Thursday, August 16, 2012

Peanut Butter + Chocolate Rice Crispy Treats

Whenever I make rice crispy treats, I think of Christmas 1997. I was in the eighth grade and had all the style of a fourteen year old growing up in the '90s - the poofy, unbrushed hair, the patterned shirts with stone washed jeans, a smattering of acne, and a smile full of metal with green and blue rubber bands . . . who let me out like that?!?

But back to my point. My family from Kansas was visiting that winter so there was more activity in the house than usual. It was also the year that we had a lot of snow, by North Carolina standards, anyway. Snow plus four kids meant the constant slamming of our back door as we trudged in and out between sleigh rides. We'd strip off our multiple layers of clothing, leave them uncaringly in a wet pile by the door, and come inside for a half a cup of hot chocolate and two (or three) rice crispy treats. We'd turn on the T.V. and hang around until we got bored and decided to go play again. Fourteen is the age where it almost isn't "cool" to go play anymore, but because there was snow on the ground all pretenses were dismissed. So we'd once again pile on our layers of clothing, put on our hats and gloves, and head back out the door to make a dozen more runs down the hill. We lost many a sled and toboggan to the lake at the bottom of the hill when we got going too fast and were forced into an emergency evacuation, lest we end up in the lake, too. Every once and awhile we were able to fish a seemingly condemned sled or toboggan out of the lake by fetching my dad's fishing rod, hooking the abandoned vehicle, and reeling it into safety.

I couldn't tell you where our parents were for any of this fun - probably doing adult things like braving the icy roads and driving to work since we were old enough to stay by ourselves. After the third or fourth day of this, my cousin, Laura and I got tired of sledding so we mostly sat around and ate. A lot. Like the entire dish of holiday rice crispy treats my mom had made before departing for her grown-up obligations. It isn't that we necessarily meant to eat the whole thing, but over the course of the day with one bite here and another bite there, they were gone.

And boy was my mom pissed! She loves rice crispy treats, so when she came home to an empty casserole dish that we'd had the audacity to leave dirty she was not a happy camper. Especially since Laura and I were just sitting there like "bumps on logs" watching whatever dribble happened to be on our non-cable television at the time. I remember hearing her walk (stomp) from the kitchen to the living room, holding that empty dish, and ripping us a new one about the lack of respect it takes to eat every last rice crispy treat that we hadn't even made and then leave the dirty dish on the counter.


I'm not sure how we managed to get our hands on more Rice Krispies or marshmallows since neither one of us had a license or a car, but I certainly do remember that when Mom left for work the next day, Laura and I got busy making another batch together. And we didn't eat a one.


I decided to make rice crispy treats to serve at Game Night because they are a relatively easy sweet to make AND they can be easily be made gluten-free (Kellogg's now makes gluten-free Rice Krispies) for my two of my girl friends. Unfortunately, the gluten-free boxes don't come with a recipe so I relied upon my memory and a little creativity. (Yes, I could have just done a google search, but I was lazy. For traditionalists like me who like plain better, here is the original recipe.)

Peanut Butter + Chocolate Rice Crispy Treats
Kelley Gondring

In a large pot, melt over medium heat:
1 stick butter

Once butter is melted, add:
1 bag mini marshmallows
1 bag Reece's peanut butter chips
Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until all the marshmallows and peanut butter chips have melted.

Turn off heat. Stir in:
6 cups Rice Krispies
Once the ingredients are thoroughly mixed, transfer them to a large, buttered casserole dish (13x9). Use a spatula or buttered piece of wax paper to press down the treats so that they are even. Set aside.

Pour into a medium microwave-safe bowl:
3/4 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips*
Melt in microwave being careful not to let burn.
*For a thicker chocolate base, use whole bag.

Pour the melted chocolate over the rice crispy treats. Use a spatula to evenly spread. Let cool. Cut into small squares to serve.

Eat up!

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