Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Dulce De Leche Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats

I love me some Rice Krispie treats! They are so gooey, silky, buttery and crunchy all at the same time, and easy to make. I wonder if marshmallow haters also hate on RK treats?  I think the marshmallow part is what really draws me to them. I get where people are coming from though, but that chalky, dry and blandness of a marshmallow is really lost in a RK treat; these ones especially.



These start with two cans of sweetened condensed milk simmering away for a few hours. You are correct, I'm coming at you with more dulce de leche this week. I can't help myself. Its like a super easy, no stress caramel.

No stress assuming I didn't scare you the other week with warnings about cans exploding. They won't explode if you are careful, something about the water, science and the sweetened condensed milk being viscous. More importantly, it hasn't happened to me.


Use the deepest pot you have and be sure to check on the water level and all will be well. You can always buy dulce de leche at the store too, but where is the fun in that?

Other than the planning ahead on the dulce de leche, these RK treats come together really quick. Essentially the same method for making classic RK treats. Easy peasy, but with a "gourmet" twist and chocolate on top. Delicious!


I had originally planned to combine the chocolate and dulce de leche instead of swirling it. Do not attempt to combine them. Ever since sometime during my sophomore year of high school, I've had a tendency to burn chocolate.

That is what I thought happened on my first attempt at melting the chocolate and dulce de leche together, to create a smooth and cohesive topping. Fail. I tried again, this time only adding a tiny bit of dulce de leche to the melted chocolate, and boom, bam! It seized up and got all grainy and weird.


Therefore, gently swirling the dulce de leche into the chocolate already on top of the RK treats is the way to go. Anyone know why the dulce de leche would do this to chocolate? They were both the same temperature. It is lost on me. May never know. I'll survive though.


Anyways, these are pretty fantastic. Almost like a scotcharoo bar. Except it isn't.  My only word of caution would be to eat them within about 24 hours. They get a bit soggy otherwise, still tasty, but soggy. Storing them in the refrigerator really helps slow this.

 Lucky for you they take about 15 minutes to throw together and about an hour for the chocolate to set, but the chocolate doesn't have to be set. I know I wanted to dig in right away, but restraint is something I'm working on these days.

xo
April

Ingredients:
For dulce de leche:
2 cans sweetened condensed milk

For Rice Krispies: 
1 can dulce de leche
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 - 10oz package mini-marshmallows 
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
6 cups Rice Krispies
For chocolate topping:
1 bag dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup dulce de leche

Instructions:
to make the dulce de leche:
Remove the label from the sweetened condensed milk cans. Place the cans in a pot and cover completely with water. Bring the pot to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and let simmer for about 2 ½ – 3 hours, making sure to add more water as necessary to keep the cans fully submerged in water (I have a medium saucepan and refill the water every 30-45 minutes). Remove the cans of dulce de leche from water and let cool to room temperature.

to make the Rice Krispies:
In a large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add dulce de leche and salt, whisking until combined and smooth. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. Add Rice Krispies cereal. Stir until well coated. Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray.

While the Rice Krispie treats cool,  using a microwave-safe container, place chocolate in microwave at medium power (50 percent) for 2 minutes. Remove and stir. If chocolate is not melted, return to microwave and repeat heating step, stirring every 30 seconds to avoid scorching, until smooth. In a separate microwave-safe container, put 1/2 cup dulce de leche, with a pinch of salt, in the microwave for 30 seconds; stir until smooth.

Spread the chocolate evenly over the cooled Rice Krispies, using a knife or fork, place tablespoons of dulce de leche evenly over the chocolate, and then swirl into the chocolate. Allow chocolate to set and cut into desired shape and size. Best served the same day, but will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Similar posts: Dulce de Leche Pumpkin Cake, Salted Caramel Brownies, Salted Caramels

Monday, October 27, 2014

Pumpkin Pie Rice Krispie Treats

We're doing things a little differently around here this week.  Prepare yourself for a mini theme week of all things rice krispies!  To start things off I'm sharing this recipe for Pumpkin Pie Rice Krispie Treats.


Rice krispies treats are one of those classic kinds of snacks.  Somehow I find myself forgetting about them a lot of times when I'm thinking of a treat to make.  I think it might be because they're so simple to make and that there is no baking in the oven required.  When they do slip into my mind and I choose to whip up a batch I'm never disappointed.

It's also easy to forget how versatile of a treat it can be.  Add peanut butter.  Smother them in chocolate.  Stir in sprinkles.  The possibilities are endless!


Seeing as Halloween is only a few days away and I'm in a full on pumpkin mindset, I knew I wanted to incorporate the flavor into my rice krispies.  The key to using pumpkin puree in rice krispie treats is not using too much because the cereal will get soggy, but to compliment the pumpkin with the flavor of your favorite pumpkin pie spices; cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves!  If you want to make them a little more festive looking, mix in some Halloween sprinkles, cut them with cookie cutters or shape them into balls and add a little stem.  The possibilities are endless and I'm sure they'll be just as enjoyable any way.

