Wednesday, July 26, 2017

But Can You Do It With Frosted Flakes Instead?

Hey, Friends.

Long time, no talk.

Sorry about that.  My niece and nephew are up visiting from Texas, so I've been spending as much time as possible hanging with the kidlets when I'm not at work. They win over you, Friends.

To make it up to you for the almost month-long silence, allow me to share this evening's attempt at a culinary creation.  It may end up being a total disaster. Doesn't that sound like fun?

I feel the need to explain that I am, generally, pretty damn good at baking and making desserts. Ridiculous amount of steps?  No problem.  High percentage that it could all go horribly wrong?  I love a challenge.  Going to require getting every pan I own dirty?  Okay -- that I'm not keen on, but I'll do it.

For no good reason, Rice Krispies Treats are like my kryptonite.

Picture from Rice Krispies recipe, which can be found here:  Original Treats

The commercials show children happily and easily making them with their families:

That's not remotely what happens when I try to make them.

The first time I tried to make Rice Krispies Treats it went very, very wrong.  You know what smells horribly nasty? Burnt marshmallows.  Also a bitch to get off of your pans.  

Some marshmallow tips from me to you:

1) Never use the giant "campfire" size marshmallows, even if they are the only option in the store.  I don't care how many different stores you have to go to, keep searching for any size that is smaller. Trust me on this one.  Learn from my misadventures in the world of marshmallows.

2) You want to try using fun, colorful marshmallows?  Be prepared for them to come out looking slightly grayish.  All of those fun colors are going to melt into one big, grayish pile of goo, not pretty swirls.

3) I know the official recipe says to use mini-marshmallows.  Maybe you can handle that.  I cannot.  That stuff will turn on you and start burning in the blink of an eye. You need to be vigilant in your marshmallow cookery.

4) I just use the normal size marshmallows.  No one will know once they are melted into ooey-gooey congealed goodness.

And for the record:  I have never tried the microwave route. My track record with marshmallows is bad enough that I'm not about to introduce them to my microwave. I have visions of them exploding all over the place, or expanding and oozing everywhere.  

Marshmallow woes aside, I can pull it off and successfully make them.  

Fruity Pebbles Treats

I have a process, now that I have screwed it up badly  made all of the mistakes  done it enough times to find all of my problem areas.  I don't know that the good people of Rice Krispies would be too thrilled with it, but it gets the job done.

How To Make Rice Krispies Treats: The Tammy Method

1) Get out your butter-flavored cooking spray and coat a 13x9 pan to within an inch of its life.

2) Get out your wok.  It's got a nice wide top for pouring in marshmallows without spilling them all over the place.

3) Put your box of Rice Krispies (or other fine cereal of choice) by the back door.  No, I'm not kidding. Make sure it is opened and ready to go!

4) Put the butter in the wok and melt it over low heat.

5) When the butter is melted, dump in your entire bag of normal sized marshmallows.

6) Stir constantly and avoid all distractions while stressing out and trying not to burn it.

7) When the marshmallows are nice and smooth and melty, turn off the stove.

8) Take your wok of marshmallow madness, your spoon, and your box of cereal and go stand in the driveway.

9) While holding the wok in your left hand, dump the cereal in using your right hand.

10) Drop the empty box on the ground by your feet and start trying to mix it all together before the marshmallow goo starts to firm up.

11) Pay no attention to the cereal flying out of the wok while you stir.  This is why you are doing it outside.  The birds and other neighborhood wildlife can enjoy a tasty snack later.

12) When it looks as mixed as you can get it, hurry back inside and put it into the pan.  Press that stuff in firmly so that the bars will (hopefully) hold together when you try to cut them up later.

13) Cover with waxed paper and hope for the best.

14) Go back outside to get the empty box and throw it in the garbage.

That's really my process, Friends.  I am apparently incapable of stirring in the cereal without making a gigantic mess.  I like to think of it as an urban campfire scenario.  A brief intermission en plein air.

Why are we discussing this, Friends?

Well, I have my book group tomorrow night.  We will be discussing One More Thing by B. J. Novak. In the book is a story called "Kellogg's".  As you might have guessed, it mentions cereal.

You probably remember that I like to serve refreshments that go with the theme of the book at my book groups.  (Don't remember, or you are a new reader and are dying of curiosity? You can click here or just click on the "book group" tag.)  Well, this particular chapter mentions Frosted Flakes and Corn Flakes.  What am I supposed to do with that?  I'm not going to serve my book group bowls of cereal. You're killing me here, Mr. Novak!

And then I had an epiphany: I could make Rice Krispies Treats, but use Frosted Flakes instead!  My euphoria was short lived.  After my initial rush of giddiness subsided,  my brain had a lot of questions as to what I thought I was going to do.

  • What the hell would you even call them?  Frosted Flakes Treats?  Frosted Flakes Bars?
  • Is this even a thing?  You cannot be the first person to ever have this idea.  There is probably a good reason you don't see commercials for Frosted Flakes Treats.
  • Will these things even hold together?  Rice Krispies are small and easily coated.  Frosted Flakes are a lot bigger with more surface area.
  • You should probably Google this before trying it.

You're right, brain.  I could Google it.  I probably should....just to avoid a potential disaster.  It would be the smart thing to do.  You raised some valid points.

Yeah, I totally didn't bother to look it up.  It will be our own little culinary adventure, Friends!

So, just a few minutes ago, I mixed up the Frosted Flakes treats-bars-things

Why yes, those would be Frosted Flakes in my driveway.  I wasn't lying about that step.

and I have now squooshed (technical term) them into the pan.


As I write this they should be firming up into a nice solid block.  Cross your fingers and send me good vibes.  I'm not even going to attempt to cut these bad boys until tomorrow.  I promise I will fill you in on the outcome -- for good or for ill.  

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go make carrot cake for my book group.  

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