a boil, and like I outline in the method, get your hands damp with a bit of water to keep the fresh mixture (which is almost unbelievably sticky) from coating your hands if you need to handle it.
I recommend an artificial marshmallow for the recipe (as opposed to making homemade marshmallows), because they contain gum in one form or another that gives the proper chewy texture of an authentic krispie treat. Hey, we’re all gonna go one way or the other, so if I have to croak from marshmallow additives I’m not gonna lose sleep over it. There are worse things.
Obviously you can use whatever other cereal you’d like, and the pan you choose to use to mold the treats really depends on how thick or thin you want the final product to be. I like a thicker bar, so I use a 6×12″/15x30cm pan rather than the 9×13″/23x33cm generally called for. More specifically, the pan I use in this recipe is what we call a 1/3 pan in the industry.
85g butter unsalted
300g marshmallow 10oz
150g cereal Golden Grahams approx. 4c
65g cereal Cocoa Puffs approx. 2c
AN chocolate, 38% Guittard Soleil d’Or
Prep your pan with butter or non-stick baking spray before getting started.
Melt the butter over low heat.
Add the marshmallows to the butter.
Gently stir the marshmallows and butter over low heat until they have melted into a smooth consistency.
Add the marshmallow mixture to the cereal and gently mix until well combined.
Lightly wet your hands and firmly press the mixture into the pan. The water will prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands. Believe me when I say this is an important step to take!
Cover the mixture with plastic wrap to touch and place in the refrigerator until set.
Unmold the treats from the pan.
Temper the milk chocolate and pour it onto one end of the slab of treats.
With an offset spatula, spread the tempered chocolate evenly over the slab. If some chocolate spill over the edges, that’s ok.
Trim the edges off of the slab and cut as desired.