Cheers,
Kelsey


Recipe slightly adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree (blot moisture out of pumpkin puree with a paper towel)
  • 10 ounces of mini marshmallows
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups rice krispie cereal
Directions:
  1. Grease a 9x13 pan and set aside for later.
  2. In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter.  Stir in pumpkin puree until warmed.  Fold in marshmallows, frequently mixing until they are almost melted.  Stir in vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Remove from heat.
  3. Let mixture sit for 20-30 minutes, or until it reaches room temperature, occasionally stirring so a hard layer does not form on surface.
  4. Stir in rice krispie cereal and mix until all cereal appears to be coated.
  5. Pour into prepared pan.  Grease either your hands or a spatula to press mixture into pan.  Put pan in refrigerator to set for 30 minutes.  Cut and enjoy!

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Kelsey's Sunday Brunch

Happy Sunday everyone!  We're having some great weather here in Madison this weekend.  We went to the Badger's Homecoming football game yesterday and there were people in shorts and t-shirts, not your average late October wardrobe.

Despite the warmer weather, I've been really getting into the knitting zone lately.  I made a red and white Badger version of this slouchy hat last weekend and just finished up a maroon and silver chunky infinity scarf.  I've been thinking about opening an online shop to sell some of my knitted projects but I haven't decided for sure yet.  Any other knitters out there?!


With Halloween coming up, we carved our pumpkins this weekend.  Nate, my sister Avery, her boyfriend Jon and I are having a little contest.  I'll post a picture when we light them up later and you can let us know which one you like best.  We're also painting a pumpkin teal to participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project.  If you have a teal pumpkin on your porch it signifies that you have a non-food option for those trick or treaters with food allergies.


Last weekend Nate and I had our engagement pictures taken.  We chose to take them at the Memorial Union where we got engaged.  This one is my favorite and we've picked it for our postcard save the dates which we designed and ordered from Zazzle.

Don't forget, midterm elections are coming up on November 4th!  Check out this election guide if you need to get informed.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies

First there was Dulce de Leche Pumpkin Cake (yum), then there was Pumpkin Pound Cake (delish), and now I bring you Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Cookies because Badger Kitchen is currently chugging along on a pumpkin sweets train this month.


You know how there are those special moments in life that are just so memorable that you'll never forget?  I remember picking out our family dog because my sister and I decided he had the softest fur and getting to have him sit on my lap for half the ride home (sharing is caring).  I remember getting engaged and crying my eyes out for a good ten minutes afterwards.  I also remember the first time I baked and ate pumpkin snickerdoodle cookies in my college apartment on a crisp October.

Being the good daughter I am (and because my parents lived 20 minutes away so I'd go home to do laundry), I took my mom a couple of cookies to enjoy and shared the recipe upon request.  It then got shared with Gramma, sisters, aunts and so on.  And now here I am sharing it with you!


To say that these cookies are life changing isn't too far from the truth.  They are superior to the average snickerdoodle cookie thanks to the added pumpkin and spices.  The additional moisture from the pumpkin puree also keeps the cookies chewy, which is good if you're not a fan of hard cookies like me.

The original recipe that I found is so good that has received such rave reviews that I've never felt the need to alter it.  The only change I make is that sometimes I will add a little more pumpkin than the recipe calls for, depending on if I'm in a super pumpkiney mood or not.  Oh, and don't discriminate, pumpkin snickerdoodle cookies can be enjoyed year round!

Enjoy!
Kelsey


Recipe from Sweet Pea's Kitchen.

Ingredients:

  • 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (increase to 1 or 1 1/4 cups if desired)
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or different large bowl to be used for mixing) cream butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar until light and fluffy, or about two minutes.  Beat in egg.  Then beat in pumpkin puree.  Add dry ingredients from separate bowl and slowly beat in.
  4. In a separate small bowl, stir together 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon.
  5. Form dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture until coated.  Space apart evenly on baking sheet.
  6. Bake one cookie sheet of cookies at a time for 10-12 minutes, or until edges of cookies are starting to brown but centers are still puffy and soft.
Tip: Cookies freeze well either after baking and fully cooled, or in dough ball form without cinnamon-sugar coating.

If you like this recipe, be sure to check out:

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Brittany's Sunday Brunch

Hello brunchers! So I was looking back at my Fall list and realized I'm semi-slacking. No pumpkin patch pictures or winery tours. I haven't been all lazy though, some things I have checked off and some fun things have been happening off-list.


Just a few days ago, I spent a lovely evening with great friends, food and drinks. Badger Kitchen and friends met up at Merchant, a local Madison restaurant. Merchant thrives on craft cocktails and fresh, local ingredients. Also, the crafty, upscale tavern feel gives it the perfect ambiance for a meet-up with friends. Laughing over cheese curds, pasta and fruit inspired cocktails was the perfect way to end the work week.



Other non-list activities included wedding fun! My fiancĂ© and I have been having so much fun doing the little things, like picking out our wedding bands and going through boat-loads of stamps as we address our save the dates. Our wedding is finally next in the family so now it's really getting exciting!

But, I haven't forgotten about my list, guys. Don't worry. Cooking with fall flavors has been checked and rechecked off the list. But that was a give-in. Yesterday, we did one of the things I enjoy the most that's on the list; we went to the dog park. Not only do we have one happy off leash camper, we get quite the beautiful view to admire over, too. Even if you don't have a dog, I highly recommend visiting Indian Lake north of Middleton. They even have non-dog park walking trails if you're self-conscious without a dog. Trust me, it's worth going this time of year. To convince you all, I let go of my self-consciousness and posted this picture of a very tired me with no makeup. It's totally worth it.


Have a great upcoming week, friends!

- Brittany

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